MEMORANDUM BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT,
TRANSPORT AND THE REGIONS
In its letter of 27 July 2000, the Environment, Transport
and Regional Affairs Committee asked the Department of the Environment,
Transport and the Regions to update the Committee's "Live"
Recommendations from Reports it has published in this Parliament.
This memorandum is in response to that request.
HOUSING AND PLANNING (TENTH
1997-98 & SEVENTEENTH
The Committee has asked when guidance on Urban
Capacity Studies will be issued and when the review of Planning
Gain will be completed.
We intend to publish the guidance on Urban Capacity
Studies in the autumn. On the review of Planning Gain, we expect
to publish a consultation paper in the autumn.
- SESSION 1998/99)
The Committee has asked whether it is still
intended that the Commission will publish an Annual Report and
whether performance indicators will be introduced in order to
monitor progress in achieving integration (recommendation bbb).
CfIT published its annual report on 28 September
which reviewed Government progress in delivering on Integrated
Transport White Paper objectives. CfIT undertook work on physical
integration during its first year, though this concentrated on
promoting the dissemination of best practice rather than measuring
quality of delivery.
In the 10 Year Plan for transport (published on 20
July 2000) we set out (Annex 2) a range of targets and indicators
against which the Plan will be monitored. To provide additional
independent scrutiny, we have asked the Commission for Integrated
Transport to report regularly on progress against the objectives
and outcomes that the Plan sets out, and to identify what, if
any, further policy measures would help to secure them.
In addition, the Committee has asked what progress
has been made in respect of the following recommendations:
(ddd) We recommend that a skills audit
be undertaken to highlight any training needs for existing staff
and any requirement for the recruitment of additional staff. Professional
bodies and Government must work together to provide a suitable
training programme which addresses any shortfalls identified by
the audit (paragraph 233).
Recognising the Government's role in the dissemination
of best practice a Good Practice Guide on the Development of
Local Transport Plans was published in April 2000. It provides
examples of good practice from the provisional LTPs in order to
help authorities in the development of their full LTPs submitted
in July 2000. Its publication was supported by regional workshops
with authorities to disseminate the guide and to learn from experiences
from the production of provisional LTPs.
Further good practice advice is planned. The details
of its focus and content will be determined in the light of the
first full LTPs, submitted to DETR in July.
Initial discussions have also taken place with the
Institute of Civil Engineers on the role such a professional organisation
can play in developing and promoting the new transport planning
agenda at the local level.
(qq) We recommend that all aspects of road
policing are included in the aims and objectives set for chief
constables by the Home Office. We were appalled that expenditure
on these duties could not be assessed accurately. We recommend
that the police revise their budgetary arrangements to allow spending
on this area to be monitored properly. There must also be a comprehensive
analysis of the costs and benefits of increasing spending on traffic
policing in relation to the growing costs of congestion and the
costs of injuries to the National Health Service (paragraph 202).
The Government's position on this issue is unchanged
from that given in the response to the Committee's report.
(tt) We are concerned that the necessary
expansion of the network of speed limit, traffic signal and bus
lane enforcement cameras might be constrained by inadequate funding.
There are two alternatives for remedying this situation. Either
the relevant authorities should be allowed to recover their costs
by adding an administrative charge to the fixed penalty fine for
offences detected by enforcement cameras; or the income raised
from the existing fines should be hypothecated to pay for the
administrative costs and for more cameras (on bus lanes, as well
as elsewhere). The latter can be implemented immediately. We recommend
it is (paragraph 205).
A new funding system based on netting-off penalty
receipts from speeding and traffic signal offences has been developed
and is now on trial. This followed preparatory work by the DETR
led project group that includes the Home Office, Lord Chancellor's
Department, the Crown Prosecution Service, HM Treasury, the police,
local authority organisations and the Highways Agency. Pilot schemes
to test the new funding system started in April 2000 in eight
police force areas in England, Scotland and Wales. Only revenue
from fixed penalty notices will be used, and not from fines resulting
from court prosecutions. The netting-off arrangement is permitted
by HM Treasury under the Appropriation Act. This allows pilots
to run for two years pending the necessary legislation to formalise
the arrangement. The pilots will apply to speed and traffic signal
cameras only, now collectively termed "safety cameras".
