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39th CfIT Plenary Meeting - 15 September 2005

Agenda:

1. Chair's Introduction

2. Update on Work Programme

3. CfIT Response to the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution Study of the Urban Environment

4. DfT Evidence and Research Strategy

10.45 - coffee

5. Foresight Intelligent Infrastructure Systems Projectpresentation by Dr Miles Yarrington, Project Leader

6. Transport and the RDAs - presentation by Nick Paul, Chair of Advantage West Midlands

7. CfIT Contact Programme

The following papers are for information only:

8. Minutes of the Last Meeting

9. Plenary Dates for 2006

10. Correspondence Report

11. Calendar of Events

12. CfIT Website

13. Programme Expenditure

12.45 - lunch

Minutes:

Present:

Peter Hendy (Chair)
Sir Trevor Chinn
Paul Collins (DfT observer)

Commissioners:
David Leeder (Vice-Chair), John Armitt, Garrett Emmerson, Sir Michael Hodgkinson, Helen Holland, Michael Roberts, Archie Robertson, Neil Scales, Richard Turner.

Speakers:
Robert Sullivan
Miles Yarrington
Nick Paul
Roger Sumpton

CfIT secretariat:
Ben Still, Catherine De Marco, Richard Mace, Brian Corbett, Grant Allan, Katie Allister.

Apologies for absence:
Apologies were received from Neil Betteridge, Harry Bush and Ros Scott.

1. Chair's introduction

Staff changes
1.1 The Chair thanked Paul Collins for his support during his time as head of DfT Strategy Division. Paul was transferring to the London branch of DfT's Regional Transport Group. Andrew Murray would replace Paul as head of Strategy Division.

1.2 The Chair also welcomed Brian Corbett to the CfIT Secretariat. Brian would be supporting the Chair on correspondence and the plenary programme.

Communications adviser
1.3 CfIT had advertised for a new communications adviser in the Guardian on 5 September. The closing date for expressions of interest was 20 September. The Secretariat were aiming to complete the recruitment process and appoint a new adviser in November.

Motorists' Forum road safety launch
1.4 The Motorists' Forum were to hold a media launch of their work on speed management and work-related road safety on 20 September. The launch represented the first time that concerted action on road safety had been agreed right across the motoring industry.

Lorries
1.5 DfT had received applications to trial lorries heavier than the current limit of 44 tonnes and of a larger size than current UK standards. The Chair highlighted CfIT's previous work on 44 tonne lorries and wished to offer DfT further advice in this area if required. Action: Secretariat.

2. CfIT work programme

2.1 Climate Change
The first working group meeting was held on 13 September, with a second meeting scheduled for next week. The group would be hearing presentations from Government on carbon emission projections, and would be investigating the reasons as to why the projections differed among various Departments. It was not intended that the group would come to any conclusions in advance of the Defra announcement on the UK Climate Change Programme, which would be made at the end of the year - but would be working on transport and climate change issues beyond the CCPR period.

2.2 Defra were staging a climate change conference on 5 October, aimed at encouraging more businesses to examine their impact on climate change. CfIT would be assisting with the climate change stream. Michael Roberts would be leading on near-market technologies. Stephen Ladyman would be talking about logistics and Stephen Joseph on smarter choices.

2.3 Pricing and investment
DfT were intending to carry out analysis on this topic by Christmas. CfIT would aim to provide a more thorough analysis following the Department's work. The Vice-Chair had met with TAS to discuss their bus industry model and whether it would assist analysis of factor cost changes.

Action: David Leeder to discuss freight issues with Richard Turner and pricing, investment and subsidy issues with Sir Trevor Chinn.

2.4 Integration
The audit of cross-departmental policy initiatives on transport would be delivered to the CfIT working group on 13 October. The group were currently developing a stakeholder group and were turning their thoughts to the areas that CfIT should consider as part of the case study phase.

2.5 Sustainable Transport Choices and the Retail Sector
The workstreams on buses and the economy and retail and leisure parking had been combined into one package. This study aimed to examine consumer spend by mode, and effects on the retail sector and retail perceptions. The group would be examining relevant work carried out by CPT and TfL.

2.6 Transport and competition issues
The transport industry was currently in an intensive re-franchising period. CfIT had arranged a meeting on 27 September with the OFT and transport operators in order to discuss streamlining the re-franchising process.

