Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Supplementary memorandum by the Passenger Transport Executive Group (PRF 15A)

DRAFT DIRECTIONS AND GUIDANCE TO THE SRA

  In its Draft Directions and Guidance to the SRA, Section 5.5 sets out the three key targets that the Government expect the railway to achieve, briefly:

    —  50 per cent increase in passenger miles;

    —  80 per cent increase in freight;

    —  reductions in overcrowding.

  These are amongst many targets set in the 10 Year Plan. The other targets relevant to rail are set out in Sections 5.6 and 5.7 of the Guidance. In setting the Strategic Rail Authority's objectives, section 6.1 of the Draft Guidance, states that the Strategic Rail Authority is required as its primary objective to work within its statutory framework to deliver the targets set out in Paragraph 5.5 above.

  PTEG is concerned that concentration on three of those targets, those set out in Paragraph 5.5, and ignoring others which are set out in the 10 Year Plan and relate to local transport delivery and which include:

    —  Congestion in large and urban areas reduced from a forecast growth of 15 per cent by 2010 to an 8 per cent reduction. In other urban areas congestion growth reduced from 15 per cent to 7 per cent;

    —  Better integration and co-ordination between transport mergers with local transport plans and improved interchanges;

    —  Integrated information, ticketing and booking, including smartcard ticketing;

    —  Better access to jobs and services including for deprived and rural areas;

will diminish the priority given to rail investment in the major conurbations.

  PTEG believes this could have been addressed by either not relying on a target of 50 per cent passenger kilometres but a target of increasing passenger numbers or alternatively by the use of specific targets for different sectors of the business. PTEG believes these should be developed jointly with the SRA as part of the process of developing its Strategic Plan.

  PTEG has other concerns about the Direction and Guidance, in particular:

    —  The conflict between the aim to improve services and secure investment and short-term franchise extensions, particularly in the conurbations;

    —  Ensuring that PTEs will, as co-signatories to the franchises, be fully involved in franchise development and management;

    —  The lack of comfort with regard to ministerial commitments given in relation to the role of PTEs and the status of the Local Transport Plan.

  These were set out in more detail in the PTEG's original evidence.

30 October 2001


 
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