The project group and the consultants that are assisting it in
developing the arrangements are monitoring progress of the pilots
to ensure that the financial system satisfies HM Treasury criteria
and the road safety objectives for the areas covered. The pilot
areas are: Essex, Northampton, Thames Valley, Nottingham, South
Wales, Cleveland, Lincolnshire, Strathclyde
The Committee has asked what progress has been
made in respect of improved integration between different transport
modes (recommendations (ww), (xx), (yy), (zz) and (aaa)):
(ww) Many of the fundamental elements of
good interchange are quite basic. Bus stops must be located close
to railway stations. Accurate and easily understood timetable
and fare information is essential. Bus and rail schedules and
ticketing must be co-ordinated to enable passengers to make seamless
journeys. Stations must be readily accessible for those travelling
on foot, by bus and bicycle and in taxis. Secure parking should
be available for bicycles, and for cars in areas where alternative
forms of transport are limited. The provision of bicycle and car
hire facilities should be encouraged at larger stations (paragraph
(xx) While the measures required to improve
integration are well known, we doubt that sufficient mechanisms
are in place to secure their implementation (paragraph 228).
(yy) We recommend that local authorities
and the forthcoming SRA are given, as a matter of priority, the
necessary powers to compel operators to integrate their services
where this cannot be secured through negotiation (paragraph 229).
(zz) A simple ticketing structure with
inexpensive fares is essential and tickets that can be used on
the services of different operators and modes should not be undermined
by those that are operator-specific (paragraph 229).
(aaa) Final Guidance to local authorities
about Local Transport Plans must make clear that Government funding
will be related to the extent to which plans meet objectives for
the improvement of integration, and payment of funds should be
tied to the implementation of plans (paragraph 230).
Final guidance on Local Transport Plans (which are
now to be statutory under the Transport Bill) was issued in March
2000 and was followed in April by further 'best practice' guidance
'Joining up the Journey' prepared for DETR by the Institute of
Logistics and Transport. LTP guidance includes specific criteria
for public transport integration on which plans will be assessed.
Guidance also makes clear that confirmation of future indicative
financial allocations are dependent on annual performance against
targets and objectives set out in plans.
Four 'Centres of Excellence' have been established
(South Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and Merseyside)
to promote integrated public transport.
The promised measures are being taken in the Transport
Bill to promote improved bus services, including better information
and integrated ticketing, both with other bus operators and with
Bus and rail operators are working together, through
'Journey Solutions' to nearly double the current range
of bus/rail ticketing "add-ons" to 200 locations by
the end of the year.
Progress continues with the development of the integrated
national public transport telephone enquiry service - 'traveline'.
Call centres in most of England and Wales are operational and
will be launched formally later in the year after an initial proving
On railways, the Franchising Director has asked those
bidding for replacement franchises to set out their plans to improve
integration with other transport modes, in terms of better access
to stations by local public transport, by car and cycle and on
foot. He also wants to see proposals for secure car parking, secure
cycle storage and multi-modal ticketing including travelcards
and smart cards.
The traintaxi guide - a private initiative - has
also been launched, with Ministerial support. This guide helps
those planning journeys by rail to know how to arrange a taxi
at any station in the country.
National Cycling Forum Working Groups are actively
considering matters related to combined bike/rail and bike/bus
journeys, including cycle security issues. Their findings will
be reflected in best practice advice.
The cycling charity 'Sustrans' hopes to develop "Safe
Routes to Stations" in partnership with, amongst others,
A number of schemes awarded funding from the £17
million Rural Bus Challenge 1999 include specific measures to
promote bus/bike integration. For example the Wiltshire Wigglybus,
a flexible local bus service, has provision for carrying bicycles
on the back of the bus.
The Committee has asked what progress has been
made in respect of the following recommendations:
(l) We recommend that the Government extend
the 42 day period after which operators may de-register services
to a minimum of three months. Operators and local authorities
must then work towards a position where bus timetable changes
are synchronised with those of the railways and take place on
two fixed dates in the year (paragraph 96).
