Select Committee on European Communities Second Report


12.  COMBINED TRANSPORT OF GOODS (104352/98)

Letter from Lord Tordoff, Chairman of the Committee, to Lord Whitty, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

  Thank you for your letter of 18 May[3] and the supplementary Explanatory Memorandum (EM) on this proposal. These were considered by Sub-Committee B at its meeting this morning.

  The Committee found it useful to be brought up to date in this way. However, we note that the proposal has evolved since the original EM. Not least in the light of the Government's continuing concerns, it seems likely that further changes will be made before the matter requires formal decision—though the prospects for progress are uncertain at present.

  While noting the present position, the Committee will want to consider this important topic in the light of an authoritative text and further EM in the normal way. The scrutiny reserve is therefore maintained.

  In the meantime, the Committee would be grateful for your comments on the report in Railwatch for July 1999 (page 4) about Railtrack's seeking to persuade the Government to opt for a limited extension of the loading gauge, which would seem to inhibit the greater transfer of freight from road to rail which your letter of 18 May attached importance.

1 July 1999

Letter from Lord Whitty, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, to Lord Tordoff, Chairman of the Committee

  Thank you for your letter of 1 July about the proposed Council Directives on the Combined Transport of Goods. You asked, in passing, about the article in Railwatch magazine on Railtrack's proposal for improving the rail freight loading gauge.

  First, let me assure you that our commitment to facilitating growth in rail freight has not wavered, and that we expect Railtrack to comply with its licence obligation to invest in enhancements to the rail freight infrastructure to satisfy the reasonable requirements of the rail freight operators and funders.

  Railtrack's 1999 Network Management Statement (NMS) contains proposals for a rail freight loading gauge upgrade, to what it terms "W10", on a number of key routes across the network. This gauge would allow for the carriage of 9 feet 6 inch high ISO containers and swapbodies. In addition, Railtrack says that when altering structures it would seek to upgrade them to the "W11w" piggyback gauge, "in anticipation of the later development of a W11 gauge".

  Railtrack has applied to the Department for a freight grant to fund upgrading to W10 of two routes from the Channel Tunnel to London. That application will be treated on its merits, but we are currently awaiting further information from Railtrack in support of its case. This upgrade is intended to form part of a wider W10 network, to include:

    —  the London-Glasgow West Coast Main Line route, which Railtrack will have upgraded this year without grant;

    —  routes from the container ports of Felixstowe and Southampton to the West Coast Main Line, for which freight grant would also be sought.

  I should add that we have commissioned consultants to assess Railtrack's figures for the piggyback and W10 schemes. The initial audit of the costs and benefits of the W10 and piggyback cases show that the core (Channel Tunnel-Glasgow) W10 route provides about 66 per cent of the environmental benefits of piggyback at only 15 per cent of the cost.

  The NMS has been the subject of consultation by the Rail Regulator. That consultation ended on 8 June and it is now for the Regulator to determine whether the freight proposals contained in it meet the reasonable requirements of the rail freight operators and funders. To assist him in making such a determination, the Regulator sent a letter to Railtrack on 13 July in which he sought answers to some 21 questions about the NMS' approach to freight. These included six questions on the freight loading gauge issue.

  In the longer term we shall be looking to the Strategic Rail Authority to promote rail freight. In the meantime, the shadow SRA will be able to make a start on strategic planning for rail freight growth.

4 August 1999

Letter from Lord Tordoff, Chairman of the Committee, to Lord Whitty, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

  Thank you for your letter of 4 August in reply to mine of 1 July 1999. This was considered by Sub-Committee B at its meeting yesterday.

  On the issue of gauge, the Committee would be grateful for further information on the likely demand for traffic to fit both W10 and W11 gauges on the various routes you identified, and which are considered to be the priorities for upgrade.

