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38th CfIT Plenary Meeting - 21 July 2005

Agenda:

1. Chair's Introduction

2. 2005-06 Work Programme - progress following Governance Board meeting

10.45 - coffee

3. Motorists' Forum Road Safety Report - presented by David Holmes, Chairman, RAC Foundation

4. Stakeholder Relations: Renewal of CfIT Contact Programme

5. Road Pricing - update by Robert Devereux, DfT

6. AOB

The following items are for information only:

7. Minutes of the Last Meeting

8. Work Programme Update

9. Meeting with Stephen Ladyman

10. Meeting with Environment Agency and Secretary of State

11. Media Report [Paper]

12. CfIT Website [Paper]

13. Programme Expenditure

12.15 - lunch

Minutes:

Present:

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

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

Speakers:
David Holmes
Robert Devereux.

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

Apologies for absence:
Apologies were received from Sir Roy McNulty and Neil Scales.

1. Chair's Introduction

The Chair paid tribute to those affected by the events of 7 July and to the professionalism of transport workers in handling the aftermath and returning the transport network back to normal.

1.2 Recruitment of new CfIT members:
The Chair thanked David Leeder for the additional time input that he had devoted to CfIT during his time as Acting Chair. There were currently five vacant posts on the CfIT board. DfT were in the process of recruiting new members, in accordance with OCPA guidelines. CfIT were keen to invite candidates from a range of social and ethnic backgrounds to apply for the positions.

1.3 Media strategy:
The Chair informed members that he would retain his full-time post as Managing Director for Surface Transport at TfL. He therefore wished to make fuller use of the talents of CfIT members in representing the views of the Commission. The Secretariat were beginning the process of recruiting a media advisor.

2. CfIT Work Programme

2.1 A governance board meeting was held on 12 July. DfT approved CfIT's 2005/06 work programme and the Chair subsequently wrote to the Secretary of State setting out CfIT's planned work.

2.2 Climate change:
Michael Roberts had agreed to Chair this workstream. The aim was to build on existing work produced by CfIT, including CfIT's response to the Defra consultation on the UK Climate Change Programme and CfIT advice on aviation's external costs. As climate change is such a wide ranging issue, the project would focus on areas where CfIT advice can add value to the debate. For example, CfIT would examine new technology for vehicles and had invited the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) to sit on the working group. Representatives of the Foresight intelligent infrastructure systems project would also be invited to give their views on adaptations to the transport network.

2.3 Pricing, investment and subsidy
DfT had been supportive of CfIT's proposed research in this area. The Chair had written to Sir Rod Eddington and was keen for the work to dovetail with the Eddington Transport Study as appropriate. This project would interface with the road pricing agenda, examining the impacts of the introduction of a national road pricing scheme on the rest of the transport network.

2.4 Integration
The working group met prior to the plenary in order to shape the workstream. The first phase of the work would identify a matrix of key policy objectives associated with transport and whether and how these objectives are joined up. The second phase would examine case study areas.

2.5 Competition within the transport sector
The CfIT Working Group on competition issues was continuing its investigation of the rail franchise process, and how this process might be improved. A number of proposals were being considered by the OFT, which would form the basis of a meeting of stakeholders (CfIT WG, OfT, CC, DTI, DfT, ORR). A key consideration would be the impact of the new structure outlined within the Rail Act 2005 on the franchise process itself.

2.6 At the last CfIT plenary, members made some comments about the overall nature of the CfIT work programme, and in particularraised the question as towhether it should form a coherent wholeor could, more simply,bea portfolio of workstreams. Members made this point in the context of considering the accessibility and mobility, and freight issues within workstreams. It was agreed that itwassensible for an NDPB like CfIT to regularly question its value and direction.

3. Motorists' Forum Road Safety Report

3.1 The Chair thanked David Holmes, Chairman of the RAC Foundation, for overseeing the MF road safety research. David Holmes introduced the key features of the report.

3.2 MF's research focuses on cars and speed management. It recognises the complex interaction between the road, the vehicle and the driver, and that effective action will involve many players. These include Central Government, local authorities, police and motoring organisations. The report calls for all parties to commit to programmes of co-ordinated action in a range of areas to improve road safety.

3.3 CfIT agreed that the report provided a valuable contribution and felt that the approach of seeking relevant parties agreeing to a joint approach and sharing responsibility was particularly helpful. The Road Safety Bill was currently going through Parliament and members asked the MF/CfIT secretariats to find out which recommendations might require legislative change in order to implement them.

3.4 Members asked for two additions to the report: one to call for a review of the national speed limit sign with a view to replacing it with signs indicating the actual speed limit for the road, ie 70 or 60 mph; and the other to strengthen what we have said about road safety education in schools. It was agreed that these issues would be added to the report.

3.5 Sir Trevor Chinn confirmed that the MF were fully signed up to this report. It was agreed to hold a joint launch for the report in September, with representatives from CfIT, MF, SMMT, the AA and RAC.

3.6 Members pointed out that reducing road fatalities also impacted positively on other Government objectives for health and welfare reform - for example, reducing orthopaedic hospital waiting lists and public expenditure on incapacity benefits.

4. Road Pricing

4.1 Robert Devereux gave a progress update to members on DfT's work on road pricing. The Secretary of State had received a positive media response to his speech at the Social Market Foundation, with questions focussing on "how will this work?", rather than "this can't be achieved". 18 million had been made available for local authorities over the next three years to support planning for local demand management schemes where road pricing is a major element. This would provide further experiences on road pricing put into practice. DfT had asked local authorities to identify potential study areas, continuing their feasibility work and ensuring local deliverability.

4.2 The Chair saw a potential role for CfIT in supporting the public acceptability element. However, RD argued that it would be sensible for DfT to work up some propositions before asking CfIT to take forward packages of work. RD said that he would discuss with the Chair in the autumn where CfIT might best add value.

5. Contact Programme

5.1 Members considered CfIT's strategy for engaging with external stakeholders. It was agreed that members should continue face to face dialogue with its core stakeholders. Members also asked the Secretariat to review the list of core stakeholders, and to broaden CfIT's contacts by preparing a list of other satellite stakeholders who the Commission may wish to write to, in order to inform them of CfIT's latest work.

Action: Secretariat.

6. AOB

6.1 The Commission accepted an invitation from the Foresight Intelligent Infrastructure Systems project team to give a presentation on their work at the next plenary.

6.2 CfIT had received a number of requests to consider ports policy, inland waterways and short-sea shipping. It was agreed that this was an area worth further consideration when sufficient resources became available.

6.3 Members requested an analysis of CfIT's website hits for the next plenary - given that hits appeared to be falling away, and this was not consistent with the remit to 'refresh the public debate'. The Secretariat were currently in the process of modernising the site.

Action: Secretariat.

Date of Next Meeting

The next plenary meeting would be held at 9:30am on Thursday 15 September.

CfIT Secretariat
August 2005