(ggg) We recommend that the Government
work towards a position where bus and train timetable changes
are synchronised in order to improve integration (paragraph 235).
Following consideration of responses to the buses
consultation document, proposals will be brought forward later
this year for changes to the regulations on route registration.
These will include an increase in the notice period for the generality
of registration changes and also reflect the review, promised
in the Ten-year Plan for Transport, of the requirement to give
notice before a community-based service can be started or withdrawn.
A number of local authorities have entered into voluntary agreements
with bus operators to limit timetable changes to specified, fixed
dates during the year. Guidance on Local Transport Plans (LTPs)
refers to the need for better interchange arrangements and integration
(uu) the existing £20 fixed penalty
for unauthorised use of a bus lane must be at least doubled in
order to increase the effectiveness of the deterrent. We recommend
that the licences of motorists found guilty of such infringements
be endorsed (paragraph 205).
The public consultation exercise last summer which
proposed various increases in the levels of fixed penalties for
motoring offences in England, Wales and Scotland, revealed that
there was general agreement about the main increases (for endorsable
and non-endorsable offences) but differences of view on a proposal
to greatly increase the penalty for bus lane offences [and about
the existing differential between London and elsewhere]. The Home
Office are not yet in a position to make clear decisions on those
issues and have decided that the bus lane penalty will only receive
a standard increase for the moment [and that the existing differential
between London and elsewhere will remain for the time being].
This will allow an increase in fixed penalties in general to be
implemented. Further consideration is being given to the level
of fixed penalties for bus lane offences [and to the differential
between London and elsewhere].
The new rate for non-endorsable motoring offences,
including bus lane and parking offences, from 1 Nov 2000 will
be £30 outside London, an increase of 50% on the current
(mm) We recommend that the Government take
the necessary measures to ensure manufacturers are required to
design cars in ways which minimise the harm caused to pedestrians
and cyclists in the event of a collision (paragraph 186).
We are currently awaiting the opportunity to examine
the details of the European Commission proposal for a pedestrian
protection Directive. We had expected the Commission to put forward
their draft proposal earlier this year, but this proved not to
be possible. We now expect the Commission to bring forward their
proposal towards the end of the year. In the meantime, we are
continuing a dialogue with industry on the issues.
(qqq) Attractive alternatives to the car
must be put in place before, or at the same time as, significant
measures are introduced to restrain road traffic. This will require
substantial investment. We recommend that local authorities be
given the ability, subject to the necessary safeguards, to raise
money for investment on the basis of the future revenue stream
from the new charges, as soon as possible (paragraph 261).
We are working with local authorities that have expressed
an interest in introducing road user charging or workplace parking
levy schemes through our Charging Development Partnership. Amongst
other things, the partnership is looking at how up-front improvements
to transport might be made in advance of charging.
We are also undertaking a review of the capital finance
system. In particular, we are looking at the possibility of allowing
a local authority's level of borrowing to be determined mainly
by its affordability to the authority, taking account of the authority's
overall financial position. A Green Paper on our proposals will
be published this Summer.
(s) We consider that the Government's target
for doubling the amount of cycling by 2002 and doubling it again
by 2012 can be achieved. However, we doubt that there will be
any increase in cycling until it is made safer. This will require
local authorities to provide an extensive network of segregated
and dedicated cycle lanes with particular protection at junctions.
We recommend that the Government set up pilot projects to establish
such extensive networks. It should make clear that creating cycle
lanes by painting white lines on the road are not effective and
will not be acceptable. Local authorities should liaise with local
businesses to ensure suitable changing facilities are made available
for those who cycle to work (paragraph 119).
Local Transport Plans require local authorities to
build on existing efforts to increase the amount and safety of
cycling. Local strategies should have clear targets that contribute
to the national targets for increasing cycle use. In addition
a two year contract to promote the main objectives of the NCS
to key decision makers, for example local authorities or major
employers, was let in April 2000.
