Memorandum by Racal Group Services (IT
A NEW DEAL FOR TRANSPORT: BETTER FOR EVERYONE
THE GOVERNMENT'S WHITE PAPER ON THE FUTURE
Racal fully supports the aims and content of
the White Paperthough from a purely parochial perspective
one topicnamely that of "Vehicle Fleet Management
Systems"we believe should have had more emphasis.
If we have any general concerns, they are that:
there may be too much delay between
the proposals and their implementation, with the momentum gained
thus far being lost;
funding may be inadequate to implement
the proposals and to maintain the transport infrastructure (paragraphs
2.13-2.14). In this context the proposed road tolling and congestion
charging schemes (paragraphs 4.100 to 4.104) are especially significant;
there was little focus on electronics
and communications technologies and the so-called "Intelligent
Transport Systems" which must be a vital and key part of
a future sustainable and properly integrated transport system.
We would therefore urge the Government to:
implement the proposed schemes as
soon as possible (with pilot schemes and research programmes for
technology which is not yet sufficiently proven), to maintain
ensure that new legislation is in
place as soon as possiblethis is particularly important
in the case of road user chargingwith guidelines to permit
new schemes to proceed under existing legislation where possible;
publish the White Paper's associated
documents (see Annex A to the White Paper) as soon as possible.
(We are pleased that the English Roads Review and the equivalent
Scottish and Welsh Transport Statements have already been published).
2. SPECIFIC POINT
We agree in general with the philosophies expressed
in parts I ("A new deal for transport") and II ("Sustainable
and Integrated Transport").
1.27 Better information for travellers, enforcement
of bus lanes
Lack of information is known to be a deterrent
to use of public transport. Transport companies should be encouraged
to invest in better information systems, for which the technology
is readily available, however a uniform standard for the format
of the information will facilitate the introduction of systems
from different suppliers (paragraph 3.65). For example Racal Telecom
has its very successful TORUS Traveller Information System for
the UK rail network, this has been implemented for Thames Trains
and is currently being proposed to other Train Operating Companies.
This system is also applicable to bus operating companies thus
enabling a truly integrated transport system.
Bus lane infringements can easily be detected
by using the Racal Messenger TALON licence plate recognition system.
In combination with pollution detectors, Talon can also be used
to identify polluting road vehicles (paragraphs 1.35, 2.7-2.8,
3.24, 3.48-3.50 Innovation, better information
before and when travelling
3.65-3.78 Timetable co-ordination, service stability,
3.92-3.99 Accessible transport for disabled people
and easier access for all
Racal Telecom, with the company's own Internet
Service provider company called "Quza", is a major partner
in a European Commission funded R&D project called EuroSPIN
which is designed to make multi-modal public transport information
available over the Internet. EuroSPIN details will be found on
the following web-site http://www.eurospin.org.
We agree with paragraph 3.65 that " . .
. requiring operators to provide service and schedule information
electronically in a standard format" is important if EuroSPIN
is to be able to provide comprehensive multimodal information.
Ideally this requirement should include fare information (including
rail faresparagraphs 4.17 to 4.18), which may be an important
determinant of whether a journey is made or which mode of transport
Elderly and disabled people have a particular
need for information on travel facilities. EuroSPIN is addressing
this issue, but it is not a major thrust of the project.
Racal is keen to be part of the formation of
a group that will address the National Travel Information System,
but the guidelines as to the systems connectivity and accessibility
as well as the timescales for and style of the mandate to transport
companies needs to be announced.
3.133 The controlled motorway trial on the M25
This is a successful and publicly acceptable
example of the use of electronics, computer control, variable
message signs and photographic enforcement techniques which lead
to more efficient use of the road space whilst at the same time
reducing accidents and pollution. Implementation should now occur
on other congested parts of the motorway network. At the same
time the technology should be upgraded to the use of video cameras
and electronic enforcement systems such as the Racal Messenger
Talon product. The traffic flow data gathered will also be useful
to Driver Information Systems.
3.136-3.140 The Highways Agency as network operator
3.145 Better information for the driver
We would encourage the provision of Regional
Traffic Control Centres in England to monitor and manage the motorway
and principal trunk route network. We are encouraged to see that
the Highways Agency is already pursuing these proposals as PFI
or Public Private Partnerships. The DETR should also be directed
to forge a strong link between RTCC operations and Urban Traffic
Management and Control (UTMC) systems to ensure there is seamless
operation. Racal Telecom's experience in provision and maintenance
of Rail Operational Telecom Systems can readily be extended to
provide, manage and with others maintain and operate, the Road
We approve of giving the Highways Agency the
responsibility for providing roadside information, and the encouragement
of a competitive market in more specialised information services
for individuals and companies. Industry would expect to be empowered
to commercially exploit value-added traffic report information,
and to include other operations like emergency call-handling and
roadside recovery as part of the service provision.
