LTT631 front page_LTT631_p01 20/09/2013 07:01 Page 1
LTT631 20 September - 03 October 2013
DfT orders feasibility study into HGV platoon trial on UK roads POLICY | PLANNING | FINANCE | DEVELOPMENT
by Andrew Forster
10 Bill threat to transport campaigners Platoons: many vehicles, one driver
The study will consider the potential to trial two systems: • A semi-autonomous convoy: each vehicle in the convoy would be controlled by a driver but using advanced vehicle technologies to, for instance, maintain a closer headway • A highly autonomous platoon: a driver in the lead vehicle would control a number of following vehicles. “A platoon would have a driver in each of the following vehicles but they would not be controlling the vehicle in any way whilst it is in the platoon,” explains the DfT. The Department suggests that the convoy model could be a stepping stone to the introduction of platoons in the longer term. A European Commission project (SARTRE) completed
last year trialled a platoon of two heavy goods vehicles and three cars on public roads. Swedish vehicle manufacturer Scania has also conducted offroad trials of platoons and has applied to the country’s roads authority to conduct on-road trials. Hans-Åke Danielsson, Scania’s press manager, told LTT that the technology offered the potential for reduced energy consumption and better road safety. The energy benefits derive from the ability of vehicles to travel closer together – within a few metres of one another – with the following vehicles in the platoon benefitting from the slipstream of the front vehicle. Danielsson said the technology was still at the research stage and many practical issues still
Access charge study for HA network
THE DFT has appointed consultants to study how drivers would respond to an access charge for using the Highways Agency road network. Parsons Brinckerhoff will undertake the £40,000 ‘Strategic road network demand scoping study’. The tender notice for the work states: “The DfT requires research aiming to produce quantitative evi-
dence on the demand response of travel on the strategic road network to the introduction of an access charge.” A DfT spokesman told LTT: “Having access to the most up-to-date economic modelling is vital for ensuring all the decisions we make are the right ones, which is why we regularly carry out research like this on all policy areas. “Separately, our policy
remains clear – we have no plans to introduce road user charging on the existing road network.” Parsons began the work last month and has been asked to report by 11 November. The House of Commons transport committee this week invited written submissions to its new inquiry on the strategic road network. The deadline for submissions is 17 October.
had to be resolved. “You won’t see it in everyday use in the next five years,” he predicted. He said a key issue was how many vehicles could safely join a platoon. “Let’s say there’s five or six vehicles in a platoon, that’s a lot of vehicles to overtake.” Motorists could find their motorway exit blocked if they were overtaking a long platoon on the junction approach. The DfT feasibility study will consider the optimum number of vehicles for platoon operation. It will also investigate how platoons would impact on the visibility of road signs for other drivers. “The platoon is likely to be of a size that it will obscure road information signs and junction markers to other road users,” the DfT admits. “The issue of the unavailability of this information to other road users needs to be paid particular attention. Consideration needs to be given as to what other methods can be used to relay important information to road users.” Danielsson said there were economic issues to resolve too. “Will the haulier at the front of the platoon be able to charge the other ones who are saving fuel?” he asked. The DfT wants to know how a driver who has been in the middle of a platoon will react when they retake control of the vehicle, either for planned
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5 Campaign launched against A14 tolls
7 Car share firm frustrated by capital’s governance 10 Rail M25?
Defra’s air quality management reforms ‘are a threat to health’
2. Luton prepares for opening of long-awaited guided busway
3. Discard your anti-car dogma, Pickles tells local authorities 4.
Cash fears for Northern Hub and EastWest Rail
5. Labour plans Welsh-style active travel duty for English councils
6. Buses likely to beat Edinburgh’s tram on endto-end journey time 7. Northants devises new ways to keep road programme rolling 8.
Cambridge cyclists get head start at junction
9. A new dawn rises in the East 10. End of the road for Mersey ITA
most read stories on
06 September - 18 September 2013
PLATOONS OF lorries controlled by only one driver could be trialled on UK roads. The DfT says platoons could have “huge benefits” if they can be safely implemented. “The potential long-term benefits – reducing road congestion by reducing the gaps between vehicles and thus increasing road capacity, reducing fuel consumption and carbon dioxide, and reducing accidents by eliminating human error – can be quantified more accurately by conducting an on-road trial,” it says. A feasibility study into running a trial is in the process of being commissioned. The development of advanced vehicle technologies such as adaptive cruise control, Lane Keep Assist, and advanced emergency braking have opened up the possibility of vehicles travelling as platoons, a concept also known as electronic coupling. But the DfT acknowledges that there are a huge number of issues that need to be resolved before platoons could be allowed to operate on the road network. Among the risks it has identified are prototype technology failing on public roads, drivers not been adequately trained to use the technology, and “malicious takeover of the platoon” by a cyber attack.
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Labour revives regional transport strategies and school travel plans
by Andrew Forster
SWEEPING REFORMS to the local transport policy agenda in England will be introduced if Labour wins the next General Election, shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle said this week. Eagle outlined her plans ahead of her speech to the Labour Party conference in Brighton on Tuesday. She confirmed that a Labour Government would abolish local transport bodies and pay local transport funding to elected transport authorities – in contrast to the Government’s plans to channel the majority of local transport funding via Local Enterprise Partnerships. Labour would reintroduce a requirement for regional transport strategies, which would be prepared by transport authorities, in consultation with Local Enterprise Partnerships. Local transport authorities would also be given a formal role in the allocation of funding and decision-making by Network Rail and the Highways Agency. The Government would look to devolve responsibility and
Schools would be required to prepare a travel plan
funding for some less important parts of the HA road network to local authorities. All Government funding for bus services would be devolved to local transport authorities. Eagle re-iterated her pledge to introduce powers allowing the Secretary of State to designate Bus Deregulation Exemption Zones. Within these zones local authorities would be able to introduce bus Quality Contracts in the knowledge that operators would have to mount any legal challenges against the Government and not the local authority. Eagle said she would require bus operators to work with the Government to deliver conces-
sionary fares schemes to young people aged 16-19 in education or training. Labour would reintroduce national targets to cut road accident casualties and set targets to boost cycling. Some of the Highways Agency’s budget would be diverted to create a long-term funding stream for “separate safe cycling routes”. Schools in England would have to prepare a school travel plan. Eagle reiterated her pledge to introduce an equivalent of the Welsh Government’s Active Travel legislation, which requires councils to develop
Baker promises to relax lighting rules TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT
THE DFT is to relax rules governing the lighting of many road traffic signs. The changes include removing the need for highway authorities to light warning signs, signs in 20mph areas, and signs mounted on bollards in street-lit areas. “Once the successor to Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions comes into force in 2015 I have decided that it will
no longer be necessary to light signs either for lane closures and contra-flow working at road works, or those mounted on bollards in street lit areas,” local transport minister Norman Baker told this week’s Institute of Highway Engineers’ annual conference. “In addition, traffic authorities will have discretion over the lighting of warning signs, regulatory cycle signs and those within 20mph zones and 20mph limits.”
He said he hoped this would provide further encouragement to local authorities to implement the lower speed limit. Baker said the Department would retain the current lighting requirements for safety-critical signs “such as those relating to low or narrow bridges, regulatory terminal signs including ‘Give Way’ and ‘No entry’, as well as for stop signs, two-way traffic signs, and motorway entry, exit and gantry-mounted signs.”
Plug-in car market ‘failing to ignite’ ELECTRIC VEHICLES
THE GOVERNMENT’S ultralow emissions strategy is failing to connect with consumers, the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association has warned. The BVRLA said there was a 14% rise in registrations of cars eligible for the Government’s Plug-in car grant in the first half of 2013 compared to the previous six months. But it said this
was less than the 17% growth achieved in the car market overall. Registrations of plug-in grant eligible vans fell 27% to just 119. “These figures show that the current strategy for driving uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles is not working,” said BVRLA chief executive Gerry Kearney. The Government is to review the consumer incentives it offers
for the purchase of ultra low emission vehicles from 2015 (LTT 06 Sep). The BVRLA wants a series of in-use incentives, such as a ten-year road tax exemption and free parking, as well as financial support for organisations installing charging points at work premises. The BVRLA’s members operate 2.75 million vehicles and buy nearly half of all new vehicles sold in the UK.
plans to support cycling, in England. On rail, she promised a programme to devolve non-InterCity rail services to local authorities, starting with Northern, Transpennine and West Midlands. Other partnerships of transport authorities would be given the right to take on responsibility for rail services. In the South East an equivalent to the proposed Rail North executive of local authorities would be set up to oversee local rail services. It would comprise Transport for London and relevant local authorities. Wales and Scotland and other devolved partnerships of local authorities would be free to deliver rail services using notfor-private profit and mutual arrangements as an alternative to franchising. Fares policy would be reformed, with an end to train companies’ ability to flex the annual rise in fares and tougher regulation on what constitutes the peak. Station car parking charges would also be regulated. The reforms reflect the recommendations of the party’s Living standard and sustainability policy commission.
Police pressed on 20mph SPEED LIMITS
NORMAN BAKER has asked the Association of Chief Police Officers to rewrite its guidance on 20mph enforcement to bringing it into line with enforcement of other speed limits. “I have met with Suzette Davenport, the relevant lead member at the Association of Chief Police Officers, about rewriting their guidance on the enforcement of 20mph limits, to ensure that they are policed in the same regards as other speed limits,” said Baker this week. Davenport, ACPO’s lead for roads policing, told the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group in May that it was “incorrect to say that police officers are not enforcing 20mph limits”. She said Police and Crime Commissioners could include enforcement of 20mph limits in their local policing plans.
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Cloud and wireless links on the way
CLOUD COMPUTING presents huge opportunities for improving traffic management, Mark Bodger, business analyst at Siemens Mobility, told this week’s JCT Traffic Signals Symposium. Bodger highlighted Siemens’ new Stratos product, which allows a range of modules to be adopted flexibly and scaleably for different functions using the Cloud. He said one of the key benefits was ‘access anywhere’, for instance at temporary control rooms and remote working locations. He reported that it had successfully been used for urban traffic control with the cloud in Poole, data in the USA, and a system in Germany. SCOOT UTC from the Cloud was planned to be available next year. Peter Cattell of Imtech (formerly Peek) outlined the start of street trials of its new Remote Lamp Control system for traffic signals, which offers the chance of cable-free Ethernet connections with signals, also potentially linking into wider wireless networks.
Extra cash for Scots active travel The Scottish Government has announced an extra £20m over the next two years for active travel. Further details will be given in due course but environmental transport campaign group Transform Scotland fears the funding has come from other environmental transport budgets. Director Colin Howden said: “The budget document is well-nigh impenetrable when it comes to active travel investment. Given that there is no increase in the overall spend on the overall sustainable transport budget lines, questions have to be asked whether a £20m increase in cycle investment will lead to a decrease in spending in other vital areas of sustainable transport. It is imperative that the increase in cycle funds doesn’t disadvantage the prospects of rail freight investment or for the further enhancement of car sharing schemes.” Scottish transport minister Keith Brown is meeting local authority transport leads on 24 September for Scotland’s first national cycle summit.