Local cycling strategies should recognise that provision
for cycling should be of good quality, to both attract and retain
users. Traffic Advisory Leaflets continue to be produced when
In January 2000, the Department launched Travel Plan
Resource Packs for Employers aimed at assisting organisations
in developing, implementing and monitoring travel management strategies.
A series of seminars to support the initiative is underway and
scheduled to end in the Autumn.
In addition under the Energy Efficiency Best Practice
Programme a leaflet raising awareness of new business opportunities
arising as a result of the promotion of walking and cycling was
The Government's response to these recommendations
was to launch, at the end of 1998, a review of the arrangements
for transport safety and accident investigation, and subsequently
to conduct a wide consultation. Lord Macdonald wrote to Mrs Dunwoody
on 9 June this year to explain that Ministers had considered the
implications for this work of Lord Cullen's inquiry into the Ladbroke
Grove rail crash, part of which is looking at rail safety management,
culture and regulation. Not wishing to pre-empt Lord Cullen's
work, Ministers concluded that it would be wrong to take a view
on changes to the regulatory framework for transport safety before
Lord Cullen reports.
Lord Macdonald therefore enclosed with his letter
to Mrs Dunwoody a document describing the work to date of the
Transport Safety Review, including the results of the consultation
and the analysis undertaken by the review group. He emphasised
that, for the reasons he had explained, the Government would not
be taking a view at the present time on the merits of any of the
options and arguments described in the document, copies of which
were placed in the House Libraries.
The Regulator should use his statutory review
in 2000 to ensure that more of Railtrack's profit is converted
into investment to meet the objectives set by the SRA [and] The
Regulator should be prepared to take even stronger steps to ensure
that Railtrack is contractually bound to minimum levels of annual
spending for the next ten years on capital investment, renewals
and maintenance, and that this spending is properly directed.
The Regulator should ensure full and separate publication of Railtrack's
investment, renewals and maintenance spending (paragraph 143).
These issues are being addressed as part of the Regulator's
current periodic review of the structure and level of Railtrack's
access charges for franchised passenger services. The Regulator
intends to finalise his conclusions around the end of September.
This review ensures that Railtrack are properly financed to play
their central role in maintaining and renewing the network, at
the same time putting in place a new incentive framework to enable
Railtrack to enhance significantly the railway over the next control
period from April 2001 to 2006; and to fund the investment necessary
to deliver the objectives of the Government's Ten Year Plan.
As part of this review, the Regulator will ensure
that Railtrack specify clearly what they are required to deliver
in return for the access charges they receive. Railtrack's 2000
Network Management Statement (NMS) details their investment plans
for the maintenance, renewal and enhancement of the national network
over the 12 year period from April 1999 to 2011. The Regulator
has reviewed the NMS and concluded that it fails to provide sufficient
clarity on maintenance and renewals for the next control period.
He has therefore required Railtrack to submit by 15 September
a draft supplement stating the levels of activity over the next
two control periods to sustain the network on an efficient
whole life cost basis.
The Government should within the next year
study ways in which a fast link between [Gatwick and Heathrow]
might be achieved; the options of a helicopter services (as operated
from 1977 to 1986, when the M25 was completed) or dedicated bus
priority measures on the M25 should be among those considered
Analysis undertaken for the Department, as yet unpublished,
of the inter-airport interlining market in the London airport
system observed that the market was small, and that there is a
complex mix of reasons for inter-airport interlining. The most
common reason, accounting for up to 40% of the market, as to allow
stop-over in London for business or social reasons. The next most
common reason, wishing to fly both journey legs with the same
airline alliance for reasons of price, collection of frequent
flyer points or brand loyalty, accounted for 30% of the market.
This suggests that reducing the minimum connect time between Heathrow
and Gatwick would not significantly affect the majority of inter-airport
The consultants concluded that a helicopter service
might be commercially viable, but the fares to be charged would
limit its appeal to business travellers. They also pointed to
difficulties that the pre-1986 service had in handling morning
peak demand and excess baggage.
The Government commented in its original response
to the Committee's report that itis
open to a commercial operator to bring forward proposals for a
helicopter service between Heathrow and Gatwick. However, in doing
so, it would need to take account of the policies set out in both
SERPLAN's consultation document "A Sustainable Development
Strategy for the South East" and the Surrey Structure Plan
(First Alteration). In particular, the Surrey Structure Plan opposes
aviation developments or changes, including increases in helicopter
traffic, likely to worsen environmental disturbance in Surrey.
