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62nd CfIT Plenary Meeting - Thursday 16 July 2009

Minutes:

Present

Commissioners:
Peter Hendy (Chair)
Lynn Sloman (Vice-Chair), David Leeder (Vice-Chair), Cllr Helen Holland, Neil Scales, Paul Godier, Roger Jones, Carolyn Dwyer, Andrew Sentance, Gerry Doherty, Garrett Emmerson, Corinne Swain, Richard Turner, Graham Dalton, Paul Plummer, Harry Bush, Philip Davis, Cllr Shona Johnstone, Christopher Macgowan (Motorists' Forum Observer).

Other attendees:
Dr Robin Hickman (Halcrow), Catherine Seaborn (Halcrow), Peter Headicar (Oxford Brookes University), Prabhat Vaze (DfT), James Hooson (DfT).

CfIT secretariat:
Matt Coleman - Secretary, Neil Williams - Deputy Secretary, Grant Allan, Ian Griffiths, Lara Thornton (Media Advisor).

Apologies for absence:
Apologies were received from Michael Roberts.

1. Chair's Introduction

Neil Betteridge
The Chair informed Commissioners that Neil Betteridge had stepped down as DPTAC Chair. The new Chair-designate, Dai Powell (Chief Executive, Hackney Community Transport), was expected to attend the September Plenary.

2008-09 Research Programme - Ex-post Evaluation
The Chair reported back on the findings, noting that successful projects are characterised by strong leadership from respective Working Group Chairs and full Commissioner participation.

Procurement Frameworks
The Chair appraised Commissioners on the decision to use the DfT Procurement Framework Agreement from January 2010 (when CfIT's own frameworks end). It was noted that the DfT framework contained a larger pool of resources (both academic and consultancy) that CfIT could utilise.

Chair - Meetings with the Secretary of State for Transport
The Chair updated Commissioners on his meetings with the previous Secretary of State, particularly discussions on road safety and Intelligent Speed Adaptation. The Chair was scheduled to meet the new Secretary of State, Lord Adonis, in September.

Ireland Visit
The Chair outlined the key messages emerging from the Dublin (May) Plenary, namely:

The Chair commended the note of the Dublin trip previously circulated to Commissioners.

Conservative Rural Paper Announcement - Shared Taxi Schemes
The Chair commented on the Conservative Party's pledge (if elected) to pilot shared taxis in rural areas. Commissioners noted that Conservative proposals drew heavily on CfIT's recently published Rural Taxis report.

Rural Wheels Site Visit/Committee on Climate Change (CCC)
Lynn Sloman appraised Commissioners on CfIT's recent Rural Wheels site visit to Cumbria, undertaken jointly with the Commission for Rural Communities. The purpose of the visit was to examine possibilities for taking forward a pilot scheme to promote shared taxi services. Lynn explained that the post-project implementation phase will look at how such a taxi-plus style (local authority) scheme could be framed. Among the next steps for CfIT was to write separately to local authorities on how future such schemes might operate.

Commissioners were updated on a recent discussion with the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). The CCC were interested in quantifying the carbon savings associated with good land-use practice, and what this would mean for policy consideration. Commissioners agreed that CfIT should explore options for assisting the CCC, and agreed on the usefulness of inviting the CCC to a future Plenary.

Action: Secretariat to invite the CCC to a future Plenary.

Meeting with DfT on Incentive per Passenger(IPP)/Smart-cards
Commissioners were appraised of a recent discussion with DfT on IPP and in relation to a recent conference covering smart-cards. It was felt that the full potential of smart-cards could only be realised by focusing on the passenger benefits.

Influencing the Transport Debate
Commissioners felt that it would be useful to provide a position paper to Government on the context for future transport policy. This would be taken forward under the auspices of CfIT's 'Transport Challenges and Opportunities' project. A scoping meeting would be arranged prior to the summer break.

Action: Secretariat to arrange an early scoping meeting.

2. Planning for Sustainable Travel

Corinne Swain introduced the context and background to the Planning for Sustainable Travel project, examining the inter-relationship between land-use and transport planning. Consultants, Halcrow, then gave a presentation on the study findings, before inviting feedback from Commissioners.

Commissioners agreed that there were some very good messages emerging from the project, but felt that the information needed to be more concise to ensure take-up among the target audience. It was agreed with Halcrow that the draft Summary Guide would be made more succinct, and that a 2-page Executive Summary would also be drafted (CfIT would undertake the latter, in-house). A discussion then ensued on de-coupling between GDP and travel growth, with Peter Headicar offering to circulate to Commissioners a paper he had authored on the subject. Commissioners also discussed and offered suggestions for developing the draft media-handling strategy, where it was agreed to pursue an autumn conference launch of the hard-copy and web-based guidance.

Action: (i) Halcrow to re-draft (Chapters 1, 2 & 3) the draft Summary Guide in order to be more concise/succinct - with Commissioner input; (2) Secretariat to circulate Peter Headicar paper on de-coupling of GDP/traffic growth.

3. New Approach to Appraisal (NATA) - Next Steps

Phrabhat Vaze (DfT) commented on DfT progress on the NATA Refresh. DfT would be consulting on new guidance up to 2010. The following key issues in relation to option generation were to be considered:

DfT were looking to invite peer review of the emerging draft guidance. CfIT stood ready to provide input, should DfT come forward with specific criteria for consideration.

4. UK Transport Research Centre (UKTRC)

James Hooson (DfT) appraised Commissioners on the roll-out of the UKTRC and development of its forward work programme. Commissioners considered the possibility of, and possible issues surrounding, CfIT-led work commissioned through the UKTRC. It was important to foster a healthy and collaborative working relationship between CfIT and the UKTRC, primarily through Secretariat participation on a DfT-hosted Programme Customer Group. The key was to avoid duplication between CfIT and UKTRC work.

James Hooson offered to attend a future CfIT Plenary to provide an update on progress.

Action: Secretariat to invite DfT to a future, relevant Plenary.

Date of Next Meeting

CfIT's next Plenary meeting would be held on Thursday 17 September 2009 at 9.30am at 55 Victoria Street, London.