77. The Department estimates that even without any
changes to the rail network rail passenger demand will grow by
33 per cent by 2010. However, in the absence of improvements to
reduce overcrowding, that growth will be constrained to 23 per
cent. The Plan assumes that improvements in frequency, reliability
and journey ambience will remove this constraint and encourage
the additional 17 per cent growth.
The Strategic Rail Authority revised the Department's target of
a 50 per cent growth in passenger kilometres to a range of between
40 and 50 per cent. The Chairman, Richard Bowker, told the Sub-Committee
that "it is possible to deliver all aspects of that range,
and 50 per cent remains an achievable target".
Railtrack believes that the passenger growth targets will not
be met until 2015.
It further notes that if the 10 Year Plan target to reduce road
congestion is achieved, the rail targets will be missed by a wider
margin, a view
shared by the Independent Transport Commission.
Railtrack told the Sub-Committee that "the key drivers of
growth of rail demand are GDP growth, traffic congestion ... and
costs of motoring relative to those of rail," and notes those
key factors are largely within the Government's control.
It is clear that Government transport policy outside of the railways
will have a significant impact on the industry's ability to meet
the targets currently set and that reduced congestion and falling
motoring costs act against growth. There is no consensus within
the industry about what constitutes a reasonable target for rail
growth. Progress towards the current rail passenger growth target
is behind schedule.
78. The target of a 50 per cent increase in passenger
kilometres was criticised for being too coarse.
Seventy per cent of all passenger kilometres are travelled on
the network in the south east. Significant growth is also expected
in commuter travel to London and investment is required if the
reduction in overcrowding targets are to be met.
Several organisations believed that the current growth target
has led to a Plan that is dominated by improvements in the south
east at the expense of other regional improvements.
The Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive has, for
example, set a target of achieving a three to fourfold increase
in local rail passenger journeys.
However, the Greater Manchester capacity improvements that were
expected in the 10 Year Plan are not now expected to be started
before 2010 according to the Strategic Rail Authority's Plan.
79. Mr Bowker told the Sub-Committee that whilst
it was true that the major capital investment projects were focussed
on London and the south east, the Strategic Plan was actually
The average subsidy per journey in the south east is only one-thirteenth
the average subsidy of the regional networks.
Projects funded under the Rail Passenger Partnership
scheme in other regions can deliver greater benefits than the
same level of investment in the South-East.
80. It is unclear whether, in setting one national
target for rail passenger growth, the Government intended to concentrate
rail capital investment in the south east. However, despite the
Rail Passenger Partnership, it seems likely that more limited
rail investment in other regions will adversely affect the implementation
of integrated transport strategies. The Strategic Rail Authority
also suggests that regional investment may offer better value
for money than investment in and around London. The national
target for rail passenger kilometre growth has created a regional
imbalance in the Plan. The Strategic Rail Authority should develop
other indicators to ensure that passenger rail can make a full
contribution to Regional Transport Strategies in the context of
Regional Economic Strategies.
118 Transport 2010: The 10 Year Plan, p5. Back
Q58, Q610. Back
Delivery of Improvements over the life of the plan, Department
of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, July 2000. Back
Transport 2010: The 10 Year Plan, p31. Back
TYP 37 Back
TYP 51 Back
TYP 32. Back
Transport 2010: The 10 Year Plan, p 5. Back
Ibid, p 14. Back
TYP 51. Back
Q 911. Back
Q 761. Back
Transport 2010: The 10 Year Plan, p42. Back
Ibid, p100. Back
The Strategic Plan, Strategic Rail Authority, January 2002. Back
Transport 2010: Background Analysis, p9. Back
TYP52, TYP26. Back
The Strategic Plan, p9. Back
TYP18, TYP26, TYP31, TYP37, TYP56. Back
£430 million is available over the period of the 10 Year
Plan to develop new services or facilities that would otherwise
not be commercially viable. Back