The consultants also looked at the feasibility of
a bus priority lane on the M25. When this was studied in 1996,
it was considered not to be financially viable. The updated figures
used by the consultants suggested that if taxis and minicabs were
allowed to use the lane as well, the financial case improved considerably.
However, any question of a dedicated lane for airport traffic
must be integrated with the overall strategy for making the most
effective use of the M25. This is currently being examined in
the M25 Orbital study, which will report by the end of 2001.
The Government must study the supply of, and
demand for, air transport in Northern Ireland and address the
concerns of its air transport users and operators (paragraph 119).
The DETR, working closely with the Department of
Regional Development in the Northern Ireland Assembly, commissioned
a report on the future of air transport in Northern Ireland as
part of its series of regional air studies. The intention is that
this will be the subject of public consultation in due course.
Where the causes of incidents which could have
led to serious accidents are attributable to the incompetence
or inadequate site knowledge of staff, Railtrack must take responsibility
for the work of its contractors, and take action against them.
Railtrack also should tighten its procedures for selecting and
training its contractors. The monitoring of the work of contractors
by Railtrack has not been good enough and the system of 'cascaded'
safety cases needs to ensure that any sub-contractor is subject
to the same controls as the main contractor (paragraph 71).
In view of the problems that have arisen from
the increased use of Contractors to maintain the railway, the
HSE should be much more active in monitoring contractors' work.
It should make more unannounced site inspections and levy instant
penalties for any breaches in safety regulations that it finds
In view of the risk of accidents involving
Mark 1 rolling stock resulting in increases in deaths and serious
injuries it must be replaced, rebodied or modified for use on
franchised services by 1 January 2003, as recommended by the Health
and Safety Commission (paragraph 75)
The railway industry is not doing enough to
combat vandalism which is a very serious and growing threat to
railway safety. In order to reduce both vandalism and trespass
a three year programme to clear lineside debris and repair all
boundary fences on the network should be implemented. A vandalism
and trespass hotline should be established by the British Transport
Police and Railtrack, so that incidents can be reported and responded
to more quickly. A reduction in the number of police officers
and Staff on station platforms and on trains leads directly to
a decline in the safety of passengers. A more visible staff and
police presence is needed, and is in the commercial interest of
the Train Operating Companies and Railtrack (paragraph 78)
Lord Macdonald's letter of 9 June to Mrs Dunwoody
provided a response to these recommendations.
There is considerable concern at the delays
to accident inquiries or the publication of their findings caused
by the pursuit of criminal Investigations into railway accidents.
We recommend that the Government, as a matter of urgency, should
investigate what procedures should be put in place to expedite
criminal proceedings, to ensure that accident inquiries may be
held as swiftly as possible (paragraph 80)
The relationship between accident investigations,
inquiries and criminal prosecutions is one of the issues addressed
in the Transport Safety Review, and covered in the document sent
by Lord Macdonald to Mrs Dunwoody on 9 June. Paragraphs 4.29 and
4.30 of that document describe new arrangements piloted at courts
in England and Wales, not confined to transport-related cases,
designed to accelerate the processing of more serious offences
to the point of start of trial. These arrangements are being rolled
out nationally in January 2001.
We recommend that NATS should immediately begin
to draw up plans to ensure that LATCC can cope with all of its
responsibilities, with the minimum of delays, until NERC is finally
opened. In its planning, NATS should have due regard to the safe
operation of LATCC, minimising delays, and maintaining good morale
amongst air traffic controllers and other staff. NATS should also
begin to make plans to manage the transfer of other functions,
such as MASOR and Terminal Control, to Swanwick, to prevent slippage
in the dates of those transfers (paragraph 15).