LTT631 20 September - 03 October 2013
New junction bike detection will cut delays, traffic experts told TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT
by Peter Stonham
NEW WAYS of detecting and prioritising cyclists at signalised junctions are now proven and ready to incorporate in traffic control systems, this week’s JCT Traffic Signals Symposium heard. The moves have come in response to the growing inability of existing vehicle detection systems to pick up cyclists using traditional inductive loop and magnetometer approaches. The JCT event at Warwick University heard of two new approaches, the use of mini-radar from the UK’s Clearview Traffic Group and thermal imaging from FLIR Intelligent Transportation Systems of Belgium. Clearview’s solution using mini-radar devices developed by the group’s Golden River subsidiary has been on test in Bournemouth, Weston super Mare, Glasgow and Worcester-
Cyclists: radar detection
shire. Transport for London began trials with sensors in August and a new installation in South Gloucestershire, triggering a Variable Message Sign, is about to be introduced. The test sites apply one of the devices in cycle approach lanes or advanced stop lines. “We’ve been able to link the radar to the existing wireless magnetometer systems that have been around for the past five years,” said Graham Muspratt, group product manager at Clearview. “They use similar connections but the different sensors,” he explained. The problem of missing bikes
at junctions has increased with both greater cycle use and the reduction of ferros content in bikes. “Inductive loops pick metal up, but materials are now mostly aluminium and carbon so we are now offering radar to identify cycles,” said Muspratt. Around 75% of all cycling serious accidents occur on or near junctions, he added. Due to a lack of reliable and accurate bicycle detection at junctions, cyclists are often frustrated waiting when no other vehicles are present to initiate detection. “This can result in longer red phases that encourage them to jump the lights.” “We’re picking up 98%-99% of bikes now with the radar and going to roll out the system. It’s now type-approved and each unit costs £565, and can be ‘plugged in’ to any existing magnetometer system connections.” He said 800-plus junctions around the UK were now using
‘Give tax relief on bus season tickets’ BUSES
THE BUS lobby is calling on the Government to introduce tax incentives for people to buy season tickets for bus travel. Campaign group Greener Journeys wants the Government to offer a 34% tax and national insurance saving on season tickets for people employed at workplaces with ten or more staff. Employees would buy their ticket before income tax and national insurance were deducted from their salary. Greener Journeys suggests the so-called ‘Bus Bonus’ should be
piloted in places such as Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds. But it says it should not operate in London “to make sure that additional Government support to keep fares low is used where most needed”. The idea is one of three policy proposals contained in Greener Journeys’ manifesto, which aims to influencing the thinking of the political parties in the run-up to the next General Election. The group calls on the next Government to increase spending on bus priority, saying the low-cost measures can deliver
big benefits to passengers and operators. And it says the Government should fund a concessionary bus travel scheme for apprentices. A 30% discount might cost the Government £17m and a 50% discount £28m. Greener Journeys is supported by bus companies and the Campaign for Better Transport, the Confederation of Passenger Transport, the RAC Foundation, and the Passenger Transport Executive Group. ● Bus 2020: a manifesto for the next Parliament is available at http://tinyurl.com/n6yyuwr
implications of reducing the flex to either 3% or 2%. The flex policy is politically controversial and Labour this week pledged to abolish flex if it wins the next General Election. News of the new DfT study came as rail minister Norman Baker’s announced two new ticketing trials. The DfT is to launch a competition next year to select a train operator to trial new ticket types on a busy commuter route into London. Details will be finalised with the selected operator but the Department said it
could include discounted tickets for passengers travelling in shoulder peak periods and season tickets targeted at people who work part-time or sometimes from home. Baker also announced plans for a pilot scheme that would see the Government regulate the price of off-peak single tickets on a long-distance route. The Government currently regulates off-peak return tickets, which can result in single tickets costing almost the same as returns. A pilot with a selected long-distance operator could be launched in 2015.
DfT studies effect of cutting rail fare ‘flex’
THE DFT is planning to tighten the rules on increasing regulated train fares in England. The Government currently imposes a cap of RPI+1% on how much the basket of regulated train fares can rise by each year. But, under a policy known as ‘flex’, train operators can raise individual fares by much more. The flex is currently set at 5%, meaning that individual fares can rise by RPI+6% in any one year (RPI+1% + 5%). The DfT is commissioning a study of the ten-year financial
wireless detection and the new units fitted into any of these. TfL was well-placed to adapt the system with its major programme to implement SCOOT at over 500 locations with magnetometers. The new Clearview system has been developed as a business investment by the Oxfordshire group owned by Sir John Madjeski. Michael Deruytter of FLIR said that though video cameras has not been successfully used to detect cyclists, thermal cameras were feasible to pick up the body heat of bike riders and could be used as a feed to support a commercial system. A prototype for the US market was on test, and the final product for the global market would be an intelligent thermal image processing camera able to provide separate detection triggers for bicycles and other vehicles, and would also be able to count both using a specific bicycle detection algorithm.
MPs demand more audiovisual info on buses
THE DFT should make audio visual passenger information systems a “requirement” on all new buses, the House of Commons transport committee has said. The committee’s new report on transport for disabled people notes that retrofitting the equipment to existing buses is expensive and “difficult to justify on routes with a more marginal business case”. But it says the equipment should be fitted to new buses. The MPs also call for local authorities to make more use of shared taxis and other demand responsive transport, saying these can offer a more accessible form of public transport than infrequent buses on fixed routes in rural areas. They call for a pilot scheme whereby private hire vehicle operators or community transport organisations could tender for bus services that are eligible for Bus Service Operator Grant. ● Access to transport for disabled people is available at http://tinyurl.com/mjjt6px
LTT631 page 5_LTT631_p05 20/09/2013 04:05 Page 5
A14 toll plan unfair, say hauliers, as HA consults on upgrade
by Andrew Forster
THE ROAD Haulage Association this week launched a campaign against the Government’s plans to toll a 12-mile section of the A14 east-west trunk road in Cambridgeshire. The RHA says the tolls will harm many of its members in East Anglia, including hauliers who use the A14 to transport goods between the container port at Felixstowe and the Midlands. The Highways Agency has just launched a consultation on a £1.5bn plan to improve 22 miles of the A14 between Ellington (west of Huntingdon) and Milton (on the northern fringe of Cambridge). Work could begin in 2016 and be completed in 2019 or 2020. Explaining the need for the road improvement, the HA says the A14 across Cambridgeshire is used by about 85,000 vehicles a day, significantly beyond what the predominantly two-lane dual carriageway was built to accommodate. As well as relieving congestion, the improvements will facilitate development of the Alconbury Enterprise Zone; the 10,000-home village of Northstowe; and expansion on the northern and eastern fringes of Cambridge. Tolls would be charged on the Huntingdon Southern Bypass – a new road built between Ellingon and Fen Drayton. The parallel existing A14 would be detrunked and the viaduct that carries the A14 through Huntingdon demolished. Commenting on the tolls, the HA states: “Not every new road project needs to be funded in this way but because of the scale and cost of the A14 scheme, the Government believes it is fair that road users should make a direct contribution towards the cost of improvement.” Tariffs have yet to be set but the Agency says they could be “between £1 and £1.50 (current prices) for cars and other light vehicles, and around double this amount for heavy goods vehicles”. Charges would apply between 06.00 and 22.00, seven days a week. The tolling system would be a ‘free-flow’ scheme, using Automatic Numberplate Recognition Cameras, similar to the way the central London congestion charge operates. Drivers would have a number of alternative routes if they want to avoid the tolls. Light vehicles
The £1.5bn A14 project has four elements: 1. Huntingdon Southern Bypass This will be built from the A14 at Ellington, just to the west of Huntingdon, to a new junction at Swavesey. Between Ellington and the A1 at Brampton it will be a dual two-lane road and between Brampton and Swavesey it will be dual three-lane. The bypass will be tolled. The A1 will also be widened to three lanes in each direction between Alconbury and a new junction south-west of Brampton. The existing A14 through Huntingdon will be detrunked and the road viaduct that crosses the East Coast Main Line at Huntingdon railway station will be demolished. The HA says this will improve air quality along the old A14 route and allow environmental improvements to be made in Huntingdon. 2. A14 online improvement Between Swavesey and Bar Hill the A14 will be
could use the de-trunked A14 through Huntingdon; heavy vehicles could use the A1 and A428 or county A-roads through St Ives and the northern outskirts of Huntingdon. The Road Haulage Association said tolls would put businesses in East Anglia at a competitive disadvantage and set a “worrying precedent” for a patchwork of local tolls on the Highways Agency network. “To ensure drivers have no practical alternative to the tolled road, the DfT is even planning to demolish a viaduct on the current A14 so that through traffic has no practical alternative to paying the toll,” said RHA director of policy Jack Semple. “When David Cameron told the House of Commons that he wanted to see the DfT building roads, he surely did not mean destroying perfectly sound road infrastructure in the process.” Despite being an enthusiast for road pricing, RAC Foundation director professor Stephen Glaister said he was not convinced by the A14 tolls. “We support some form of national road pricing to tackle rising congestion and carbon emissions but a piecemeal approach to tolling – on top of existing taxation – risks creating a postcode lottery of charges.”
widened to three lanes in each direction and between Bar Hill and Girton (junction 31) the road will be widened to dual four-lane. A new single carriageway local access road will be built alongside the A14 between Fen Drayton and Girton. The HA considered tolling this part of the A14 and building a free dual carriageway local access road alongside but says the cost was prohibitive and tolling would divert a lot of traffic onto the free route. 3. Girton junction There will be a major remodelling of this junction between the A14, the M11, the A428 and the A1307. 4. Cambridge Northern bypass The dual carriageway bypass will be widened to three lanes in each direction between Histon and Milton (widening of the Girton to Histon section is a separate project due to begin in 2014).
The Freight Transport Association said it would accept tolls subject to conditions. “FTA members realise that, without tolling, it will be difficult to raise the necessary funding for new infrastructure, but our members want to ensure that any tolling that is put in place is reasonable.” It has published an eight-point tolling charter, which includes calls for no discrimination against commercial vehicles; reductions in fuel duty and other taxes; minimum service levels – including compensation when performance falls short; lower toll rates for less polluting and less road-wearing vehicles; and a long-term plan for investment, which identifies routes on which tolling will be introduced. Northamptonshire County Council’s response to the consultation will be keenly awaited. Its director of environment, development and transport, Tony Ciaburro, recently told LTT that the council may call for improvements – and tolls – on the A14 within its boundaries if the proposals in neighbouring Cambridgeshire proceed (LTT 06 Sep). The DfT has requested a £100m local funding contribution towards the £1.5bn costs of the
A14 improvements but this will not need to be supplied upfront. Indeed, local partners have proposed paying the money over 25 years. Cambridgeshire County Council plans to provide £25m by top-slicing £1m a year from its local transport plan funding allocation. A further £70.5m is coming from five Cambridgeshire districts plus Peterborough City Council, Northamptonshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk county councils, and three local enterprise partnerships (Cambridgeshire Greater Peterborough, New Anglia and South East Midlands). The remaining £4.5m is expected to come from the Cambridgeshire’s ‘Horizons rolling fund’, which was set up in 2008 to fund new infrastructure crucial for development. A preferred route will be announced later this year, which will be followed by further consultation. The HA plans to submit a Development Consent Order application to the Planning Inspectorate to secure powers for the road before the end of 2014. ● Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme A14 ¬– public consultation on route options is available at http://tinyurl.com/kmjakja
‘Smarter’ travel fails to cut traffic delays A £110,000 project to improve journey times on a main road in Wigan using personal travel plans and community-based smarter choice initiatives has failed, according to monitoring by Transport for Greater Manchester. Journey times on the A49 corridor have gone up since the project was implemented. TfGM has been piloting techniques to cut congestion on six corridors using funding from the DfT’s Congestion Performance Fund. Results show the most effective approach has been to boost enforcement of parking and loading regulations. “The least effective scheme examined to date was that providing personalised travel planning and community-based smarter choices initiatives,” TfGM’s information systems director David Hytch told councillors.
Northern councils accept rail risk A number of local authorities in the North of England have agreed in principle to assume some of the risk associated with devolving the management of local rail services from the DfT. Manchester City Council’s chief executive, Sir Howard Bernstein told councillors last week: “All North East local authorities, Merseyside and Cheshire authorities have agreed in principle to assume proportionate risk. Over the coming months there will be further discussions with other authorities to finalise the basis of their participation in the structure.” Local authorities in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire have been leading the campaign for the management of the Northern and TransPennine services to be devolved from the DfT from 2016. They are willing to take franchise-wide risk.
Electrify Bristol’s rail lines, say councils Local authorities in the Bristol area are pressing the DfT to commit to electrifying local rail lines to complement the committed electrification of the Great Western Main Line between London and the city. The four authorities (Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset, and Bath & North East Somerset) want the Government to extend electrification to Weston super Mare, the Seven Beach Line, and to the Portishead and Henbury lines that are proposed for re-opening under their MetroWest (formerly Greater Bristol Metro) proposals. The councils plan to co-fund an electrification study with the rail industry.