2.7 Affordable Mass Transit
The CfIT report was now complete and Karen Buck had agreed to provide a Ministerial foreword. CfIT were considering options for promoting the report in the specialist local government press. [Post plenary note - The Department subsequently rejected having a Ministerial forward].

2.8 Procurement
The Secretariat were developing framework contracts for academic and consultancy services, aiming to have the academics framework up and running by October and the consultancy framework by December.

3. CfIT response to the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution study of the urban environment

3.1 The Secretariat had prepared a draft response based on advice commissioned from Professor Tony May of ITS Leeds and Peter Headicar of Oxford Brookes. Members discussed the draft response and it was agreed to revise the document in accordance with members' comments and circulate again.

Action: Secretariat

4. DfT Evidence and Research Strategy

4.1 Robert Sullivan, DfT's Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser, introduced members to the strategy underpinning DfT's research programme. A new board level strategy (BERS), overseen by Simon Webb, would serve as a "health check" on the overall research programme. DfT were looking at integrating the BERS with the business planning cycle. They were also considering how they might better integrate with the research programmes of other international bodies such as ECMT, TRB and DG TREN. Robert Sullivan highlighted the importance of including all forms of evidence, including analysis, research, evaluation, consultancy and statistics. The new strategy also aimed to obtain a better handle on uncertainties such as oil prices and other economic factors. This was being achieved through the use of probability distributions based on a variety of scenarios.

4.2 Members commented on the BERS as follows:

5. Foresight Intelligent Infrastructure Systems (IIS) project

5.1 The Foresight programme aims to provide challenging visions of the future, to ensure effective strategies now. It does this by providing a core of excellence in science-based futures and access to leaders in government, science and business. Miles Yarrington presented an overview of Foresight's IIS project.

5.2 The IIS project aims to explore how science and technology may be applied over the next 50 years to the design and implementation of intelligent infrastructure systems that are robust, sustainable and safe. The steering group is led by Stephen Ladyman, and the project will be handed over to DfT early next year.

Action: Members to provide any comments on the IIS project to the Secretariat.

6. Transport and the RDAs

6.1 The Chair welcomed Nick Paul and Roger Sumpton from Advantage West Midlands to the meeting to give their views on transport policy from an RDA perspective. Garrett Emmerson had met with Nick Paul back in January as part of CfIT's contact programme, and both agreed that it would be helpful for Nick Paul, who represents the transport interests of the RDAs, to meet with CfIT in plenary session.

6.2 Established in 1999, Advantage West Midlands are one of nine RDAs in England. The RDAs presented a joint response to the Government consultation on airport capacity last year. There was significant Government investment pouring into the regions. Together, the RDAs received a total budget of approximately £2bn a year, though this only represented 2% of total public spending. The RDAs' priorities are spread across many Government Departments. They were currently awaiting a joint Government response to their priorities, which included encouraging greater entrepreneurial activity in the regions.

6.3 Six out of the nine RDAs cited transport as the chief barrier to economic growth in the regions. Nick Paul expressed a wish to have in place a national strategic and integrated transport plan. They felt that it was difficult to set regional priorities in the absence of a national plan. The RDAs were supportive of the airports strategy put in place by the Government and sought similar strategies for other modes. It was suggested that transport policy should be focussed on wider benefits - not just congestion - and this trail of thought dovetailed with CfIT's current workstream on integration.

6.4 The RDAs sought increased investment in transport, as well as better use of the existing infrastructure. They were very supportive of the concept of road pricing, and felt it important to tackle pinch points at the same time. The RDAs recognised the current pressures on public spending and encouraged the use of innovative ways to generate funding. The reduction of lead times for all journeys was also a key priority, as well as shortening the planning process. Nick Paul welcomed the Eddington transport study. The RDAs fund studies to support policy development and delivery and also realised the economic benefits to regions in funding actual transport schemes (Advantage West Midlands had helped to fund the Birmingham New St development).

Action: The Integration Working Group on board the views of the RDAs during the course of the project.

7. Contact programme

7.1 The Chair would forward his thoughts on the contact programme to members in due course, via correspondence.

Date of Next Meeting

The next plenary meeting would be held at 9:30am on Thursday 17 November.

CfIT Secretariat
September 2005