Following Board approval, NATS recently announced
that the New En-Route Centre (NERC) is to enter operational service
on 27 January 2002. NATS management is confident that the existing
Area Control facility at West Drayton will continue to operate
in a safe and effective manner until that time. Small system replacements
will be needed in other areas at West Drayton to overcome potential
obsolescence and supportability problems. Some systems are also
to be extended to accommodate planned resectorisations in the
Terminal Control room.
The Committee will be aware that NATS has performed
strongly over the past year (1999-2000). Delays attributable to
NATS reduced by some 27% over the same period in 1998/99 whilst
traffic increased by over 6% - to more than 2 million flights
- in that period. NATS intends to continue to build on this performance
throughout the period to the entry into service of NERC.
NATS are continuing to improve the flow of communication
within the company and the staff were briefed on the day of the
announcement of the operational date for NERC by both the Chairman
and the Chief Executive. Feedback to the announcement has been
positive. NATS management have stated that they recognise the
importance of maintaining morale throughout the company and will
continue to treat this issue as a high priority.
Planning for the later moves of MASOR and TC to Swanwick
We exhort NATS to ensure that the mistakes
made at Swanwick, listed by the Audit Team in its report, are
not repeated at the New Scottish Centre, so that it may open without
further delay (paragraph 26)
Bechtel have been involved closely in the development
of the New Scottish Centre project. From this experience, they
have identified better ways of managing project activities within
NATS, have introduced new techniques and delivered cost savings
through improved working methods.
NATS appreciate that building on the lessons learned
from the NERC project is vital to the success of the New Scottish
Centre and to their Long Term Investment Plan. The company accepted
the recommendations made in the DERA Report and jointly with DETR
appointed Bechtel as project Managers for the New Scottish Centre
project. Subsequently and with effect from 1 June 2000, NATS appointed
Bechtel to take over the management of its Directorate of Programmes
for a period of 2 years. Bechtel have been tasked with reviewing
the Long Term Investment Plan, delivering major projects and setting
up and improving its project management organisation.
We welcome the proposed investment in new communications
technology brought by the Integrated Coastguard Communications
System (ICCS) project, and look forward to the benefits it will
bring. We do however urge the MCA not to be complacent about the
introduction of new technology, which, no matter how well tried
and tested, may throw up unexpected complications which could
harm HM Coastguard's ability to fulfil its duties. Those using
the new technology should be properly trained (paragraph 29).
Following the Government's announcement on the 12
August 1999 on the introduction of ICCS, the MCA is continuing
its implementation, replacing obsolete analogue equipment with
digital equipment. The contract for the supply of ICCS equipment
was awarded to Securicor Information Systems.
As part of the detailed implementation plan, and
in line with Lord Donaldson's recommendation that "the MCA
should carefully monitor the installation of the ICCS to ensure
that it delivers the expected benefits", the MCA installed
the new equipment in a purpose-designed operational suite at the
MCA's Training Centre in February 2000. The system has been thoroughly
bench tested to ensure that it meets the requirements of the Project's
Business Assurance Group as well as training operators, system
managers and maintenance engineers.
The ICCS equipment for the Coastguard Co-ordination
Centres at Clyde, Stornoway, Shetland and Aberdeen has been built
and installations are underway, prior to the closure of Oban and
Pentland. All operators will be comprehensively trained before
the system goes live, and the MCA has recruited two additional
trainers as part of the installation team to provide hands on
training for every operator. No system will go live until the
system is proven and the local operators are fully trained
The roll out began in May 2000 to facilitate the
planned decommissioning of the Marine Rescue Subcentres (MRSC)
at Oban and Pentland in October and December respectively. This
will allow subsequent re-deployment of resources from these stations.
In Autumn 2001, Tyne Tees station will close following the transfer
of communications to MRSC Forth & Humber. This too will enable
the re-deployment of resources to other stations. The planned
installation programme is as follows:
|The original planned installation programme
||Progress to date|
|ICCS Project Centre,
MCA Training Centre
|Installed February||System proven after full testing
|MRCC Clyde||June - July 2000
||System installed in July 2000 and is now fully operational.
|MRSC Stornoway||July - September 2000
||System installed in August 2000 and is now fully operational
|MRSC Shetland||September - November 2000
||On course as planned|
|MRCC Aberdeen||November - January 2001
|MRCC Liverpool||November - January 2001
||Subject to new building schedule|
|MRSC Forth*||March- May 2001
||Now planned to commence January 2001|
|MRSC Humber*||May - July 2001
||Now planned to commence February 2001
has progressed sufficiently to enable the installation for MRSCs
Forth and Humber to be brought forward.
