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32nd CfIT plenary meeting - 15 July 2004



Professor David Begg (Chair), David Leeder (Vice-Chair), Sir Michael Hodgkinson, Helen Holland, Stephen Joseph, Mike Parker, Neil Scales, Neil Betteridge, Archie Robertson, Neil Scales, Michael Roberts, Sir Bill Morris, Richard Turner, Stewart Francis, Peter Hendy, Garrett Emmerson, Sir Trevor Chinn (MF Observer), Paul Collins (DfT Observer), Martin Helm, Andy Braithwaite, Neil Williams, Katie Allister, Ciaran McLaughlin (PWC item 3).

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

1. Minutes of the last meeting and matters arising

1.1 The minutes of 20 May meeting were agreed, as circulated. All actions had been progressed. The following points were raised under "matters arising":

1.2 Richard Bowker, SRA
Richard Bowker (RB) was shortly to stand down as Chair of the SRA following the Government's announcement on the future plans for rail. The Chair would write to RB to thank him for his contribution.

Action: Secretariat to draft a letter for the Chair.

1.3 Secretariat changes
The Secretariat was undergoing a period of restructuring. One Secretariat post would be lost in total. Steve Guyon had moved to ODPM and Richard Mace would be taking up a post at Transport Direct (DfT) in August. The Chair would write to Steve and Richard to thank them, on behalf of Members, for their support.

Action: Secretariat to draft a letter for the Chair.

1.4 The Secretary announced that 5 people were shortly to be interviewed for the vacant transport planner post within the Secretariat.

1.5 Accommodation
The Chair and Secretariat would be moving offices from St James's Square to Ashdown House (Victoria) in September.

1.6 Road safety
Sir Trevor Chinn updated members on Motorists' Forum progress on road safety. Responding to Ministerial requests for the Forum to further advise in this field, the Forum would shortly be convening 2 separate working groups. One would look at corporate driving and the objective would be to produce guidance setting out best practice encompassing work-related road safety. The second would address speed control and management, including public awareness issues, the aim of which would be to gather existing research and then advise on how Forum members themselves could take forward actions identified. Initial meetings were expected to take place in September and both groups would aim to complete their work by Christmas.

1.7 It was agreed to invite Jacqui Wilkinson of DfT's Sustainable Travel Team to the September plenary to give a presentation on soft transport measures.

Action: Secretariat to follow-up.

1.8 Buses advice
CfIT's buses advice was published on 5 July. Coverage in the national press was generally positive and more extensive than for previous bus announcements.

1.9 Contact programme
Members had selected their chosen contact organisations. The Chair ran through the respective allocations. There had been a positive response to the initiative from the chosen bodies.

2. Introductions from new CfIT members

2.1 Presentations were given by the 3 newly appointed CfIT members - Garrett Emmerson (Bucks CC), Peter Hendy (TfL) and Richard Turner (FTA) - on their experience and areas of expertise. A copy of each presentation has been forwarded to members with the minutes.

2.2 Prompted by Garrett Emmerson's presentation, it was agreed to offer all CfIT reports to the Local Transport Planning Network website:

2.3 In connection with Peter Hendy's presentation, CfIT would involve Keith Gardner at TfL in its work on bench-marking world cities against modal-shift from car to public transport.

Action: Secretariat to follow-up on 2.2 and 2.3.

3. Local authority expenditure

3.1 Phase 1 of the work undertaken by PWC and Atkins was discussed. It was agreed that PWC would not be asked to carry out any further work on the topic. The report would not at this stage be forwarded to DfT or published on CfIT's website. The working group would be re-convened to produce a CfIT cover paper, following which the report would be submitted to DfT and published. Garrett Emmerson, Neil Betteridge and representatives from DfT and the Institution of Highways and Transportation would be invited to join the group.

Action: Helen Holland's working group to reconvene, as above.

4. Competition Commission

4.1 Members considered CfIT's draft paper to the Competition Commission (CC) produced in response to the inquiry into the proposed acquisition by the National Express Group of the Greater Anglia franchise. It was agreed that more work was required on the paper based on discussion and members' views. It was also agreed that CfIT would reflect the findings of the recently published OXERA report on rail, bus and car competition in the revised draft. TAS would be invited back to discuss revision of the paper.

4.2 The general view was that the process of considering competition issues surrounding the competition aspects of rail franchising needed to be far more streamlined. The CC had welcomed the Chair's offer to submit a paper on this.

Action: Paper to be finalised and a further paper to be drafted, to be submitted to the September plenary for further consideration.

5. CfIT media coverage

5.1 Martin Helm outlined CfIT media activity during the preceding months. CfIT had been in high demand during this period, influencing the debate over prominent issues such as congestion charging and high occupancy vehicle lanes. Coverage of the buses report had been very positive. CfIT had also caught the public's mind with the ongoing debate on 4x4s, focussing on safety, pollution and fuel consumption. CfIT was positioned as the key independent body the media turned to for considered commentary on transport.

5.2 It was requested that all draft (CfIT) press releases be forwarded to members in advance of publication wherever possible.

Action: Secretariat to action as set out in the agreed media strategy.

6. The following were noted and approved:

Date of Next Meeting

The next plenary meeting would be held at 9:30am on Thursday 9 September at the Royal Academy of Engineering.

CfIT Secretariat
July 2004