Examination of Witnesses (Questions 592
WEDNESDAY 9 MAY 2007
Q592 Chairman: Good afternoon, gentlemen.
Perhaps I may ask you to identify yourselves for the record.
Mr Hallé: I am Dick Hallé.
I am director of strategy for the surface transport department
of Transport for London.
Mr de Cani: My name is Richard
de Cani. I am head of development and planning at Docklands Light
Railway as part of Transport for London.
Mr O'Loughlin: My name is Edward
O'Loughlin and I am network planning manager at London Rail, part
of Transport for London.
Mr Lambden: I am Mike Lambden,
head of corporate affairs for National Express.
Mr McInnes: My name is Ian McInnes.
I am strategic planning director for National Express Limited,
the coach division of the National Express Group.
Q593 Chairman: Is there anyone who
wants to say anything or can I go straight into questions? No?
Good. Should there be dedicated public transport routes to and
from airports like the Heathrow and Gatwick Expresses?
Mr de Cani: Speaking from Docklands
Light Railway's perspective, we recently opened an extension to
London's smallest airport, City Airport, which has been incredibly
successful. What that has shown in a relatively short period of
time is what impact a rail link can have on influencing airport
modal share if it is planned well.
Q594 Chairman: Do you have any figures
on that, just as a matter of interest? I know you did not just
extend to the airport, did you? You added several other stations
Mr de Cani: Yes, we have. The
extension opened in December 2005 so we have done our first year's
research into the impact of the extension. We are pleased to report
that we are carrying 49% of airport passengers by DLR. Our target
was 50% after three years so we have almost reached our target
after the first year of operation. We are extremely pleased with
that and we think there are three main reasons why that has happened
so quickly. Firstly, the station was planned so it is the first
thing you see when you come out of the terminal building so it
is immediately attractive to get the DLR rather than a taxi or
to park in the car park. Secondly, the service is quick. It is
reliable and offers almost guaranteed journey times into the city
and Canary Wharf compared to travelling by taxi which can vary
depending on the time of day and the traffic congestion. Thirdly,
the frequency we are operating at is such that it is attractive
to airport passengers so when they get off the plane and walk
onto the DLR station they do not have long to wait. We are offering
trains every seven to eight minutes. It has been very successful.
Q595 Chairman: How do you think dedicated
services ought to be funded from airports as public transport?
Mr de Cani: The DLR extension
has been funded primarily through Transport for London so it is
publicly funded. However, there are small contributions through
planning gain agreements, section 106 agreements. London City
Airport has made a small contribution to the extension of the
order of about £2 million. That compares to a capital cost
of about 140 million. We would have liked it if they had made
a bigger contribution and we tried to do that but the railway
is serving a whole range of other objectives and contributing
to the regeneration of east London so this extension was not just
about the airport. We think they got a good deal.
Chairman: I am sure they did.
Q596 Clive Efford: We have had evidence
from the Heathrow Airport Consultative Committee that there is
a problem with London taxis going outside of the London boundary,
not clarifying the fare with passengers before they leave. What
is the current law relating to charging those fares?
Mr Hallé: The current arrangements
are not at all clear. It needs a change to primary legislation
to make them clear. TfL in its Bill that it is taking through
the House, in clause 15, is proposing an amendment to the current
legislation, the London Cab and Stage Carriage Act of 1907, so
that passengers would agree a price with the driver before taking
the journey or, if they did not do that, defer to the value on
Q597 Clive Efford: Is that a general
change in the rules that you are seeking or just in relation to
Mr Hallé: I think it would
refer to any trips where journeys were to cross the London boundary
and go out of the range of the current legislation.
Q598 Chairman: How would they know
that though? People can work out distances from Heathrow because
they would be available even in the public information of an airline,
would they not, but how would you know for any other journey?
Mr Hallé: At somewhere
like Heathrow where there are clearly dedicated boarding areas
for taxis, we through our Public Carriage Office, would ensure
that there was proper signage.
Q599 Chairman: Heathrow is not difficult
to monitor but if you are making it wider than a specific instance
how would the passenger who did not know London know the proposed
journey was outwith the existing lines of legislation and that
they had to negotiate a price before they got in the taxi?
Mr Hallé: We would have
to try to get sufficient publicity, possibly within the taxi cab
as we do for fares information.