  We would also be glad to receive your explanation of how the cost/benefit on the London to Glasgow route has been calculated for both sizes of gauge upgrade since it would appear that the demand for deep sea container traffic flow (requiring only W10 gauge) on that route might be somewhat limited.

  As noted in my letter of 1 July, the Committee will want to consider this important topic in the light of an authoritative text and further explanatory memorandum in the normal way. This therefore continues to be under scrutiny reserve.

5 November 1999

Letter from Lord Whitty, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, to Lord Tordoff, Chairman of the Committee

  Thank you for your letter of 5 November about the proposed Council Directives on the Combined Transport of Goods.

  You asked for further information on the likely demand for traffic to fit both W10 and W11 gauges for the various sections of route considered to be priorities for upgrade. The information we have available is contained in Railtrack's proposals for the Channel Tunnel to Glasgow route as a whole. This proposal does not break down demand between Glasgow and London and London to the Channel Tunnel route sections. To date, Railtrack have not submitted gauge enhancement proposals for the spurs to the container ports of Felixstowe and Southampton. Therefore, we are not able to compare forecasts of demand for deep sea container and other traffic on the various sections of route as we would like to. However, as I mentioned in my letter of 4 August we commissioned consultants to assess Railtrack's proposals; I attach information from their audit for traffic demand between the Channel Tunnel and Glasgow for the W10 option (at Annex A) and the W11 option (at Annex B).

  As regards the calculation of the cost/benefit the consultant's figures I quoted in my letter of 4 August referred to the Channel Tunnel to Glasgow route as a whole. Railtrack has not disaggregated the demand figures by route section so the cost/benefit on the London to Glasgow section cannot be calculated separately. However, the costs for the W10 and W11 options have been disaggregated by route section, and by engineering, disruption to rail users, and project management, design and supervision costs. Our consultants summary of these costs are attached at Annex C.

1 December 1999

Annex A

W10 Option

"LIKELY" DEMAND FORECASTS AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT FOR 9ft. 6in. GAUGE
2000 20052010 201520202025
INTERNATIONAL TRAFFIC FORECASTS—9ft. 6in. GAUGE
Volume with 9ft. 6in. Gauge (000T)
Rail: Piggyback226 7631,0581,358 1,6351,848
Rail: High Cube Units (C46-C63) 208327528 8221,1661,574
Rail: Standard Cube Units (less than C45) 3,5833,489 3,7203,9624,361 4,982
LoLo: Container5,651 6,9498,42110,183 12,27814,763
RoRo: Accompanied RGV 12,67115,36618,420 22,04826,33131,382
RoRo: Unaccompanied RGV 19,93723,64428,267 33,84840,56248,656
Total42,276 50,53860,41472,220 86,334103,205
Rail market share with Gauge enhancement 9.5%9.1% 8.8%8.5%8.3% 8.1%
Rail market share without Gauge enhancement 8.5%6.9% 6.2%5.5%5.1% 4.8%
Market share with 9ft. 6 in. Gauge (%)
Rail: Piggyback75%0.5% 1.5%1.8%1.9% 1.9%1.8%
Rail: High Cube Units (C46-C63) 0.5%0.6%0.9% 1.1%1.4%1.5%
Rail: Standard Cube Units (less than C45) 8.5%6.9% 6.2%5.5%5.1% 4.8%
LoLo: Container13.4% 13.8%13.9%14.1% 14.2%14.3%
RoRo: Accompanied RGV 30.0%30.4%30.5% 30.5%30.5%30.4%
RoRo: Unaccompanied RGV 47.2%46.8%46.8% 46.9%47.0%47.1%
Intermodal rail breakdown (%)
Piggyback5.6% 16.7%19.9%22.1% 22.8%22.0%
High Cube Units (C46-C63) 5.2%7.1%9.9% 13.4%16.3%18.7%
Standard Cube Units (less than C45) 89.2%76.2%70.1% 64.5%60.9%59.3%
Gauge related terminal volume (000T)
Willesden117 294428588 756923
Daventry103 258376516 664811
Warrington151 379552758 9741,190
Mossend63 159231317 408498
Gauge related trains (total per day both ways)
Willesden5040.8 2.23.24.4 5.77.0
Daventry5040.7 1.92.83.9 5.06.1
Warrington5041.1 2.84.25.7 7.49.0
Mossend5040.4 1.21.72.4 3.13.7
Total Gauge Related Trains 3.08.111.9 16.421.225.8
Do Nothing Trains50427.3 26.628.330.2 33.238.0
Total Trains30.3 34.740.246.6 54.463.8
DOMESTIC TRAFFIC FORECASTS
Volume with 9ft. 6in. Gauge (000T)
London & SE <> Scotland Unitised
Road Haulage1,734 1,9152,1002,302 2,5162,747
Intermodal399 440500569 653752
Total2,133 2,3552,6002,871 3,1693,499
Rail market share (option) 18.7%18.7%19.2% 19.8%20.6%21.5%
Rail market share (base) 16.7%14.2%13.5% 12.8%12.5%12.7%
Gauge related trains (total per day both ways)
Gauge related Trains504 0.30.71.1 1.51.92.3
ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS—9ft. 6in. GAUGE
Net motorway miles saved (000s) 018,57826,954 36,95247,38357,747
Net urban miles saved (000s) 0286416 571733895
Net rural miles saved (000s) 087126 172221269
Net total miles saved (000s) 018,95027,495 37,69548,33758,910
Value of net environmental savings (£000s) 04,231 6,1408,41910,797 13,160
Disounted net environmental savings (£000s) 02,983 3,2343,3143,176 2,893
Net Present Value of environmental savings (£000s) Intn'l:57,915 Dom'c:8,742 Total:66,657