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LTT631 20 September - 03 October 2013
Shaw keeps the trains running to time on Britain’s first high-speed railway
It’s now ten years since parts of High Speed 1 became operational, and nearly four years since domestic services started using the line. An opportune moment, therefore, for taking stock of developments, and seeing what the future holds in store. John W E Helm spoke to the line’s chief executive, Nicola Shaw
AS THE debate about the Government’s high-speed rail plans rumbles on, it’s easy to forget that Britain already has a high-speed line – High Speed 1. The southern section of the 68-mile double-track line from London to the Channel Tunnel was completed in September 2003, followed by the northern section through to London St Pancras in November 2007. International Eurostar passenger services used the line from the start, but Southeastern’s domestic ‘Javelin’ trains only began full operations in December 2009. The concession to operate, manage and maintain the line, as well as its four stations (St Pancras International, Stratford International, Ebbsfleet International & Ashford International) runs until 2040 and was awarded to HS1 Ltd in 2009, then a subsidiary of the state-owned London & Continental Railway Ltd. In November 2010, the concession was sold to a Canadian consortium comprising Borealis Infrastructure and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. HS1 charges access fees for track and station usage (with assets returning to state ownership upon concession expiry in 2040). However, management and maintenance of the line and its stations is entrusted to a special Network Rail subsidiary, Network Rail (High Speed), previously known as Network Rail (CTRL), though the international zones within the four stations are managed by, or for, Eurostar.
Nicola Shaw, HS1’s chief executive officer, sums up some of the major achievements so far to LTT: “Since completion of High Speed 1 in 2007, international passenger numbers have risen 19% from 8.3 million to 9.9 million in 2012, and the domestic ‘Javelin’ results are even better, up 25% from 7.2 million passengers to nine million between 2010 and 2012. “HS1 also carried an additional 1,000 trains over the last two years, and we consider our handling of the additional traffic generated by the 2012 Olympics to be one of our finest achievements. St Pancras has been the nation’s most favourite station for six consecutive years, and we can also boast one of the best performance regimes in the world, with infrastructure-attributed train delays of less than four seconds.” HS1 is keen to attract new open access entrants. German state rail operator DB is still planning to run a London-Frankfurt/Amsterdam service using two Siemens Velaro D sets, which will combine at Brussels to form a single 400-metre long train for the London section. DB obtained IGC (Intergovernmental Commission) authorisation to run through the Channel Tunnel only in June, but there are still technical problems to resolve, as the ‘Velaros’ are not yet authorised to operate either in multiple, or outside Germany. Prospective international operators face non-technical barriers as well, such as border and security issues, for instance. It is unlikely that the new DB service will be operational before 2016. HS1 also carries a small amount of freight. DB Schenker operates between London (Barking) and Wroclaw in Poland. However, there are no high-speed freight services on the line yet, though the EuroCarex consortium (which includes SNCF, Eurotunnel and various air freight interests) ran a trial high-speed TGV postal set through from Paris and Lyon to London St Pancras in March 2012, and its business case is now being progressed.
Nicola Shaw joined HS1 from FirstGroup where she was director of the European bus division from 2005 to 2010
“The freight side is continually under review,” says Shaw, who was managing director for operations at the Strategic Rail Authority from 2001 to 2005. Unlike slower conventional freight trains, high-speed freight would run at the same speeds as the passenger trains and could easily be slotted in and moved by day. Potential markets include parcels, newsprint, spare parts, medical supplies and other urgently required non-bulky products. HS1 is unable to accommodate heavier traffics due to the severity of some of the gradients. “Unlike the rest of the national rail network, capacity on HS1 is not a problem,” says Shaw. “We are only running at 50% even during the peak periods.” Obtaining timetable paths, however, can take up to two years. RailNetEurope offers a ‘one stop solution’ to prospective international operators, smoothing out and speeding up things by cutting out having to deal with many different infrastructure bodies. Even so, compared to other transport modes, access to run on HS1 remains a bureaucratic and lengthy process, as a new operator would need to obtain 11 separate authorisations from six different bodies.
More national than international
It might surprise some readers to know that Southeastern Trains, not Eurostar, is the dominant operator on HS1, and by a considerable margin. Although the line was conceived as an international link, it is the domestic traffic that provides its ‘bread & butter,’ whether that is measured in number of train paths, or the revenues from track access charges. Access charges consist of two main types: the investment recovery charge (IRC), levied to recover the capital costs of building the railway, and the track operations, maintenance & renewals charge (OMRC) which is self-explanatory. Between them, IRC and OMRC account for 80% of the main revenue stream. Southeastern dominance is self-evident from the breakdown of the main revenue streams for the financial year 2011/12 (see table). Traffic-wise, Southeastern’s predominance is even
more pronounced: HS1 provided 72,026 train paths during the 2012/13 financial year, the ‘Javelin’/’Eurostar’ split being 53,615/ 18,411 (almost 3:1). Both IRC and OMRC are paid quarterly in advance, and are RPI-indexed. Chargeable journey time is based per minute per train (excluding station stopping times) spent on HS1, multiplied by the number of train paths in the working timetable. The IRC charge for both ‘Eurostar’ (class 373) and ‘Javelin’ (class 395) is currently capped at £81.32 per minute per train (at September 2012 prices and subject to indexation). The corresponding figure for the OMRC charge is £56.38 per train per minute for a ‘Eurostar’, as against £43.58 per train per minute for a ‘Javelin.’ OMRC charges are periodically reviewed by the ORR, and the first control period ends on 31 March 2015. However, IRC charges are not subject to periodic review, though HS1 offers substantial (time-limited) discounts to stimulate certain traffics. At the moment, for example, the St Pancras International to Marne-la-Vallée service (for Disneyland) enjoys a 75% IRC discount, and the ‘Eurostars’ to Brussels Midi have benefitted from a four-year discount (60% in the first two years, then 40%) applicable from December 2012. Freight is charged on a completely different basis. It does not pay the IRC charge. Conventional freight on HS1 is charged on distance travelled, not time spent on the line, and it only pays the avoidable costs. Basically, these are the operations, maintenance and renewal costs that would not be incurred in the absence of freight train working. Any shortfall is met by the freight supplement levied on the domestic TOC (i.e. Southeastern Trains). The bill is in turn picked up by the Government.
HS2 and the future
At some future stage, HS1 will connect with HS2 (assuming construction of the latter goes ahead), and it is possible that both operations would be combined. Shaw maintains that the single track connecting spur between both high-speed lines (capable of handling three trains per hour, each way) will be adequate to meet traffic requirements, and dismisses any shortcomings on this score. She describes the ‘Euston Cross’ proposals of Lords Bradshaw & Berkeley – to create an alternative London terminal to the one proposed – as “interesting”, but thinks a more practical solution is required. HS1 revenue split, 2011/12
Domestic (Southeastern) IRC
Track OMRC (all operators)
Traction power charges
Retail & Advertising
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Borough negotiations frustrate point-to-point car share firm
further boroughs,” a spokeswoman told LTT. “The political landscape is challenging for the free-floating model to gain traction due to the fact that one has to negotiate with the city’s 33 boroughs individually about whether parking permits are granted or not,” she added. Car2go has 500 vehicles in the London fleet. Members pay a one-off membership fee of £29.90 and are then billed 35p a minute per hire, up to a maximum of £14.90 per hour, and £59 a day. The hourly and daily rate is augmented by a 35p per mile long-distance tariff
applied after 17 miles per trip. The London Borough of Wandsworth is planning to sign a three-year contract with car2go allowing the operator to park in any residents parking bay. Car2go will pay Wandsworth £1,230 per permit per annum and will buy 50 permits a year for three years. It could purchase additional permits retrospectively based on data about the average number of vehicles parking in the borough each quarter. The permit fee is higher than the £1,080 Wandsworth charges car club operators, which was the highest fee of any borough when it was set (LTT 28 Jan 11). Wandsworth says the higher fee for car2go reflects the fact that the point-to-point permit is more flexible, applying to all residents’ parking bays rather than just dedicated bays. The borough will be prepared to sign deals with other point-topoint car share operators. “Other potential operators are known to be developing proposals, for example BMW has a similar product called BMW Drivenow and the operator of the Paris Autolib’ scheme has approached
happens to be and you would then have serious problems of risk and congestion.” Earlier this month Johnson announced plans to consult on introducing a “substantial” safer lorry charge, which would apply to HGVs that weren’t fitted with basic safety equipment to protect cyclists. Johnson told the Assembly that an estimated 6,000 lorries “presented an obvious threat” to cyclists. These are primarily vehicles
used in the construction sector. Construction and waste vehicles are exempt from having to have side guards fitted, which protect cyclists and other vulnerable road users from being dragged underneath the vehicle in a collision. While the mayor has pledged to introduce a charge to tackle the problem, transport minister Stephen Hammond announced this month that the DfT would review the exemptions from current regulations.
The City has funding from the mayor’s Air Quality Fund to explore the concepts. “Depending on the outcome of the feasibility study it is proposed to implement a pilot scheme on one or more of the priority corridors identified in the Fenchurch & Monument area enhancement strategy,” said the City of London’s director of the built environment Philip Everett. A freight forum is to be set up, initially covering the areas
selected for the pilot delivery zones. The City Corporation plans to volunteer to be one of three night-time delivery and servicing activity pilots that Transport for London is keen to set up. The City will also join the out of hours delivery consortium that TfL is in the process of setting up. The feasibility of setting up consolidation centres in the City’s car parks or other premises is also to be studied.
by Andrew Forster
THE OPERATOR of Britain’s first point-to-point car sharing scheme says the fragmented nature of local government in London is hampering its ability to offer a full service. Car manufacturer Daimler launched its car2go brand in London last December using its smart fortwo cars. Whereas traditional car clubs require members to pick up a vehicle from a dedicated bay and leave it there at the end of their booking, point-to-point car sharing allows members to leave the car parked at a different location within the scheme’s area of operation. Car2go wants to offer a service in which members can park for free in any parking space, including metered spaces and residents parking bays. But this depends on striking deals with individual boroughs. “We are currently operating in two boroughs with our full car2go service [Islington and Sutton] and offer a partly operating service, only including parking in legal and unrestricted free parking areas, in seven
car2go: full service in two boroughs
Lorry ban impractical, says Johnson ROAD SAFETY
BORIS JOHNSON has ruled out banning lorries from parts of London at particular times of day. He told the London Assembly last week that the idea was impractical. “If you ban them during peak hours, for instance, which is one thing I’ve thought about seriously, the difficulty is they would congregate on the M25 or wherever and come in at ten o’clock or whenever it
City plans freight delivery restrictions
THE CITY of London wants to change freight delivery patterns to cut congestion and improve road safety and air quality. Among measures being considered are ‘timed delivery’ zones, low or zero emission zones, consolidation centres and out-of-hours deliveries. Timed delivery zones and low emission delivery zones could be set up in areas of high pedestrian and cycle activity.
TfL about the potential for a scheme in London using a fleet of electrically powered vehicles,” Tony McDonald, Wandsworth’s director of environment and community services told councillors. He added: “While there may be concerns about flooding the borough with point-to-point car share vehicles, the economics are such that if the cars are not used then the product becomes unviable and would be withdrawn; if the cars were to be well-used then that would demonstrate that the service was of value to residents.” The London Borough of Wandsworth is to extend its car club framework agreement with two car club operators by a year to July 2015. Three operators – City Car Club, Zipcar and Greenwheels – signed a threeyear framework with the borough for the use of dedicated on-street parking bays, which began in August 2011. Dutch-based Greenwheels withdrew from the London car club market in March. There are now 62 Zipcar and 22 City Car Club vehicles based in the borough.
BRT plans progress
BUS RAPID TRANSIT
LEEDS CITY Council and Metro, this week applied to the DfT for a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) to build the nine-mile trolleybus line. The single north-south line will connect with two park-andride terminals, and the electric powered vehicles will substantially cut journey times. The last British trolleybuses ran in neighbouring Bradford in 1972. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Pennines, work has begun on Greater Manchester’s first guided busway. The 4.5-mile section linking Leigh (in Wigan) with Ellenbrook (in Salford) utilises a disused railway for part of the way. Design and construction work is being undertaken by Balfour Beatty, and the project is part of a larger £68m 13-mile bus priority scheme due to open in 2015. Local transport minister Norman Baker will open the Luton-Dunstable guided busway on Tuesday 24 September.
