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


ANNEX A

APPRAISAL OF BUS ISSUES IN WHITE PAPER

(A) DEMOCRATICALLY ACCOUNTABLE BODY (DAB)

(i) consult/agree/implement sustainable transport policies

  Mechanism for "agreeing" unclear, operators not required to co-operate.

(ii) ability to make the bus part of this

  Not clear and not soon.

(iii) influence over (b) to (i) below

  Unclear. Some hope in Quality Contracts, but not clear how to justify requiring a Quality Contract or if fares can be part of Quality Contract.

(B) REVENUE

(i) fares not to rise faster than inflation and to be part of policy delivery

  Fares issue obviously important but not addressed in terms of fare levels, just aspirations for joint ticketing, etc.

(ii) increased revenue from increased volume to be shared by operator (for incentive, investment and profit) and DAB to invest in bus priority, improved service, etc., (virtuous circle)

  No mention of how local authority to reap reward of share of extra revenue to reinvest in bus infrastructure. Given scarcity of public finance, surely need to address this issue.

(iii) network tickets and modern fare collection systems

  Covered, but powers needed. How would network ticket revenue be shared if operators have different base fares and change them at different times of year. More comprehensive powers on fares needed.

(iv) revenue and user statistics to be available to DAB to interface with other monitoring methods to determine contribution of fares, service level, care parking policy, bus priority, etc., towards policy objectives.

  Not addressed.

(v) DAB to hold revenue to facilitate network tickets without expensive revenue allocation surveys and admin.

  Not clear if Quality Contracts would allow for this.

(C) SERVICE

(i) penalties for non delivery of specified service

  Not addressed.

(ii) no wasteful on road competition

  Only in Quality Contracts.

(iii) even headway between operators on common sections to maximise effective service level

  Only in Quality Contracts.

(iv) network to cover space and time required by DAB to deliver objectives

  Only in Quality Contracts.

(v) frequency and penetration to be optimised with fare level, journey time etc., within budgets available

  Not possible even in Quality Contracts unless fare levels included.

(vi) provided by quality of vehicle specified by DAB

  Requested in Quality Partnership, not clear if can be specified in Quality Contract.

(vii) staff trained to acceptable level

  Not addressed.

(viii) staff motivated by decent minimum standards of pay and conditions

  Not addressed.

(ix) joint comprehensive information readily available

  A clear aspiration, details of how achieved not so clear.

(xi) DAB to be a partner with users and operators in continuous monitoring and network development, whilst avoiding instability in established aspects of network

  Reduced number of times for registration changes promised. Role of user groups not so well defined.

(D) SUBSIDY (OR PRICE OF GROSS COST CONTRACT/FRANCHISE)

(i) not to leak into inefficiency and excessive profit

  Efficiency and excessive profit ignored.

(ii) need for value for money (VFM) indicators

  Not addressed.

(iii) recognition of changes in operating costs

  Not relevant given White Paper approach, maybe in Quality Contracts depending on Quality Contract content.

(E) BUS PRIORITY

(i) DAB to provide

  Happening, funding issues, could be from extra fares revenue generated by bus priority, but not addressed in White Paper.

(ii) need to know services will continue and use the bus priority provided

  Only in Quality Contracts.

(iii) need to know volume gain due to bus priority will not produce revenue gain that is mainly extracted as higher profit

  Not addressed.

(F) PARKING (DEMAND MANAGEMENT)

(i) DAB to deliver parking supply/pricing policy that supports objectives

  Happening for local authority public parking. Need workplace parking levy, offered but no mention of when and cannot seek as well as road charging (4.111). Why? Could have workplace parking levy in one part of area and road charge in another (4.111). However somebody could cross a cordon charge at one point and drive to somewhere in same area with workplace parking levy. So why presumption against both for whole area?

(ii) need to know volume gain due to demand management via parking policy will not produce revenue gain that is mainly extracted as higher profit

  Not addressed.

(iii) other demand management techniques as they become available (e.g., road/congestion pricing)

  When will they become available? As no national base charge can one local area dare to use them for fear of loss of trade or employment?

(G) COMPETITION

(i) off road

  Only in Quality Contracts.

(ii) if little effective local competition need VFM indicators to ensure no loss of efficiency or excessive profit

  There is little competition now but no VFM indicators suggested.

(iii) revise competition law to prevent squashing of small operators by "unfair" tactics

  Not mentioned, but perhaps appetite for this has gone for fear of government reaction and large operators already have the market they want.

(H) ADMIN/BUREAUCRACY

(i) limit per cent of spend on admin/monitoring, would be helped by gross cost contracts and DAB holding revenue if network tickets envisaged

  Not covered. Not clear how Quality Contracts would handle network ticket revenue sharing.

(I) MARGINAL COST EQUALISATION

(i) DAB to deliver locally via parking and congestion charging

  Proposed but needs legislation/pilot areas, but not both are allowed over whole area.

(ii) dialogue with central government on parking (including PNR), road pricing, fuel tax (and FDR)

  FDR reinstated without any targeting or assurance that it does not go into profit line.

(J) OPERATORS PROFIT

(i) via unit cost control, but within minimum standards for pay/conditions, vehicles and training

  Not addressed.

(ii) share in increased revenue

  All the increase to operator even if generated by local authority policy and funding.

(iii) NOT via higher fares, lower service, higher subsidy, misuse of increased FDR, misuse of concession fare budgets or excessive extraction of higher revenue from higher volume due to implementation of other transport objectives

  Not addressed.

(iv) maximisation of profit and maximisation of passengers are different

  Still very true but the White Paper does not address.


 
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Prepared 28 April 1999