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44th CfIT Plenary Meeting - 20 July 2006


1. Chair's Introduction

2. Virtual Transport Research Centre

3. Financing The Work Programme

4. Colin Foxall, Chair of Passenger Focus (formerly Rail Passengers Council) - Presentation about the new structure, remit and work programme of Passenger Focus.


5. Nick Illsley, Chief Executive of Transport Direct - Presentation to demonstrate the latest programme developments and talk about the next steps for the programme.

6. Sustainable Transport Choices

7. Competition in Passenger Transport


The following papers are for information only:

8. Minutes of the last meeting

9. Dates for 2007 plenary

10. Work programme update

11. Media report

12. Calendar of events

13. CfIT website


David Leeder (Chair)
Andrew Murray (DfT observer)
Olga Bigault (DfT observer)

John Armitt, Neil Betteridge, Harry Bush, Sir Trevor Chinn, Gerry Doherty, Paul Godier, Helen Holland, Michael Roberts, Neil Scales, Andrew Sentance, Richard Turner.

CfIT secretariat:
Brian Corbett, Chris Watts, Richard Mace, Catherine de Marco, Grant Allan, Katie Allister.

Apologies for absence:
Apologies were received from Peter Hendy, Michael Roberts, Lynn Sloman, Garrett Emmerson, Sir Mike Hodgkinson and Archie Robertson.

1. Chair's Introduction

The Chair congratulated Andrew Sentance on his appointment to the Monetary Policy Committee.

The second phase of the World Review of Road Pricing was out to tender and would report to the November Plenary.

The Climate Change research project was discussed. The original timelines for the primary research into public attitudes to aviation and climate change were looking optimistic and it was looking unlikely that the Working Group would be able to report, on that aspect at least, to the November Plenary. It was agreed that we needed to strike a balance between accuracy and timeliness of delivery of this important research.

Members also raised the issue of a "personal carbon trading" scheme, which appeared to have received fresh impetus since David Miliband had moved to Defra.

Action: Climate Change project timetable to be discussed between Chair, Michael Roberts and David Leeder.

Action: Personal carbon trading to be considered by working group.

Sir Trevor Chinn briefed commissioners on the current work programme of the Motorists' Forum (MF). The MF are looking into the role that private companies could play in the delivery of road pricing, as well as the implications of the Prime Minister's "respect" agenda for road users. Sir Trevor was also keen to explore the idea of a joint working group between CfIT and MF to look into the link between speed, safety and climate change.

Action: Secretariat to discuss joint working group proposal with the Chair.

2. Virtual Transport Research Centre

The Chair had written to DfT agreeing the DfT/ESRC proposal to establish the Virtual Transport Research Centre. Members were somewhat reassured that the VTRC would be funded from existing DfT research resources, with the potential to lever in some matched funding and to bring high quality academics from other sectors into transport research. CfIT would work with the VTRC to ensure its research remained complementary and Paul Godier had agreed to represent CfIT on the VTRC board. Paul was thanked for taking on this important task.

3. Financing the Work Programme

The Secretariat circulated some draft options for stepping up the work programme, showing their potential impact on our spending in 0506 and 0607. Members discussed the delivery schedule and spending profile of the forthcoming work programme. It was agreed that CfIT should continue to focus primarily on conducting high quality pieces of work on a limited number of key issues. Where constrained in terms of both Secretariat and Commissioner time, smaller projects which could not yet be funded should be postponed until the next financial year, as necessary.

Action: Secretariat to discuss with Chair the project timelines and need to bid for further funding.

4. Colin Foxall, Chair of Passenger Focus

Colin Foxall gave a presentation describing the aims and achievements of Passenger Focus, and explained the key differences between Passenger Focus and its predecessor, the Rail Passengers Council. The presentation would be available on the CfIT website.

5. Nick Illsley, Chief Executive of Transport Direct

Nick Illsley gave a presentation explaining the inception and development of Transport Direct, and informed commissioners of the future direction of the organisation. The presentation would be available on the CfIT website.

6. Sustainable Transport Choices

Helen Holland, chair of the working group, updated commissioners on the Sustainable Transport Choices and the Retail Sector, published the previous day. This had been covered in local and national press and Helen had undertaken interviews on BBC local and national radio. Luke Blair, Communications Advisor, thought that the report had been well received.

In discussion, the following points were made:

These last points were closely related to the Barker Review, the Interim Report of which had just been published.

Action: Secretariat to work up CfIT view in respect of retail competition and out-of-town development.

7. Competition in Passenger Transport

The Competition in Passenger Transport paper was discussed. It was agreed that the recommendations required clarification (the reader could be assisted through this complex area with simpler language), and should be discussed with DfT Rail and the competition authorities, before being submitted to Ministers.

Action: Secretariat to redraft and clarify recommendations.

Date of Next Meeting

The next plenary meeting would be held at 9:30am at Ashdown House on Thursday 21 September.

CfIT Secretariat
July 2006