I’ll defend LIP funding, says Mayor London mayor Boris Johnson has pledged to defend Local Implementation Plan (LIP) funding, which Transport for London pays boroughs to fund small-scale transport improvements. Transport for London is currently reviewing its spending plans after the Government cut its grant for 2015/16 by £222m in the summer’s spending review. TfL’s board will receive final proposals in December but there has been speculation that the LIP budget will be hit. At mayor’s question time last week, London Assembly member Gareth Bacon asked if rumours of a 25% cut to LIP funding were true. “The answer to that is no,” said Johnson. “I have made it very clear in my conversations with TfL that I don’t want to see that as the outcome. I’m determined to protect LIPs.” Johnson refused to rule out a smaller cut. “There are pressures on the TfL budget and there is going to be a discussion to be had but I am a keen defender and supporter of LIPs funding. No decisions about this have been made.” Bacon said there were “many places where TfL could look [for savings] without going to LIP funding.”
Wandsworth boosts cycle accessibility The London Borough of Wandsworth is to improve accessibility for cyclists by allowing contra-flow cycling on ten roads and permitting them to move from one road to another in seven places where currently there is no through road.
Six-month closure for Putney Bridge? Putney Bridge could be closed for six months to facilitate a £1.5m refurbishment scheme. The bridge forms part of the A219 and carries almost 14,000 vehicles between 7am and 7pm on weekdays. The London Borough of Wandsworth says the refurbishment work could be undertaken either through a complete closure lasting six months or by closing half the bridge at a time, which would extend the works to 11 months. The borough is discussing the options with stakeholders. Director of environment and community services Tony McDonald said the £1.5m cost assumed full closure, adding: “Any decisions resulting in a change from this method of working and the associated increase in the scheme cost would have to be met from council finding.” The DfT is contributing £1.05m from its local pinch point fund.
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City harmonises tram and bus fares Ticket prices on Edinburgh’s tram will be harmonised with bus fares charged by municipallyowned Lothian Buses, the City of Edinburgh Council announced this week. An adult single will be £1.50 for all trips with two exceptions: the Ingliston park-and-ride service will be £2.50; and trips to/from the airport £4.50. Edinburgh’s transport convener Lesley Hinds added that day tickets (£3.50) and season tickets would be valid across buses and tram. The £776m tram line between Edinburgh Airport and the city centre is forecast to open in May next year. Vehicle tests along the full route should begin in December.
Scots ‘open-minded’ on bus legislation Transport Scotland says it is open-minded about the future regulatory environment for buses. Asked what it thought about Labour MSP Iain Gray’s Bus Regulation (Scotland) Bill, which is currently out for consultation and which proposes bus franchising, the Government transport agency told LTT: “There are a number of different views about what the regulatory framework for bus services should be. The Scottish Government is involved in discussions with a number of bus stakeholders through the bus stakeholder group, based on a series of proposals that have been made by Strathclyde Partnership for Transport around some elements of regulation and other policy areas.” It added: “The Scottish Government will consider any serious proposal that is put forward. In doing so, it will need to take account of any additional costs which would be entailed and where these would fall, whether on public funds, fares or operators’ profitability.”
Germans test 200kW e-bus charging Bombardier has installed the world’s first high power inductive charging station for buses in a Germany town. The 200kW charging pad has been installed beneath the surface of the road at a bus terminus in Braunschweig. From December, electric buses will be introduced on the inner city M19 route. The buses, manufactured by Solaris, will be fully charged overnight at their depot. The batteries will then be recharged during a tenminute stop at the terminus, which will be sufficient for a 12metre long electric bus to operate the 12 km route. Longer 18-metre articulated buses will also be used on the route but will require more energy and so will be charged for a “few seconds” at two intermediate stops.
LTT631 20 September - 03 October 2013
Consultants excite city regions with promises of HS2 riches HIGH-SPEED RAIL
by Andrew Forster
HIGH-SPEED rail will deliver huge benefits to the economies of cities where stations are built, according to a report commissioned by HS2 Ltd, the Government company set up to promote the plans. Consultants KPMG and Connected Economics Ltd have tried to predict the impact the line will have on the connectivity of businesses and the labour market. In a press release announcing the findings Richard Threlfall, KPMG’s head for infrastructure, building and construction, said the work showed “beyond reasonable doubt that HS2 brings net benefits to the country of many times the scheme’s cost”. “It shows the UK will be £15bn a year better off with HS2, recovering the cost of the scheme within just a few years,” he said. Opponents of high-speed rail do not see it that way. Joe Rukin, manager of the Stop HS2 campaign, said KPMG had been “paid by Government to say HS2 is a good thing”. “Everyone knows that these are bullshit figures,” Rukin added. “Ignoring all the well thought-out criticisms of HS2 and serious warnings that taxpayers’ money will be wasted and costs will go up, the Government is now set to try and rescue this drowning man by inventing loads of economic benefits that are magically going to come from nowhere just because it is faster on the train to get to London from a handful of cities.” KPMG has forecast the economic benefits resulting from the full HS2 network from London to the West Midlands, Leeds and Manchester together with the freed-up capacity on the classic rail network that HS2 will create. It considers how these will impact business connectivity – the total number of businesses accessible from a specific area,
Phase 2 city regions in the north of the country and even more so in the Midlands will experience an improvement in their competitive position. KPMG
HS2: big benefits for city regions
and labour market connectivity – the total number of workers who can access employment in a specific area. Reduced transport costs following infrastructure investments can impact on business performance in four ways, it says: • enabling businesses to serve markets further afield and be more competitive in markets they currently serve • enabling businesses to more easily connect with potential suppliers, allowing them to access inputs of higher quality and/or lower cost • providing consumers with improved access to a wider range of suppliers, offering quality improvements and/or lower prices; and • improving the functioning of the labour market, increasing the size of the market and allowing skills to be better matched to employment opportunities. “It will be important to capture what is often called the ‘two-way road effect’, where an improvement in transport can be seen as both a competitive opportunity and a competitive threat, with the potential for the stronger market to ‘win’ at the expense of the weaker market,” it adds. To conduct its analysis KPMG used the PLANET Long Distance model, which HS2 Ltd uses to represent the time, cost and demand of travel between 235 zones across Great Britain. The £15bn figure is KPMG’s estimate of the impact of investing in HS2 on Great Britain’s annual economic output (GDP). The productivity gain is in 2013 prices for a forecast year of 2037. “Improvements in rail connectivity to businesses is the largest driver of the forecast potential productivity gains for the GB economy – worth some £13bn a year – as both HS2 and re-
deployed classic network capacity provide a step change in long-distance rail services, both on and off the proposed HS2 network,” it says. “Improvements to rail connectivity to labour account for a small proportion of the overall impact, totalling around £1bn per year, as the service patterns assessed do not introduce significant changes to shorter-distance rail commuter services.” A further £200m is generated by improvements to car-based connectivity because of less road congestion. “Our forecasts suggest that, due to the improved business productivity associated with investment in HS2, the Phase Two city regions in the north of the country (particularly in West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire), and even more so in the Midlands (e.g. Derby-Nottingham and the West Midlands), will experience an improvement in their competitive position relative to Greater London and the rest of Britain. “For the rest of Great Britain (i.e. outside of Greater London and the Phase Two city regions) the forecast productivity gains are significant, even after the effects of business location,” it says. “These productivity gains – estimated to be worth between £5bn and £7bn a year – are largely brought about by the use of freedup capacity, which results in widespread improvements to rail services on the classic network, particularly on long-distance routes.” KPMG says its methodology “makes the implicit assumption that transport connectivity is the only supply-side constraint to business location”.
“In practice, there could be other constraints that could inhibit the potential location effects, such as the availability of skilled labour and land in a given location.” Threlfall told LTT that this did not affect the size of the GDP benefits. “We have modelled and report high and low values for the geographic division of that £15bn [see table]. The low values would be consistent with circumstances in which supply side constraints other than transport reduced firms’ responsiveness to differences in cost and productivity.” The report also includes results of a sensitivity test in which productivity gains were only £8bn. Asked about the difference between this test and the test that finds benefits of £15bn, Threlfall said: “The difference in the two approaches comes down to how important rail connectivity is in driving productivity. “It is very difficult to determine to what extent existing differences in productivity are attributable to rail connections rather than road connections, because generally those places better connected by rail are also better connected by road. “To allow for this uncertainty we have modelled and reported two approaches. The first assumes rail connectivity is a greater driver of productivity than road connectivity. The second assumes rail connectivity is less important. We have undertaken analysis that suggests the first approach is more valid, so have presented this (£15bn) as our base scenario and the second approach (£8bn) as our sensitivity.” ● HS2 regional economic impacts is available from http://tinyurl.com/l6qxmrz
Estimated changes in economic output by city region in 2037 after investment in HS2 (2013 prices) (Note: for definitions of high and low see text) GDP impact per year*
‘Low’ business location scenario
‘High’ business location scenario
West Midlands metropolitan area Greater London Rest of Britain
Total impact for GB economy
£1.0 billion £1.1 billion £1.5 billion £2.8 billion £7.0 billion
£1.0 billion £2.2 billion £3.1 billion £2.5 billion £5.0 billion
*Note: Totals may not sum due to rounding. Also note that under ‘low’ and ‘high’ business location scenario, the estimated impact for West Yorkshire remains £1 billion per year.
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McLoughlin leads pro-HS2 camp into battle against the sceptics
by Andrew Forster
TRANSPORT SECRETARY Patrick McLoughlin has launched the Government’s fightback against critics of its high-speed rail plans. McLoughlin went on the offensive in a speech at the Institution of Civil Engineers. With many Conservative politicians and voters openly critical of the plans, he emphasised that critics deserved to be “listened to respectfully”. “Where we can adapt and improve our plans my promise is that we will.” But he said that, in a historical context, the opposition to HS2 was not unusual. “Are we sure that the call for retreat amounts to anything more than a repetition of a national loss of nerve? One that in the past has seen British governments cancel things like the Channel Tunnel and road and rail upgrades only to see them reinstated expensively many years later while our competitors race ahead?” McLoughlin said the greatest transport argument in favour of HS2 was the capacity it would provide, rather than its speed. Critics were “plain wrong” to suggest that information technology would reduce the demand for long-distance rail travel. “The invention of the smartphone has been accompanied by a doubling of rail travel in Britain in just over a decade. As our economy changes and strengthens people will move more – not less.” He said the demand forecasts for HS2 were “deliberately very cautious”, assuming growth in long-distance rail travel over the next two decades of just half the 5% annual growth seen over the last decade. The appraisal of the London-
West Midlands route also imposed a cap on demand growth after 2036, which was a conservative assumption. “If – instead – in the model we capped the number of passengers using HS2 in 2059, which would be perfectly reasonable, the benefit:cost ratio would effectively double. “There is much more we need to do to explain and assess the economic benefits better transport can provide,” said McLoughlin. He said a revised business case for the project would be published later this year and would show a positive benefit:cost ratio. “But don’t think the cost:benefit analysis is the whole case for the line or captures the whole benefit for the country. It is a narrow estimate on a narrow range of factors.” He pointed to the KPMG report suggesting the line would deliver big economic benefits to the regions (see page 8). Polling by YouGov has found a majority of the respondents now oppose HS2. Opposition has risen from 37% in January 2012 to 55% this month and support has fallen from 36% to 29%. The remainder are don’t knows. A majority of Conservative, Lib Dem and Labour voters
There is much more we need to do to explain and assess the economic benefits better transport can provide. Patrick McLoughlin
all oppose the project. Writing on the Conservative Home website, Paul Goodman said Downing Street was sticking with HS2 for three reasons. “It believes that Britain should commit itself more enthusiastically to grands projets, that a U-turn would be a moralesapping admission of failure, and – perhaps most importantly of all – that HS2 is a symbol of Conservative commitment to the North.” Network Rail and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) have also weighed in with renewed support for the project. NR said capacity pressures on the southern end of the West Coast Main Line meant HS2 was “absolutely vital”. The BCC admitted that not all the UK’s 53 chambers were in
favour of the scheme, which could explain why only 26 have signed a letter to the Prime Minister urging him not to scrap the project. The BCC said HS2 would ease capacity pressures on the rail network and “deliver major supply chain benefits to UK companies of all sizes during the construction phase and unlock significant follow-on business investment in our towns and cities”. “Imagine our country today without the M25, the Jubilee Line, or the Channel Tunnel – all investments that were fiercely opposed and contested before their construction,” said the BCC. “HS2 is no different.” Treasury permanent secretary Sir Nicholas Macpherson told the House of Commons treasury select committee that the Government had not signed a “blank cheque” on the project. “If problems emerge we are not going to tinker at the edges,” he said. “There will be a lot of opportunities for the Government to review the policy. Most of the expenditure happens way into the future. The big financial risks are also quite a long time into the future. There will be opportunities to reassess it. We have not signed a blank cheque.” Shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle reaffirmed her party’s support for the project. “Labour remains fully committed to building a north-south rail line because it is the only credible way to tackle the growing capacity problems on our rail network. There is no reason why the new north-south rail line cannot be delivered within the budget that has now been set, but there can be no blank cheque and ministers must ensure it remains on budget and on track.”