Annex B

W11 Option

"LIKELY" DEMAND FORECASTS AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT FOR "PIGGYBACK" GAUGE
2000 20052010 201520202025
INTERNATIONAL TRAFFIC FORECASTS—PB GAUGE
Volume with PB Gauge (000T)
Rail: Piggyback301 1,0171,4111,810 2,1802,464
Rail: High Cube Units (C46-C86) 383602971 1,5122,1462,897
Rail: Standard Cube Units (less than C45) 3,5833,489 3,7203,9624,361 4,982
LoLo: Container5,614 6,8698,29910,007 12,04214,461
RoRo: Accompanied RGV 12,58815,18918,154 21,66625,82430,740
RoRo: Unaccompanied RGV 19,80723,37227,859 33,26239,78147,661
Total42,276 50,53860,41472,220 86,334103,205
Rail market share with Gauge enhancement 10.1%10.1% 10.1%10.1%10.1% 10.0%
Rail market share without Gauge enhancement 8.5%6.9% 6.2%5.5%5.1% 4.8%
Market share with PB Gauge (%)
Rail: Piggyback0.7% 2.0%2.3%2.5% 2.5%2.4%
Rail: High Cube Units (C46-C86) 0.9%1.2%1.6% 2.1%2.5%2.8%
Rail: Standard Cube Units (less than C45) 8.5%6.9% 6.2%5.5%5.1% 4.8%
LoLo: Container13.3% 13.6%13.7%13.9% 13.9%14.0%
RoRo: Accompanied RGV 29.8%30.1%30.0% 30.0%29.9%29.8%
RoRo: Unaccompanied RGV 46.9%46.2%46.1% 46.1%46.1%46.2%
Intermodal rail breakdown (%)
Piggyback7.1% 19.9%23.1%24.8% 25.1%23.8%
High Cube Units (C46-C86) 9.0%11.8%15.9% 20.8%24.7%28.0%
Standard Cube Units (less than C45) 84.0%68.3%61.0% 54.4%50.2%48.2%
Gauge related terminal volume (000T)
Willesden185 437643896 1,1671,446
Daventry162 384564787 1,0251,270
Warrington238 5638291,156 1,5051,865
Mossend100 236347483 629780
Gauge related trains (total per day both ways)
Willesden5041.4 3.34.96.8 8.911.0
Daventry5041.2 2.94.36.0 7.89.6
Warrington5041.8 4.26.38.8 11.414.2
Mossend5040.7 1.72.63.6 4.85.9
Total Gauge Related Trains 5.112.118.1 25.232.940.7
Do Nothing Trains50427.3 26.628.330.2 33.238.0
Total Trains32.4 38.746.455.4 66.178.7
DOMESTIC TRAFFIC FORECASTS
Volume with PB Gauge (000T)
London & SE <> Scotland Unitised
Road Haulage1,709 1,8642,0252,196 2,3772,573
Intermodal424 491575675 792926
Total2,133 2,3552,6002,871 3,1693,499
Rail market share (option) 19.9%20.8%22.1% 23.5%25.0%26.5%
Rail market share (base) 16.7%14.2%13.5% 12.8%12.5%12.7%
Gauge related trains (total per day both ways)
Gauge Related Trains504 0.51.11.7 2.333.6
ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS—PB GAUGE
Net motorway miles saved (000s) 027,59740,482 56,33173,17290,454
Net urban miles saved (000s) 0425624 8701,1321,401
Net rural miles saved (000s) 0129189 262341421
Net total miles saved (000s) 028,15041,295 57,46374,64592,277
Value of net environmental savings (£000s) 06,285 9,22112,83416,673 20,614
Disounted net environmental savings (£000s) 04,431 4,8585,0524,904 4,531
Net Present Value of environmental savings (£000s) Intn'l:83,310 Dom'c:13,326 Total:101,636