Whilst we welcome the efficiency savings generated
by reducing bureaucracy at the headquarters of the MCA, we have
yet to see how the new Agency might deliver "better safety
and environmental protection at sea", compared to the MSA
and the Coastguard Agency acting separately (paragraph 49).
The merger has enabled the previous Agencies to work
closer together than was previously possible, and in so doing
to make the most efficient and effective use of available resources
and to improve the services to its customers. The MCA Annual Report
1999-2000 was presented to Parliament on 20 July 2000 and highlights
a number of areas integration is delivering on improved service
. Those include:
- a 24 hour contact point service for an immediate
response about the range of MCA work including requests for ship
surveys and ship registration: In the first year the service dealt
with 2,500 calls covering all aspects of our work;
- increased presence on the coast where Coastguards
and other operational staff work together, providing for a more
prompt and effective response to threats to people's safety and
the maritime environment;
- the training of Coastguard Sector Managers to
provide inspections of fishing vessels, making better use of available
- the introduction of greater flexibility for Coastguard
Officers, (using resource freed-up by ICCS) to allow a greater
emphasis on accident prevention work and the extension of the
Voluntary Code of Best and Safe Practice for Leisure Craft Users;
- the relocation of management teams in headquarters
and the regions and the increasing co-location of Marine Offices
and Coastguard stations, to enable staff of different disciplines
to work more closely than was previously possible;
- an improvement in customer service standards
against which the Agency's performance is closely monitored and
- "job shadowing" by Coastguards and
Marine Surveyors to facilitate a better understanding of each
- the engagement of administrative staff in support
of surveyors on inspections and in conducting of visual spot checks
of local small passenger vessels to enable surveyors to take follow
up action as appropriate;
- improving career paths for all professional staff,
thereby improving job satisfaction, experience and efficiency
(so whatever the discipline in which someone enters the MCA, be
that Surveyor, Coastguard or Administrator, there are opportunities
to change discipline at any stage throughout a career in the Agency).
We recommend that the management of the MCA,¼should
encourage open debate about legitimate matters of concern, which
would better inform their decisions, and bolster morale within
the Agency. We further recommend that the Government should be
vigilant to ensure that management dose not unnecessarily inhibit
comment by staff. HM Coastguard is a uniformed service, which
may affect management's attitude to staff. We recommend that the
need to wear uniform, particularly within maritime rescue co-ordination
centres, the training centre and headquarters, should be reviewed."
The Agency has achieved Investor in People (IiP)
accreditation. Inter alia, IiP places great emphasis on open communication.
The senior management structure established in 1999 provides an
open door policy to allow staff to voice their opinions and concerns.
A new staff charter is in the course of development, which will
also encourage staff to air their views.
The Agency Chief Executive regularly visits all Coastguard
Stations and Marine Offices, with each visited at least once a
year, to give a presentation to the staff on the Agency's aims,
objectives and targets and on any forthcoming changes which might
impact on staff. The presentations are followed by a general discussion
to give staff the opportunities to discuss the issues raised.
A Staff Communications and Attitude survey was undertaken
in Autumn 1999. Areas covered by the survey included:
- Communication, where
most employees consider that communications within the Agency
- Management Style,
where overall the trend suggested reasonable satisfaction with
- Job Satisfaction,
where the conclusion was that there is a reasonably high level
of job satisfaction.
The results were made available to all staff and
actions are being addressed and further more specific surveys
are planned. The Agency now plans to undertake smaller more specific
surveys where further work was needed to address areas of concern
so that it has the necessary Quality Management System to meet
the requirements of ISO 9001:2000.
On the recommendation that the need to wear uniform
should be reviewed, there is no change to the Government's response
dated 12 August 1999. It was stated at that time there remained
no need for a review of wearing the Coastguard uniform.