MPs attack HS2’s ‘fragile numbers and old data’
THE HOUSE of Commons public accounts committee has launched another stronglyworded attack on the Government’s high-speed rail plans. The MPs say the business case for HS2 has so far been built on “fragile numbers, out-of-date data and assumptions, which do not reflect real life”. “The pattern so far has been for costs to increase and benefits to decrease,” it adds. “The
Department has yet to demonstrate that this is the best way to spend £50bn on rail investment in these constrained times; that this is the most effective and economic way of responding to future demand patterns; that the figures predicting future demand are robust and credible; and that the improved connectivity between London and regional cities will enhance growth and activity in the regions rather than drawing more activity into London.” The committee notes that
almost £8bn of scheme benefits had to be deleted from the business case in 2010 after an error was spotted in the calculations made by HS2 Ltd’s consultant Atkins. The MPs call the assumption that business travellers don’t work on trains “absurd”. They also take a swipe at the DfT for questioning the figures in the National Audit Office’s recent report on the project. “When the [NAO] report on HS2 was published, the media reported unnamed departmental sources as
claiming that it was based on outof-date analysis and contained errors. These claims are unfounded as the Department had agreed the facts in the report as accurate before publication. Manufactured public disagreements are not in the interest of transparency as they undermine effective accountability and hinder constructive public debate on HS2.” ● High Speed 2: a review of early programme preparation is available at http://tinyurl.com/ pucfgvn
HS2 spend cannot be justified – Leics Leicestershire County Council is urging the Government to rethink its commitment to high-speed rail, saying the project cannot be justified at a time when cuts to local government grant are affecting the delivery of front-line services. Leicestershire says local government grants have been cut 40% over the last four years and the county is facing a further 15% cut in 2015/16. But it says some areas of Government spending are increasing and this needs to be challenged. “On a per capita basis the High Speed 2 costs (based on the low end estimate of £43bn) are £435m for Leicestershire residents,” it says.
Nestrans troubled by Scots HSR work The North East Scotland Transport Partnership has voiced concern about the Scottish Government’s high-speed rail work programme. In a letter to Scottish transport minister Keith Brown, Nestrans voices concern about the extent to which the emphasis of the work “appears to have moved from high-speed rail from London to Edinburgh/Glasgow to high-speed rail between Edinburgh and Glasgow”. Pointing out that the existing Edinburgh-Glasgow via Falkirk line will receive a major upgrade including electrification in the near future, Nestrans says the benefits of any new high-speed line between Scotland’s two biggest cities should be compared against other rail projects already in Scotland’s Infrastructure Investment Plan, such as reducing journey times between Aberdeen and central Scotland, and improving the Highland main line between Perth and Inverness. Brown this week urged the UK Government to include Scotland in its high-speed rail network plans. But he added: “In the meantime, we are progressing a business case to build high-speed rail in Scotland, bringing those benefits forward and providing the opportunity to link Edinburgh and Glasgow with a sub-30 minute journey time.”
New consultation on HS2 compensation The DfT has launched a new consultation on long-term property compensation for phase one of the high-speed rail network, linking London to the West Midlands. Consultation closes on 4 December and the compensation scheme should come into operation next summer. This is the second consultation on the scheme – the High Court ordered a re-run earlier this year. Property compensation consultation 2013 for the London-West Midlands HS2 route is available at http://tinyurl.com/nhavcfc
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Hull presses for ‘iconic’ footbridge Hull City Council is pressing the Highways Agency to include an iconic pedestrian/cycle bridge across the A63 in plans to improve the trunk road through the city. The HA’s current plans for the A63 Castle Street improvement envisage a footbridge across the road in the Marina area but the city council says an iconic bridge is needed to reconnect the city centre to the waterfront regeneration area. Hull says the latter could cost £5m compared with £500,000 for a standard footbridge. The extra funding could come from European funding, the Local Growth Fund, or by the council waiving the cost of land needed for the road improvement. The Highways Agency plans to apply for a Development Consent Order for the scheme next spring.
ROSPA links road safety to health The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents is seeking examples of public health and road safety professionals working together to improve health and cut road accidents. ROSPA will include case studies in new guidance for councils. To contribute to ROSPA’s work contact Duncan Vernon at firstname.lastname@example.org
Streetlight switch-off saves Herts cash Hertfordshire County Council says it is saving £1.16m a year on energy bills after converting more than 80,000 of its 118,000 street lights to part-night lighting. The council has spent £3.75m fitting photo electric cells to lighting units, which turn the lights off between midnight and 6am. Although there is no evidence of increased road accidents or increased crime in the areas where lights have been turned off, Hertfordshire says the fear of crime is a “recurring theme” raised by residents and media.
Police withdraw parking enforcement Police Scotland’s plan to withdraw from parking enforcement could place additional financial burdens on local authorities and lead to traffic problems in towns if councils don’t take on the function, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities has warned.
MPs probe winter resilience The House of Commons transport committee has announced a new inquiry into winter resilience of the UK’s transport networks. The deadline for written evidence is 10 October.
Lobbying Bill could muzzle HS2 opponents in run-up to election
LTT631 20 September - 03 October 2013
by Andrew Forster
CAMPAIGNERS OPPOSED to high-speed rail may consider forming a political party if the Government presses ahead with legislation to cap expenditure by campaign groups in the run-up to General Elections. The Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill proposes restricting the amount of money that businesses, charities and voluntary organisations can spend on a campaign in the year leading up to a General Election. Limits would be set across all organisations who are working together towards the same objective. The proposed limits are £9,750 per parliamentary constituency and £390,000 for the UK as a whole. The Bill specifically concerns spending money on “election purposes” but this can include activities that don’t involve any express mention of a candidate or party’s name. Campaign group Stop HS2 said: “There is no question that the Stop HS2 campaign falls
Campaigns: tight funding restrictions
within these definitions. The Green Party, UKIP and Plaid Cymru all oppose HS2 as it is proposed, as do some individual politicians and party associations from the three main parties. Saying HS2 should be stopped is, under these terms, without question promoting their policy stance, at the same time as it would be considered an attempt to undermine the position of other parties or politicians.” Stop HS2 said there were 11 groups fighting HS2 in the Warwickshire constituency of Kenilworth & Southam. The Bill would limit their expenditure to £886 each in the year
before a General Election. In practice they would have even less to spend because there are also two county-wide organisations opposing HS2 – the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and the Warwickshire group of the Campaign to Protect Rural England. Their spending would also be apportioned between the two parliamentary constituencies affected by HS2. “All of the costs apportioned to fighting HS2 in any constituency would have to be agglomerated, whether that be printing leaflets, travel costs, holding public meetings, website costs, signs and placards as well as the costs of any staff time from the professional organisations,” said Stop HS2. Spending more than £390,000 on a campaign will amount to a criminal act but Stop HS2 said it would be a “legal nightmare” to work out who was at fault for breaching the limit because so many groups could contribute to the aggregate expenditure. Stop HS2 campaign manager Joe Rukin said another part of the Bill would prevent groups working with local authorities on a campaign.
Asked how his group would react if the Bill is passed as currently drafted, Rukin said: “It may force us to form a political party because the rules for political parties aren’t so strict – you get to spend more money.” Political parties will be able to spend £30,000 per constituency. The Bill proposals have been heavily criticised by MPs from all parties. Deputy leader of the House of Commons Tom Brake has promised amendments at the report stage on the 8 October, including clarification of what is meant by “for electoral purposes”. The National Council for Voluntary Organisations is hopeful this will exempt charities – which cannot support a political party – from the Bill’s remit. Rukin said “parliamentary insiders” had told him that the the Bill was deliberately designed to muzzle anti-HS2 groups, amongst others. “The Government don’t like what we have been saying so they want to make our activities illegal, and want to have a whole year when people can’t say too many bad things about them,” he said.
Councils and TfL draw up plans for a ‘rail M25’ RAIL
PLANS FOR an orbital rail route round Greater London are being developed by local authorities in the South East and by Transport for London. Surrey County Council raises the idea in its new rail strategy drawn up by consultant Arup. It suggests establishing a rail link between Gatwick Airport and Bedford via Reading, Didcot, Oxford and Milton Keynes (see map). The plan would involve upgrading the North Downs Line between Gatwick and Reading via Guildford. Services would then continue onto the East-West rail line between Oxford and Bedford, which is being reopened with Government funding. Surrey says that, in the longer term, the line could be extended at both ends: Kent County Council is exploring extending North Downs Line services into the county and the East-West Rail Consortium of local authorities has aspirations to extend the EastWest line from Bedford to Cambridge, Norwich and
Ipswich. London mayor Boris Johnson told the London Assembly last week that TfL was working on the idea of a new outer orbital rail route. He said there was “no blueprint” but the idea would feature in London’s infrastructure plan, which will be appended to the mayor’s forthcoming 2020 Vision document for the capital. “Outer London is seeing huge population growth and it is now being put to me by TfL that there could be a business case for some of these ideas for orbital links,” he said. Hailing the success of the recently-completed London Overground orbital rail link through inner London, the mayor said: “Would it work as well if we were to create a rail M25? That is something we are exploring.” Johnson emphasised that it was a project for delivery after the proposed Crossrail 2. “A rail M25 is for 20 years’ time, Crossrail 2 we need to get going now.” Surrey’s rail strategy supports building Crossrail 2 as a regional scheme, which would enable direct trains to serve central
Surrey’s orbital rail plan
London from places such as Shepperton, Twickenham, Hampton Court, Chessington South and Epsom. This would free capacity for more trains into London Waterloo. The county also wants to improve rail links to Heathrow Airport. Plans for a southern rail connection to Heathrow – branded Airtrack – were abandoned by the airport’s owners in 2011. Surrey’s rail strategy notes the London Borough of Wandsworth’s plan for ‘Airtrack Lite’, which would route four trains an hour from London
Waterloo to Terminal 5 via a new rail connection at Staines. But Surrey says an alternative would be to extend Heathrow Crossrail services to Staines via a new line. This would enable passengers from places such as Feltham, Hounslow and Twickenham to change at Staines onto a Crossrail service, taking them straight to central London and Docklands. “In the longer term, there could be potential to extend Crossrail services through Staines to stations on the Windsor lines or via Chertsey to Weybridge or Woking,” says Surrey.
