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27th CfIT plenary meeting - 24 September 2003

Papers:

Agenda

1: Minutes of the Last Meeting and Matters Arising

2: Transport Developments in London
Presentation by Peter Hendy, Managing Director for Surface Transport, Transport for London

3: MF Road Safety Research
Discussion of MF advice and recommendations - Introduction by Sir Trevor Chinn and Sir Christopher Foster

10.45 - Coffee

4: Role of New Technology
Frank Kelly - DfT Chief Scientific Advisor; Nick Illsley - DfT, Transport Direct

The following papers will be taken as read:

5: High Speed Rail Progress Report

6: Draft Itinerary for November Visit to Munich

7: Plenary Programme

8: Programme Expenditure

9: CfIT Website

12.00 - Lunch

Minutes

Present:

Professor David Begg, Sir Trevor Chinn, Neil Betteridge, Lawrence Christensen, Stewart Francis, Sir Michael Hodgkinson, Helen Holland, Stephen Joseph, David Leeder, Lilli Matson, Sir Bill Morris, Mike Parker, Neil Scales, Michael Roberts.

Andy Braithwaite, Steve Guyon, Grant Allan, Neil Williams (observer), Richard Mace.

Peter Hendy (item 2), Nick Illsley (item 3), Ben Still (item 3), Sir Christopher Foster (item 3), David Prescott (item 4).

Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Richard Bowker, Stephen Hickey, Sir Roy McNulty and Baroness Ros Scott.

1. Minutes of the Last Meeting and Matters Arising

1.1 The minutes of the last meeting on 17 July were agreed as circulated. All actions had been addressed or were in progress. The Chair gave an update on the following points under matters arising:

1.2 Report on the External Costs of Aviation
CfIT's report on aviation externalities had received some positive coverage in the national press. The aim of the report was to investigate whether and how external costs within the aviation industry could be internalised.

1.3 Retail and Leisure Parking
Members requested a revised brief at the July plenary, identifying a series of policy options and setting out any shortcoming of current policy. It was agreed that there would be formal consultation and a hearing to discuss the findings from the research. The final report was expected to be submitted to Ministers in early 2004.

2. Transport Developments in London

2.1 The Chair welcomed Peter Hendy, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL. Peter Hendy gave a presentation on transport developments in London, focussing on buses and congestion charging. There had been many other achievements in the last three years including the transport policing initiative, taxi and private hire operator licensing, the pedestrianisation of Trafalgar Square and expansion of the DLR. More recent achievements included integration of the London Underground and the introduction of smartcard ticketing. During the period between 2001 - 2016, London's population was forecast to grow by 740,000, with 636,000 more jobs. The challenge was for London's transport network to cope with increased demand.

2.2 London has one of the largest urban bus networks in the world. Each weekday, over 7,500 London buses carry 5.4 million passengers on over 700 different routes. Increased patronage levels and service standards had been a major success story. The network currently had the highest number of passengers since 1969 and the fastest rate of passenger growth since 1945. Service standards had improved due to major investment in new vehicles, real-time information systems and integrated ticketing. Levels of grant to support London buses were due to fall in 2005/06, but operating costs were expected to rise. The level of increase in bus network costs was, therefore, not sustainable within the current funding and fares environment. The Mayor had announced a 4.3% increase in fares from January 2004. This would slow the demand increase by 1%, but would still leave a funding gap for 2005/6. TfL recently published the results of a strategic review to identify the long term strategy for funding the bus network.

2.3 Since the introduction of the London congestion charging scheme on 17 February 2003, car journey times to and from the zone were quicker and more reliable. Time taken for journeys to central London had reduced by 14%. 150,000 fewer car trips were being made into, out of and through the zone. 50-70% of this reduction had transferred to public transport, adding around 90,000 to 130,000 passengers across the charging day. The scheme had impacted positively on bus services, with journey speeds rising and the level of disruption caused by traffic congestion falling by around half. To date, the reduction in traffic had been consistent since the launch of the scheme in February, with no evidence of commuters gradually returning to their cars. A definitive six month report on the scheme was due in October.

2.4 The Chair thanked Peter Hendy for an informative presentation and congratulated him on his success in driving up standards in London.

3. New Technology [Paper]

3.1 Nick Illsley, Chief Executive of Transport Direct, gave a progress report on the scheme. In the long term, Transport Direct will provide travellers with all the information they need to plan a journey anywhere in the country by any transport mode, including route planning maps. Real-time information will provide travellers with details of any anticipated disruption on the chosen route plus information about real arrival and departure times once on the move. The scheme will also enable travellers to purchase all necessary tickets via transport operators, travel agents and other ticket retailers.

3.2 The project was being delivered incrementally, underpinned by a number of data sources and interoperable with information used by TfL and PTEs. Information would initially be based on journey time, and in future would consider the cost of various routes and modes. Services will initially be available via a web portal, which is likely to be launched in 2004. By the end of 2005, the service is expected to be available via public kiosk, digital TV and mobile phone. Nick Illsley would return to a future plenary in Spring 2004 to demonstrate the web portal.

Action: Invite Nick Illsley to a future plenary in Spring 2004 to demonstrate the Transport Direct web portal.

3.3 Frank Kelly, DfT's new Chief Scientific Adviser, was due to discuss the work of the Department on new technology. Unfortunately, he had been called to attend an urgent engagement at short notice and sent his apologies. Ben Still, from DfT's Strategy and Review Division, was supporting Frank Kelly on new technology and briefed the Commission on how the work was being handled administratively within the Department.

3.4 Policy areas had traditionally been handled by the respective divisions within DfT. The Department was in the process of strengthening work carried out centrally, with the Chief Scientific Advisor forming a key role to ensure continued scientific rigour to policy making. New technology was an integral component of DfT's core operations, the overall strategy being to make best use of emerging technologies.

3.5 The Chair thanked Nick Illsley and Ben Still for briefing CfIT. Following the presentations, members agreed that CfIT could add significant value in this area, helping to move initiatives to policy.

Action: Secretariat to prepare a paper on CfIT's options for research on new technology.

4. Motorists' Forum Road Safety Research

4.1 In July 2002, the Chair asked the Motorists' Forum to provide advice on how delivery of the Government's Road Safety Strategy by the target-date might be more effectively achieved. The Forum commissioned the University College London (Centre for Transport Studies), assisted by Babtie Group Ltd, to report on this matter. An Advisory Panel, under the Chairmanship of Sir Christopher Foster, was appointed to work with the consultants and to help shape the consultants' report.

4.2 Sir Christopher Foster advised members on the recommendations which were intended to be feasible and cost-effective. In carrying out its brief, the Advisory panel had not been asked to comment on or monitor DfT's progress in meeting its road safety targets.

4.3 The Chair thanked Sir Christopher Foster for overseeing the work of the Advisory Panel. CfIT fully endorsed the Motorists' Forum's recommendations. Due to the nature of its recommendations, it was agreed that the report would need to be submitted to DfT and Home Office Ministers, as well as the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Health and Safety Executive. The report would be published on the Motorists' Forum website with a link to the CfIT site.

4.4 It was agreed that CfIT look further at the evidence underpinning current policy in three areas:

Action: Secretariat to prepare a paper for the next meeting identifying areas for further research on road safety.

5.1 The following papers were noted and approved:

Date of Next Meeting

The next plenary meeting would be CfIT's visit to Munich on 25th and 26th November.