With the advent of new vehicle telematic systems,
like the Racal Tracs/Global Telematics "Orchid" service,
which already provides specialised vehicle location, fleet management,
and transport information services to a complete spectrum of road
users, more efficient use of both vehicles and roads is possible.
Orchid uses the short message service on GSM Cellular telephone
networks to report routinely, on demand, or under specific conditions,
the user position and status to a control centre. Conversely the
control centre can issue instructions and information to the mobile
user using the same communication channels.
Orchid also offers voice communication, and
bureau services such as real-time traffic information, route planning,
roadside assistance, fleet management, vehicle tracking, and "Geo-fencing"
(a notification that a vehicle has entered or left an areawhich
has a number of applications including electronic tolling). Further
services will include violation alert, security tracking, remote
vehicle diagnostics and remote lock/unlock.
Services such as Orchid are of significant benefit
to both the individual and to fleet operators, and can make a
major contribution to traffic reduction through better control,
improvements to the environment, less congestion, stricter adherence
to routes, high value load security, re-routing and reduction
in empty return journeys.
We believe serious consideration should be given
to mandating operators of vehicle fleets (perhaps over a certain
size) to install vehicle location/fleet management systems.
3.81-3.91 Travelling without fear
3.241 Railway safety
The areas around train and bus stations and
sometimes even airports are generally not regarded by the travelling
public as being as safe as they should be and that adequate surveillance
(e.g., CCTV) has to be implemented as a means of allaying those
fears. Similarly situations arise on board the trains and buses
(not generally planes) where incidents frequently occur, and again
CCTV monitoring will be beneficial.
Racal Telecom has implemented Closed Circuit
Television systems throughout the UK Rail Network for surveillance
purposes. The company's latest innovation is "Redwing"
which transmits images of the platform edge directly into the
driver's cab, permitting the driver to monitor both passenger
activity and train boarding, thus avoiding passengers being caught
in a closing door and dragged along the platform. The system can
be further developed to integrate the In-Carriage CCTV being introduced
and disseminating those images to a control room. The system could
also be extended to operate with other modes of transport such
3.141-3.144 Helping the road user
We support the adoption of improved CCTV systems
along the road network to cover enforcement and generally provide
the human interpretation of traffic operation. We are aware that
the Highways Agency intends to replace emergency telephones and
it is our view that these should not be over-specified, but should
include interfaces to modern telecommunications systems.
3.189 Integrated airports
A number of Racal initiatives are currently
underway to increase the efficiency of airport operations. These
include real-time tracking systems for "airsides" vehicle
movements, personnel monitoring and improved baggage handling.
These initiatives are targeted at security and efficiency improvements,
as well as enhancing the smooth flow of passengers, their luggage,
and freight through the airport.
The Flightwatch world-wide aircraft monitoring
system has recently been installed for British Airways at Heathrow,
and already extra systems and further functionality have been
ordered. The system improves work allocation and the use of asset
through continuing and up-to-date knowledge of location and status.
4.4-4.6 Commission for Integrated Transport
This panel should be established as soon as
is feasible. Membership should include senior industrials with
experience of transport operations and of systems provision.
4.12-4.18 The Strategic Rail Authority
4.19-4.37 Railways, passengers, the Rail Regulator,
To delay the full establishment of the SRA would
be a retrograde step since one of its intended functions is to
monitor investment by Railtrack and to improve the effectiveness
of the Rail Regulator.
4.68 Investment in London Underground
Racal is part of the CITYLINK consortium the
single preferred bidder for Project Connect and is investing considerable
sums of money (c. £300 million) under PPP/PFI criteria.
4.71- 4.72 Passenger Transport Authorities and
Executives PTAs and PTEs
We agree with the key role of PTAs/PTEs in provision
of an integrated transport system. Racal Telecom is already working
with PTEs, particularly GMPTE in Manchester and with METRO in
Leeds in respect of operational telecoms services and information
provision for travellers.
4.92-4.99 Tackling congestion and pollution on
4.100-4.104 Charging users on motorways and trunk
We are fully supportive of the Government's
proposals in these areas. With a number of other large organisations
and Local Authorities we are participating in a study led by the
Adam Smith Institute and the Smith Group to identify suitable
locations for trials of tolling schemes. We look forward to the
publication of the Consultation Document and we would urge that
the necessary legislation be implemented as soon as is feasible.
Public acceptability is crucial. The evidence,
from surveys in the UK and from experiences abroad, is that the
public will accept road pricing if the reasons for implementing
it are clearly explained and if the revenues are used to improve
other modes of transport.
Racal Telecom has developed a product called
"NSURE REMOTE" to allow employees to access their corporate
network conveniently and securely from any remote location, mobile
or static, using whatever communications systems are available.
We have pleasure in attaching information on
the Racal products and services we have mentioned in the text,
as an indication that in most cases the technology is already
available to implement the vision of the White Paper.
Brochures and Press Releases on:
10 Not printed. Back