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DfT eases rules on development close to strategic road network
by Andrew Forster
THE DFT has paved the way for more development to be built close to England’s motorways and trunk road networks. The new policy on development and the strategic road network aims to bring policy into line with the more permissive approach to planning outlined in the National Planning Policy Framework, which was published last March. The policy repeats the NPPF statement that “development should only be prevented or refused on transport grounds where the residual cumulative impacts of development are severe”. The Government has not defined “severe” but WSP director Richard Hutchings said this week that some guidance on the definition would be helpful. “One might question how severity will be assessed, since the policy rightly acknowledges it will differ case-to-case. It would be good to see some national guidance on criteria for consistency.” The new policy supercedes circular, 2/07 Planning and the
strategic road network and 1/08 Policy on service areas and other roadside facilities on motorways and all-purpose trunk roads in England. A consultation on the reforms was held earlier this year (LTT 22 Feb). An important change is the removal of the ‘ten-year rule’. The rule has required developers to fund mitigation works to ensure traffic conditions on the strategic road network are no worse-off ten years after their development has fully opened. The DfT says this is unfair on developers because it requires them not only to mitigate the impact of their own development but to cater for national traffic growth as well. The new policy states: “Where the overall forecast demand at the time of opening of the development can be accommodated by the existing infrastructure, further capacity mitigation will not be sought.” Mitigation through capacity improvements to the road network will be a “solution of last resort”, the DfT adds. The first preference should be to use travel plans to try and minimise road traffic. “Only after travel
plan and demand management measures have been fully explored and applied will capacity enhancement measures be considered.” The DfT say the new policy will make it easier for new junction connections to be added to the strategic road network. The policy emphasises that local economic benefits of development will have to be weighed against any additional congestion that the traffic may cause. The DfT is also relaxing policy on motorway service areas, including removing the minimum spacing criteria. “It should not be for Government transport policy to place planning restrictions on business activity in order to restrict competition where there is no safety or operational reason to do so,” says the DfT’s commentary on the consultation. In further changes, the type of retail activities and amount of retail space that can be offered at motorway service areas will be for local planning authorities to determine. The DfT rejects fears of environmental groups that the motorway service area policy could encourage more car-based
sprawl. “When applied appropriately it should be seen that motorway service areas becoming out-of-town shopping centres or the potential for ribbon development alongside motorways is contrary to the principles of the NPPF and the planning system,” says the DfT consultation commentary. The policy statement states: “In circumstances where there is potential for these [motorway service areas] to become destinations in their own right, the Highways Agency will only support proposals for or within service areas and other roadside facilities if it can be shown that there would be no overall increase in trip mileage, and always provided that there would be no significantly adverse impact on the safety and operation of the strategic road network.” Decisions on whether to offer coach interchanges, park-and-ride and park-and-share facilities at motorway service areas will be made by local planning authorities. ● The strategic road network and the delivery of sustainable development is available at http://tinyurl.com/nfwvdu8
Rail campaigners have called for the Woodhead tunnels to be re-used for rail services but Burns says there appears a weak case to purchase them for this purpose. “It is very difficult to establish what benefits would arise from preserving the old Victorian tunnels, yet the costs and risks for the Department in acquiring them could be substantial. “A re-opened Woodhead route does not appear to be required on passenger capacity grounds,” he adds. “Even if a new route was required in the distant future for reasons that are difficult to foresee today, a brand new tunnel, built to meet standards in place at that time would more likely be the preferred way of passing through the Pennines.” In making a decision Burns says he will consider this summer’s announcement by the Treasury of a study into better trans-Pennine road links between Sheffield and Manchester. Local MPs have been campaigning for an upgraded road in the A628 Woodhead corridor (LTT 6 Jul 12).
integrated transport block and highway maintenance allocations • Co-ordinating strategic traffic and highway management across the area • Acting as the local transport body • Setting the transport levy The CA would be supported by a Liverpool city region transport committee. Merseyside Integrated Transport Authority would be scrapped (LTT 06 Sep). Merseytravel, the Passenger Transport Executive, would become a wider transport executive body but retain its existing corporate brand. During a transitional period, Halton would continue to be responsible for its passenger transport information provision, passenger transport infrastructure delivery, subsidised bus services and concessionary travel. The council would also pay a lower levy during this period to reflect the lower cost of delivering transport services in its area. The authorities hope to implement the new arrangements on 1 April next year.
Should we buy Woodhead Give us control over HA tunnels, DfT asks MPs roads, says Liverpool
THE DFT is considering whether to purchase two Victoria-era rail tunnels through the Pennines for possible future transport use. Minister of state for transport Simon Burns has written to local transport authorities and local MPs seeking their views on whether the Department should purchase the two Victorian tunnels on the former Woodhead route, which linked Manchester and Sheffield. British Rail closed the Woodhead route in 1981. By that time the Victorian single track tunnels between Longdendale (east of Hadfield) in Greater Manchester and Dunford (west of Penistone) in South Yorkshire were disused and trains were using a parallel 1950s double track tunnel. The National Grid purchased all three tunnels and recently transferred high voltage power cables from the two Victorian tunnels into the 1950s tunnel. It now has no need for the Victorian tunnels and is proposing to seal them early next year.
COUNCIL LEADERS in the Liverpool City Region want to take over the management of some Highways Agency roads as part of plans to create a Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. “The Combined Authority would have responsibility for a single, defined and agreed strategic highway network, and would wish to discuss with the Highways Agency the transfer of routes and funding from its network responsibilities,” explains the governance review published this month by the five Merseyside Metropolitan district councils (Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, Knowsley and St Helens) and neighbouring Halton Council. The transport functions of the Combined Authority, which requires ministerial approval, would include: • Setting the long-term strategic transport vision and a single local transport plan • “Strategic decisions” on the
HS2 the catalyst for Manchester Piccadilly revamp RAIL
PLANS TO transform Manchester Piccadilly station and its environs have been unveiled by Manchester City Council and Transport for Greater Manchester. The proposals aim to capitalise on the Government’s proposal to build a terminus for high-speed rail services (HS2) on the north side of the station. “HS2 should become the catalyst for turning Piccadilly into the kind of iconic gateway that HS1 has made at St Pancras,” Manchester City Council’s chief executive Sir Howard Bernstein told councillors.
Bernstein said there was a need to co-ordinate the HS2 with Network Rail’s Northern Hub plans that will see two additional through platforms built on the south side of the station. The developments opened up the opportunity to create a “world-class transport hub”, which could also feature better Metrolink facilities and a new coach station. The plans envisage a huge regeneration of land around the station. A number of new neighbourhoods are suggested, including Piccadilly Central – an area of large office developments around public squares, and high-rise residential towers. A new boulevard would connect Piccadilly with East Manchester; a reinvigorated “arrival space” would be built in front of Piccadilly station; and there would be a new civic space to the north of the HS2 station concourse. The ideas are explained in a draft strategic regeneration framework.
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LTT631 20 September - 03 October 2013
TfL banks on new form of procurement to capture best ideas from all bidders
Transport for London has tested a new form of procurement on a project to upgrade the Bank-Monument interchange on the Underground. David Waboso, London Underground’s capital programmes director, explained the process to John W E Helm
TRANSPORT FOR London has introduced a revolutionary new procurement process for its planned upgrade of the hugely complex Bank-Monument interchange. Under the old system, the winner would have taken all, but TfL has come up with a new method for retaining some of the money-saving ideas from the losing bidders. If their ideas are adopted, they will get a half-share of the savings. The process is called Innovative Contractor Engagement (ICE), and its implementation is likely to be closely followed by Government ministers as a possible future procurement model for other major infrastructure projects. “ICE is a completely new concept that has not been tried before,” explains David Waboso, London Underground’s capital programmes director. “We hope to use it to fund other schemes as well in due course. “Instead of using the old model of competitive tendering based on lowest capital cost for a defined scheme, our project team issued a list of specific ‘value’ requirements. These include reducing journey times and relieving congestion on Northern Line platforms and interchange routes; providing step-free access between the Northern line, Docklands Light Railway and street level; as well as improving station fire evacuation times.” Spanish construction company Dragados SA defeated three rival groups to secure the £563m contract in July. Its supply chain includes URS as lead designer. Dragados is part of ACS, the giant Spanish civil and engineering construction conglomerate, and is already involved with Sisk in the Crossrail project, having been Bank station upgrade: the new Cannon Street entrance
David Waboso: “Innovative Contractor Engagement is a completely new concept”
awarded with a joint contract in December 2010. “Dragados combined a 19% improvement in passenger journey times with a 23% cost reduction,” says Waboso. The three losing groups (all joint ventures) were: BFK (BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial SA and Kier); CVC (Costain, Vinci Grand Projects & Vinci Construction); and MBA (Morgan Sindall, Balfour Beatty, Alpine Bemo Tunnelling). “We bought ideas from all three so their ideas were taken on board,” says Waboso, “but in this instance, not on the construction side.” Construction is expected to start in 2016 and scheduled for completion in 2021.
A monumental challenge
Waboso outlines the scale of the problem the works are designed to solve: “Bank-Monument is the fourth busiest interchange on the London Underground. We’ve seen a 40% increase in journeys since 2003, and 96,000 passengers now use Bank in the morning peak between 7am and 10am, including 40,000 who change between lines. Numbers will continue to grow and we expect to reach maximum capacity of 100,000 by 2016, so something has to be done.”
Upgrade complements other Northern Line improvements The Northern Line carries 900,000 passengers a day and is London’s busiest Tube line. It consists of two central sections and three branches, has 50 stations and covers 36 route miles. However, some of the signalling dates from the 1950s and is now undergoing modernisation. “Our plans for Bank-Monument naturally complement the signalling upgrade that should be completed during next year,” says Waboso. “We are increasing capacity and shall be able to carry 20% more passengers, or 11,000 more people per hour during the peak periods. New signalling on the central sections will increase the number of trains per hour (tph) from the current limit of 20 to 24. Ideally, we would like to separate the two main central sections (via Charing Cross and Bank), to notch up capacity on the branches to 2832 tph. However, that’s dependent upon the re-sig-
nalling of Camden North, the most complex section on the line, and buying additional trains.” Transport for London’s plans for the Northern Line extension from Kennington to Battersea are also progressing. An OJEU notice was issued in March, and four contractors have been shortlisted to design and build the 3.2km tunnel and the two stations at Battersea and Nine Elms. Funding has been guaranteed by the finance package in the 2012 autumn statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. A TWAO application was made earlier this year, and a contract could be awarded around mid-2014, though it will not cover signalling or the additional rolling stock (for at least five sets) that will be required. “We anticipate an opening date of 2020,” says Waboso.
He says it is “one of the most complex subterranean railway systems anywhere to be found, and has grown in piecemeal fashion over the last 120 years”. “It is served by five LU lines – the Central, District, Circle, Northern and Waterloo & City, plus the Docklands Light Railway. It has three ticket halls, six lifts, ten platforms, 15 escalators and two 300ft moving walkways. The worst crowding takes place on the Northern Line platforms, and the Central and DLR passageways and station exits are also badly affected.” “A new southbound tunnel for the Northern Line forms the biggest task for the new upgrade,” he continues. “But it will be a difficult job. We can’t interfere with buildings, and could face possible problems with water and seepage. Around 70 buildings could be affected, including six which are Grade One listed. “We hope to minimise disruption during the construction process, though this section of the Northern Line will be closed in both directions when the new section of railway is connected. Parts of the old tunnel will be utilised to create additional running passageways, and other parts for storing equipment.” Up on the surface, TfL is also planning major changes. “We are putting in a new ticket hall and entrance to Bank station from Cannon Street,” he explains. “This will lie within the block bounded by King William Street, Nicholas Lane, Cannon Street and Abchurch Lane. This will entail acquiring six properties, which will be demolished, allowing the site to be used for construction access and then for the new entrance.” The original plan had been to put in four large 40 person lifts, but this has now been changed. Instead, there will be 12 new additional escalators, two new lifts plus an upgraded one. There will be a set of triple escalators connecting the Central and Northern lines, and another triple set linking the Northern Line with the DLR. “We are also putting in a new moving walkway to speed up the passenger flow,” says Waboso. “Once complete, there will be a new above-site commercial development to replace the demolished properties,” he adds. Further refinements to the design process are still ongoing. An application for a Transport & Works Act Order (TWAO) will be made in 2014 and powers are expected to be granted in 2015.
