Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Minutes of Evidence


Supplementary Memorandum from the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (EST 98F)

LONDON TRANSPORT BUSES: NUMBER OF TENDERS FOR EACH ROUTE, SAVINGS AND INVESTMENT

  The Committee also asked for information on the number of bus companies tendering for each of the routes, details of proposed savings, and measures to ensure that the money was being invested in the network. (Q520-522)

  29. The chart below shows the average number of bids per tender from 1995 to 1997. All the major bus companies have operations in London. However, individual companies do not bid for every route contract. It depends on operational factors such as the location of their garages.



  30. Savings will be expected from bus priority (and other—Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL)) measures which improve the reliability of services. The benefit accrues partly to LT (indirectly) and partly to operators. The bus companies could have reduced operating costs and also take more revenue from the higher patronage that service improvements should generate. But this would feed back via the tender process to LTB, who would expect more competitive bids for routes which benefited from an upgrade of infrastructure and better reliability.

  31. In 1998-99 LTB plan to invest £4.9 million in AVL and £4.2 million in the related COUNTDOWN passenger information system at bus stops.

LONDON TRANSPORT BUSES: DEGREE TO WHICH SERVICE QUALITY TARGETS MISSED

  Officials said they would provide an analysis of the degree to which LT Buses were failing to meet their quality targets. (Q525)

  32. The following table provides details of the targets which have been set for LT and how they have performed against them.

ItemTargetActual Success

Kilometres operated per cent99 98.7fail

High frequency services:
Excess waiting time—minutes1.5 1.8fail

Low frequency services:
Departing on time74.0 70.0fail
Departing early4.05.0 fail

Night bus services:
Departing on time per cent65.0 66.2achieve
Customer satisfaction (rating 1-100)
Conditions of bus stops and 77shelters 5757achieve
Internal cleanliness of buses63 57fail
External cleanliness of buses55 54fail
Staff helpfulness66 60fail
Bus station environment71 68fail
Bus station information68 63fail


NUMBER OF COASTGUARDS/SURVEYORS IN THE MARITIME AND COASTGUARD AGENCY

  The Committee asked for information on the levels of staffing for both Coastguards and Surveyors both before and after the formation of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. (Q536)

  33. In his evidence to the Select Committee Mr Rowlands made the following points:

    (ii)  The number of Coastguards had increased over recent years.

  34. The following figures provide further information in support of these statements. All figures are staff in post at 1 April.

Surveyors
Coastguards1
YearStaff numbersYear Staff numbers

1994190.01994 464.5
1995187.51995 475.5
1996166.51996 455.0
1997159.01997 577.52
1998160.01998 579.5

1 In addition there are some 3,100 Auxiliary Coastguards (a number which has remained broadly constant over recent years).
2 Step increase over previous years the result of the implementation of HM Coastguard's "Focus for Change" initiative, which introduced a new junior Coastguard grade (Coastguard Watch Assistant). The postholders provide a range of support functions in rescue co-ordination centres.


MCA Inspections: Correction to evidence given by Mr Rowlands (Q535)

  35. Mr Rowlands mentioned that the merger of the Marine Safety Agency and the Coastguard Agency would not affect the number of surveys carried out on fishing vessels. This is quite true. However, he mistakenly suggested that fishing vessels had an annual survey. This is not the case. Vessels of 12 metres in length and above are surveyed every four years. Vessels below 12 metres in length have no requirement to be surveyed. For these smaller vessels, MCA carry out a large number of inspections each year; and expect to see the majority of these vessels roughly once in every three years. There will be no change in the level of these activities and the number of inspections and surveys will be unaffected by the merger.

MCA FIVE YEAR STRATEGY

  The Committee asked what progress had been made with the implementation of the MCA five year strategy, what were the implications for staff and problems in the definition of co-location.(Q547)

  36. Mr Rowlands provided the information on the implementation of the MCA five year plan in his response to Q546.


 
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Prepared 17 August 1998