Annex C

Table 12.1

COMPARISON OF COSTS FOR GAUGE ENHANCEMENT SCHEMES
Spot costs in £000s (Q1 1996 prices) EngineeringDisruption PM, Design, SupervisionTotal
Cost of providing 9ft. 6in. clearance
Dollands Moor—Clapham11,240 1,1802,86915,289
Clapham—Hanslope Junction South60 01575
Hanslope—Rugby2,554 9356854,174
Rugby—Stafford1,241 1963211,758
Stafford—Coatbridge512 40131683
Crewe—Trafford Park5,909 6701,5118,090
Weaver—Seaforth866 1532241,243
Total22,382 3,1745,756 31,312
Indicative 50% Risk24,640 3,4946,33734,471
Indicative 80% Risk25,916 3,6756,66536,256
Cost of providing Piggyback clearance
Dollands Moor—Clapham37,521 5,4609,65352,634
Clapham—Hanslope Junction South25,908 29,4007,94763,255
Hanslope—Rugby10,332 6,2162,89419,442
Rugby—Stafford9,459 11,2012,92423,584
Stafford—Coatbridge24,131 9,6776,51640,324
Crewe—Trafford Park443 0111554
Weaver—Seaforth4,115 2,2431,1417,499
Total111,909 64,19731,186 207,292
Indicative 50% Risk123,100 70,61734,305228,021
Indicative 80% Risk129,814 74,46936,176240,459

Letter from Lord Tordoff, Chairman of the Committee, to Lord Whitty, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

  Thank you for your letter of 1 December about the cost/benefit analysis of various routes for both W10 and W11 gauges, which was considered by Sub-Committee B at its meeting today.

  I note that the figures which Railtrack have submitted do not allow you to answer directly the questions raised in my letter of 5 November but the annexes covering the calculations by your consultants do give an illustrative guide to costs and benefits of the two options.

  But, as noted in earlier correspondence, the Sub-Committee will wish to consider the proposed Council Directive when an authoritative text and further Explanatory Memoranda are submitted. The scrutiny reserve is lifted on this document.

12 January 2000


3   Printed in Correspondence with Ministers, 17th Report, Session 1998-99, HL Paper 94, p 14. Back


 
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