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We’ve no plans to legislate on local transport, insists Brussels
by Andrew Forster
THE EUROPEAN Commission has dismissed suggestions that it is drawing up legislation that would require local authorities across Europe to harmonise rules on parking, road charging and Low Emission Zones. Officers of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) told councillors this month that they had seen draft proposals from the Commission for an urban mobility package, which included legislation. “We can confirm that the Commission as part of the urban mobility package is aiming to propose EU
(e.g. congestion charging). “The view of the Commission is that hundreds of individual local authorities apply a great variety of ARS schemes, with different objectives, rules, permits, regulations, time windows, target groups, technologies and pricing schemes,” said Pazos-Vidal. “This diversity is seen as a problem both to citizens but particularly for the transport industry, which is heavily lobbying for standardised rules.” But a European Commission spokeswoman this week described the COSLA report as “rather misleading” and said the Directorate General for mobility and transport, DG Move, had no
legislative plans in these areas. “Whilst the urban mobility package is yet to be adopted by the Commission – expected before the of the year – and although discussions are still ongoing, what is very clear is DG Move has confirmed there will be no legislative proposals, i.e. no legally binding measures,” she told LTT. “And definitely no EU interfering in things like parking or pedestrian zones. “The purpose of the package is to help countries tackle the challenge of urban mobility, if they wish to learn from best practice and what works well elsewhere, and to make things better for the travelling public.”
Johnson told the Assembly last week that his plans for an Ultra Low Emission Zone for central London, to be introduced from 2020, would only cover new vehicles registered from the implementation date of the zone. The zone would set a zero or near-zero emission standard for new vehicles, with those failing to comply having to pay an entry charge.
effect,” London’s mayor told the London Assembly last week. “As far as I understand it, the Department is sympathetic to what we are saying. They do see that London has a particular
problem with air quality and we’ve got to sort it out and you can’t sort it out if you don’t monitor it.” Liberal Democrat assembly member Stephen Knight said Defra’s national monitoring stations had failed to pick up some smog episodes in the capital this summer, which local air quality monitoring had detected. The London Assembly’s environment committee has also criticised Defra’s plans. “Monitoring stations funded by local authorities are essential to fill the gaps between the relatively few stations representing the national monitoring network in the capital,” said committee chair Murad Qureshi in a letter to Defra.
emissions faster than we are succeeding in reducing them”. John Redwood said the Act hit the poor hardest by driving up energy bills. Philip Davies said the science underpinning the Act was flawed. But Tory energy and climate change minister Gregory Barker defended the legislation. “The 1980s were significantly warmer than the 1970s, the 1990s were warmer than the 1980s, and the years 2001 to 2010 were by far the warmest ten-year period on instrumental record since 1850,” he said. “Of course there is a risk that we have got it wrong but the prudent action based on the greater risk is to take steps to avert dangerous man-made climate change,” he added.
Labour’s shadow minister for climate change Luciana Berger said: “The Act provides us with a clear framework. The Government now need to push on with achieving those targets, not hold back.” The fifth assessment report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will be released next week and is expected to repeat dangers about man-made carbon dioxide emissions. But one of the IPCC’s fiercest critics this week said the body was “in denial” because observed rises in global average surface temperature since 1990 are now running below the bottom of the range produced by the models used by the IPCC. “It is now becoming clear that
the models have sharply over-predicted warming,” said Ross McKitrick, professor of economics at the University of Guelph in Canada. “What is commonly called the ‘mainstream’ view of climate science is contained in the spread of results from the computer models. What is commonly dismissed as the ‘sceptical’ or ‘denier’ view coincides with realworld observations.” McKitrick added: “To those of us who have been following the climate change debate for decades, the next few years will be electrifying. There is a high probability that we will witness the crack-up of one of the most influential scientific paradigms of the 20th Century and the implications for policy and global politics could be staggering.”
legislation on sustainable urban mobility plans (SUMPS) and access restriction schemes (ARS),” said COSLA’s head of Brussels office Serafin PazosVidal. He said SUMPS – similar to local transport plans – could be made compulsory for local authorities above a yet-to-bedefined population threshold – possibly 100,000 – or for cities that are nodes on the trans-European transport network. The access restriction schemes legislation could cover parking schemes, absolute access restrictions (e.g. pedestrian zones, historic centres), Low Emission Zones, and charging measures
Mayor protests against Defra’s plan to end AQMAs
BORIS JOHNSON has criticised plans to scrap the requirement for local authorities in England to monitor air quality and designate Air Quality Management Areas. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is consulting on reforming the local air quality management system. It wants local authorities to focus on achieving compliance with EU limit values, which are monitored by central government using a separate set of monitoring stations to those used by local authorities (LTT 06 Sep). “This is plainly not what we want and need now and we are making representations to that
Johnson: ‘backward step’
The Scottish Government has also been consulting on reforming local air quality management. Its proposals would retain local air quality monitoring and Air Quality Management Areas but streamlined certain processes.
Scrap the foolish Climate Change Act, say Tory MPs
CONSERVATIVE MPs have called on the Government to scrap the Climate Change Act, saying it is economically damaging and based on dubious evidence. Monmouth MP David Davies told MPs the plateauing of global average surface temperature in recent years meant it was time for a rethink of policy. The Act requires an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 against 1990 levels. Andrew Tyrie said the legislation was “the most foolish piece of statute that any of us here is likely to see in Parliament”. Compliance would be economically damaging and futile because the Chinese were “increasing carbon
Lib Dems endorse cycling report The Liberal Democrats this week adopted the recommendations of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group’s Get Britain Cycling report at the party’s conference in Glasgow. The report made 18 recommendations, including a cycling budget of £10 per person per year, rising to £20, a cross-departmental cycling action plan, the appointment of a national cycling champion, and a target to raise the proportion of cycle trips from 2% of journeys in 2011 to 10% in 2025.
EU tries to green Chinese transport The European Commission wants to help the Chinese deliver ‘sustainable’ urban transport policies. The Commission is to appoint a consultant on a three-year contract worth €250,000 to provide technical support to its efforts. The deadline for tenders is 14 October.
First ship calls at London Gateway The new London Gateway port in Thurrock received its first container ship last week. The ZIM Rotterdam arrived on Friday after deviating at short notice from its scheduled call at Felixstowe. The new port officially opens in November.
Green light for new Medway station Medway Council has granted planning permission for Network Rail’s plan to build a new railway station in Rochester. The new station will replace the existing one, and offer better access to the town centre and the ability to accommodate 12-car trains on all three platforms. The relocation is part of the £135m East Kent resignalling project. Work is due to be completed in winter 2015.
Aberdeen consults on new road bridge Aberdeen City Council is consulting on options for a new road crossing of the River Dee to improve access to the city from the south. Consultation runs to 4 October.
FirstGroup accepts the Bristol pound FirstGroup’s West of England bus subsidiary has begun accepting the local currency, the Bristol Pound, as payment for travel within the city. First has signed up as an associate of the Bristol Pound scheme, which is run as a not-for-profit partnership between Bristol Credit Union and the Bristol Pound Community Interest Company.
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PHIL GOODWIN Comment
An advert viewed from a bus window sets off a journey into metaphors and other musings FITTINGLY, it was while daydreaming on a bus that I glanced out of the window and saw the slogan: ‘Buses Stop but Dreams Don’t’. The bus moved on and I puzzled about it for the rest of the day – what on earth could it mean? As a metaphor, it didn’t quite make sense. Was it some misguided road safety campaign? In the end I retraced the journey and discovered the source, one of those moving posters on bus stops. It was an advertisement for Middlesex University. I could see it made a sort of sense, in that strange way where you don’t quite know whether it is a slogan devised by a marketing company for a fee, or devised by a committee of academics with delusions of being a marketing company. No matter: I am happy to give a little plug for Middlesex University, as it reminded me of Chris Wright, formerly a professor there, with whom I was a postgraduate student with Professor Smeed’s group in University College London back in the late 1960s and early 1970s. We wrote a joint paper, with Paul Hutchinson, on the perception of vehicle speeds by pedestrians. His career paralleled mine (he was at Westminster Council when I was at the Greater London Council; we climbed the university ladders without again collaborating, and then lost touch. He had a very large family in Whitstable, which may account for it, played the blues guitar and built hand-made mediaeval musical instruments for specialist musicians). One of Chris’s most salient pieces of work was a small paper decades ahead of its time, arguing that if you enforced parking regulation in too lax a way, there would be a threshold at which the whole parking system broke down, the individual motorist had an economic incentive to park illegally, motorists as a whole lost out, and traffic conditions got worse. A lesson for Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whose own website proudly quotes a newspaper article comparing him to a ‘hippopotamus [moving] through mud: slowly, calmly, and with weird grace". Sadly I guess that his ministerial advisers may never have heard of Chris Wright’s work, nor indeed the entire international literature of how well-designed pedestrianisation increases the business success of town centres. I like metaphors though, and was intrigued by the bus stop dreams. It may just be straws in the wind, but I seem to detect a reburst of interest in the bus-as-metaphor. This was once a rich tradition – the man on the Clapham omnibus as a defining legal entity cited by judges; missing the bus as the symbol of losing great opportunities; the ‘bus driver metaphor’ used by psychologists who treat our internal thoughts as though they were unruly and rude passengers; don’t worry about the lost boyfriend, they are like buses, there will be another one along in a minute; a seat at the front of the bus becoming the symbol of the long battle against segregation in the American south. The bus metaphor got stale, but now seems to gain a fresh lease of life. In last week’s Spectator, a magazine of staunchly eccentric conservative tradition, a rural bus was used: “With an average age of 68, the Conservative Party is like a rural bus service whose clientele has dwindled year-on-year to an elderly rump, to the point at which it would be cheaper to replace it with a dial-a-ride taxi
It may just be straws in the wind but I seen to detect a reburst of interest in the bus-asmetaphor. This was once a rich tradition – the man on the Clapham Omnibus, missing the bus... but the metaphor got stale. service.” That would make anybody chuckle, though I regretted the ageism. Coincidentally in the same issue the genesis of Samuel Becket’s most famous play was attributed, as a literary fantasy, to his experience as a child waiting with his mother for a bus that never comes, which is more of a chortle than a chuckle. It is not true by the way. Which leads to my experience recently discussing an upgrade to my mobile phone with a nice young man, manifestly well-informed and courteous, as he gently sought to persuade me that the model of his choice was actually better than mine. To him the clinching argument was its ability to receive information from bus stops. Oh, I said, I have an app for that, it tells me what time all the buses are expected at my or any neighbouring stop. I had taken a
long time to be persuaded that this was a useful facility, but it transforms the way one plans travel, especially in a richly complicated urban environment. There is a qualitative difference – what commentators sometimes misleadingly call a ‘quantum leap’ (not realising that this metaphor means an infinitesimally small change, indeed the very smallest change possible, not a huge one, though I suppose it seems pretty big to an electron) – between online public transport information on a computer, and realtime information in your hand wherever you go. It builds on the TfL Countdown system, but in a way that usably tells you everything instead of something. But the telephone salesman was not impressed. No, it’s much more than that, he said. You get information from the bus stop itself, not just about buses. Actually we got diverted at that point as Mabel woke up from her own dreams, and I left with a note to myself to check what he was talking about. Sensitised to the point, I found an article in the free paper Metro next day that answered the question. It turns out that this is DOOH – digital out-of-home advertising – with NFC - near-field communication – a technology in which the UK was last year already the fastest growing market in the world. The report said that the advertising company Clear Channel has launched “Britain’s largest permanent mobile platform for out-ofhome advertising – a network of 10,000 smart bus shelters”, or so says the head of communications of that company. Transport hubs account for 45% of Britain’s DOOH industry. Imagine that. Who would have guessed that bus shelters would be the spearhead of the most technically innovative, commercially enriching, zeitgeist-reflecting, moneymaking, activity-generating, information-providing, unrealised-demand-creating, public-transport-supporting gadgets in the world? Bus Shelters? If there was a metaphor for sad, it had surely become the bus shelter. Even the comforting reassuring word ‘shelter’ had been subverted, from a fundamental human need and noble offer, to a cold and alien place. But now – well the picture we are offered is so enticing that one would be tempted to miss out a bus or two to continue browsing the information in the shelter (all the time knowing when the next one will come, and the one after that). Transport hubs defining a network, with bus shelters as its most ubiquitous nodes – bus routes as the ley-lines of modern life. At the moment I don’t think I will choose that phone, though I’m less settled in that view than I was. We shall see. I don’t think I will seek a new career at Middlesex University either. But thank you for the slogan, all the same. Dreams do stop, after all, but buses go on for ever. Phil Goodwin is professor of transport policy at the Centre for Transport and Society, University of West of England, Bristol, and emeritus professor at University College London. Email: email@example.com An archive of Phil Goodwin’s columns is available on TransportXtra.com/reports
LTT631 business monitor_LTT630_p0 19/09/2013 23:23 Page 18
Parry confident about the future following winding-up of JPA
THE CHAIRMAN of Parry People Movers Ltd this week predicted a secure future for the company in the aftermath of this summer’s winding-up of JPM Parry & Associates Ltd (JPA) by the High Court. JPA was wound-up following an application by HMRC over a £70,000 VAT debt. The firm started work in rail in the 1990s, which led to the launch of the Parry People Movers, two of which are now deployed on the short Stourbridge Junction to Stourbridge Town branch line in the West Midlands, close to Parry’s Cradley Heath base. John Parry, chairman and chief executive of PPM Ltd and chairman of JPA, told LTT that three succession companies would take activities forward. Parry People Movers Ltd will concentrate on the rail market. It had previously marketed the vehicles and subcontracted engineering and design work to JPA. Under the new arrangements these staff will transfer to PPM Ltd.
Last year PPM Ltd bought from JPA the Intellectual Property relating to the driveline and flywheel energy store for the Class 139 Parry People Mover railcars. JPA had a 15% shareholding in PPM Ltd, with the remaining 85% of shares held by about 200 shareholders. Parry said PPM’s shareholders had responded “fantastically” following JPA’s liquidation. Work will continue developing a longer version of the Class 139 railcar. The Class 139s have capacity for 60 passengers (20 seated and 40 standing) but the proposed Class 139/2 vehicles will be a bogie vehicle with capacity for 120 (40 seated, 80 standing). Development work has been affected by the winding-up of JPA because it was the recipient of grants from the Government’s Technology Strategy Board and the Regional Growth Fund. Parry said he was hopeful that the Technology Strategy Board would “remain keen and stay with us” but was less confident
about the Regional Growth Fund grant. He believed rail industry funding would be forthcoming to part-fund a prototype vehicle. “Once we’ve gone far enough, once it’s clear it can be built, I think we will have a customer come forward to complete the vehicle.” Two rolling stock leasing companies had expressed enthusiasm in the new design, he said. Parry said there was a market opportunity because existing single car Class 153 trains used on branch lines would need expensive modifi-
ARRIVA HAS acquired full control of Centrebus (Holdings) Ltd, whose operations are heavily concentrated in West Yorkshire, by purchasing the 60% majority shareholding held by independent operator Centrebus. The joint venture company was established by Arriva and Centrebus in 2008 to acquire Stagecoach Yorkshire’s operations in Huddersfield, as well as K-Line Travel operations in the same town and district.
Subsequent acquisitions included the Arriva Midlands depot in Hinckley, Leicestershire, and some First West Yorkshire contracted services in the Calderdale area. The deal, for an undisclosed sum, gives Arriva control of Centrebus Holdings Ltd and its subsidiary companies (Huddersfield Bus Company; White Rose Bus Company; Teamdeck Ltd trading as K-Line). The acquisition covers five depots (Huddersfield, Elland in
Halifax, Honley, Leeds and Hinckley) with a combined fleet of 152 vehicles and 360 employees. Arriva says it will be business as usual with no planned changes to fares and service levels, or day-to-day operations. Arriva has no involvement with the core Centrebus operations in Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Luton, Bedford and Hertfordshire (which are unaffected by the change).
TRANSPORT SCOTLAND has shortlisted eight consultancies/ joint ventures for three design contracts for the £3bn project to complete the dualling of the A9 between Perth and Inverness. The bidders are: AECOM/Mott MacDonald; Arup; Atkins/Mouchel; Capita; CH2MHill/Fairhurst; Jacobs; URS; and WSP/Ramboll/Fehily Timoney. The contracts cover: Birnam to Glen Garry; Glen Garry to Dalraddy; and Dalraddy to Inverness. Each will be worth £40m-£60m.
Invitations to tender will be issued next month. The contracts will be procured successively with the third and final successful tenderer expected to be
appointed next summer. Transport minister Keith Brown said the A9 dualling was the “biggest transport project, by cost, in Scotland’s history”. “These three large contracts offer the prospect of steady work for the next 12 years for the three successful bidders,” he added. “They also offer many opportunities for small and medium enterprises through subconsultancy work.”
Parry People Mover: bigger vehicle under development
Mouchel secures parking extension The London Borough of Wandsworth is to award Mouchel a two-year extension to its parking enforcement contract. Mouchel has run the service since September 2009 and the extension takes the contract up to September 2016. Contract payments in 2012/13 totalled £3.3m but will fall to £3.2m (2014/15) and £3.1m (2015/16).
Warrington tenders parking contract
Arriva acquires Centrebus (Holdings)
Eight shortlisted for A9 dualling design
The A9 dualling will be Scotland’s most expensive transport project
cations or replacement to comply with disability requirements. A new chief executive would be appointed for PPM Ltd in due course, said Parry. A second succession company, Parry Innovation (PI), will take forward R&D on energy conservation projects, which could include the development of some rail-based vehicles for developing countries. PI may be reconstituted as a Community Interest Company. The third company, Parry Building Contracts, will focus on Parry’s building products.
Deloitte assists DfT’s rail review
THE DFT has appointed consultant Deloitte to help review whether some of the Department’s rail functions, including franchising, should be relocated into either an executive agency or a standalone organisation. The work builds on the recommendations of the Brown Review into rail franchising, commissioned after last year’s West Coast franchise debacle. The DfT’s rail group comprises five directorates covering: strategy and funding; portfolio office (a support function); major projects & growth; franchising; and rail commercial. The review will consider the merits of retaining all the functions within the Department, or placing franchising, and possibly other functions, in an executive agency or standalone organisation. Final recommendations will go to ministers in December. The contract is worth £398,544.
Warrington Borough Council is to invite tenders for a seven-year parking services contract, which will begin “as soon as possible after 31 March 2014”. APCOA has held the contract since 2007.
Mott Mac wins A14 design work Consultant Mott MacDonald has been appointed to design the 2.5-mile widening of the A14 between junctions 7 (A43 North) and 9 (A509) near Kettering in Northamptonshire by BAM Nuttall and Morgan Sindall, the joint venture appointed by the Highways Agency to deliver the improvement. Mott MacDonald is due to complete the design for the £24m improvement by the end of the year; construction should begin this autumn and be completed in spring 2015.
Halcrow wins A96 dualling work Transport Scotland has appointed Halcrow to undertake strategic environment assessment work for the proposed £3bn project to dual about 86 miles of the A96 between Aberdeen and Inverness. The contract is worth £130,000.
DfT awards HGV charging contract Northgate Public Services has been appointed by the DfT to develop and operate a foreign operator payment system for the HGV road user levy, which will be introduced from April next year. Foreign hauliers will be able to pay the levy in advance of entering the UK through a number of channels including online, telephone and at point of sales terminals. Northgate’s contract runs to 2019. The DfT said Northgate had “a proven track record” of customer-facing IT projects for Government, including for the Home Office, the Department of Health, and the delivery of the new Blue Badge scheme for the DfT.
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Gloves come off in battle over additional SE airport capacity
THE BATTLE over the location of new airport capacity in the South East is heating up, with Gatwick Airport’s owners saying expansion at Heathrow would be unacceptable on noise grounds. Gatwick has told the Government’s Airports Commission that a second runway at Gatwick could increase the number of people living within the 57dBA leq16 noise contour – which the Government uses to mark the onset of significant community annoyance – from 3,050 to 11,800. But it says 258,500 people currently live within Heathrow’s 57dBA noise contour. “To put this in context, we are less than 2% of the noise footprint of Heathrow today, and would be less than 5% with an additional runway,” it says. “We find it extremely difficult to understand on what basis could allowing Heathrow to grow by one or two additional runways ever be
consistent with the Government’s primary policy objective of ‘limiting and where possible reducing the number of people significantly affected by aircraft noise’.” Gatwick says the Commission should state how the noise impacts of the alternative expansion options will be assessed. “In Gatwick’s view it is essential that the Commission’s noise assessment is made on absolute noise levels, rather than on changes relative to the existing environment.” Heathrow has told the Commission that the airport can increase flights and continue to cut the number of people affected by noise. If a third runway is built, the airport says it will encourage use by the quietest aircraft. The westerly location of the new runway will allow aircraft using it to fly higher over London, it adds. Heathrow also pledges to provide free noise insulation for people in high noise areas. The airport says its package of
noise reduction measures will cut the number of people living within the 57 dBA leq 16 countour by 1020%. Heathrow adds: “The Commission will need to consider whether it is better to add more flights in an area already affected by a wide variety of noise sources, than to build new runways in areas that enjoy relative tranquility.” The Airports Commission is due to announce its shortlist of airport expansion options at the end of the year. A number of groups opposing expansion have urged chairman Sir Howard Davies to make it a precondition of shortlisting that promoters introduce compensation schemes for blight. “We would envisage all homeowners within the projected 54dBA leq16 noise contour being entitled to the unblighted value of their home together with reasonable removal expenses,” say the groups.
concern to other road users,” says the DfT. “Some will have little or no understanding of the technologies used by the vehicles.” The study has four components: • a technology review to be completed by March. This will focus on goods vehicles but will also consider longer-term applications of the technology for cars, vans and other vehicles • a feasibility study, to be completed by December, investigating whether convoys or platoons can be trialled on UK roads
• a work specification for a trial, to be completed by December • a work specification for further analysis and modelling of the capacity implications of platoons/convoys; policy and operational implications; and barriers to introduction of convoys/platoons. The study will not investigate platooning/convoys in an urban environment. “These technologies are of interest to the Department but not in the context of this study,” says the DfT. A contract should be awarded early next month.
DfT orders feasibility study of HGV platoon trial
FROM FRONT PAGE
reasons or in an emergency. It adds: “As platoon vehicle drivers will not have been able to read any road signs due to the fact that they will not have had a clear view of the road for many miles, consideration needs to be given to the level of information and the communication media to inform drivers of the prevailing road circumstances for planned and unplanned changes to the platoon.” Public perception is another issue. “These vehicles may cause
Johnstone replaces Mackay at Nexus Nexus has promoted Raymond Johnstone to director of rail and infrastructure following the departure of Ken Mackay. Johnstone was Nexus’s director of rail. Mackay has left to pursue new career opportunities in the UK and abroad. He led the work on extending the Tyne and Wear Metro to Sunderland, which opened in 2002, and subsequently led the £385m modernisation programme for the Metro.
PACTS officer joins TfL Naomi Baster, policy and research officer at PACTS, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, is leaving to join Transport for London’s road safety team, where she will work on cycling and young driver safety.
Ainslie leads Isle of Wight’s LSTF project William Ainslie has joined the Isle of Wight Council as its Local Sustainable Transport Fund programme manager. He previously worked for Challenge for Change, which promotes cycling, and is a former LTT news writer.
Najam leaves PTRC Zeenara Najam has left PTRC where she was head of technical development.
Street leads Atkins highway solutions Atkins has appointed Adam Street to lead its highways asset solutions business covering consultancy and Atkins’ stake in the M25 operation and maintenance joint venture Connect Plus Services. He joins from GE where he was managing director of RailGrid, delivering energy systems in the rail market.
Nick Olley will join the DfT in November as its new General Counsel, replacing Christopher Muttukumaru who is retiring. Olley is currently a partner at Burges Salmon LLP, leading its transport sector group. David Hume has joined consultant AECOM as rail systems lead for the UK. He has previously worked with Colas and Waterman Group. Arup associate Adrian Lord has been retained by British Cycling to help its policy and campaigns team on matters relating to cycle infrastructure design and policy. Atkins has appointed Professor Peter Woodward as its first chair of high-speed rail engineering. Woodward is professor of railway geotechnical engineering and head of the Institute for Infrastructure and Environment at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. Atkins and HeriotWatt signed a memorandum of understanding in July to create a highspeed rail centre of excellence. Former Conservative transport minister Steven Norris and construction magnate Ray O’Rourke have joined the Government’s HS2 Growth Taskforce.
Mark Carne is to take over as chief executive of Network Rail from next April, succeeding David Higgins. Carne is the executive vice president for the Middle East and North Africa for Royal Dutch Shell.