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


Memorandum by London Transport (IT 184)

LT "LINK" INITIATIVE

BACKGROUND

  The importance of providing good interchange between the various modes of transport available within the Capital has been firmly acknowledged in recent Government proposals to change the arrangements for London governance, and also in the Integrated Transport White Paper.

  London Transport fully endorses this view. Its own practical experience indicates that public transport's market share is greatest in areas where the use of the car is restrained or deemed impractical. The strength of competition from the private car centres on its' "door to door" convenience. So it naturally follows that, in order to capture part of this "near market" there is a need to improve the quality of interchange between different modes, to offer a seamless journey that can better compete with the car.

  To this end, London Transport has set up a Project to drive a whole range of interchange improvements in and around London over the next 18 months.

  This Project is called LINK (London Interchange NetworK).

WHAT IS LINK'S REMIT?

  The brief is extremely wide ranging but essentially, the Project's objectives fall into four main categories:

    —  To assess the quality of current interchange facilities and identify customer requirements for improved facilities.

    —  Working with other relevant parties (e.g., Local authorities, Railtrack, ATOC, etc.) to drive investment in the improvement of interchange facilities.

    —  To develop good practice guidance for the future development of interchanges.

    —  To improve service delivery, particularly information, at interchanges.

1. IDENTIFYING WHAT CUSTOMERS WANT

  1.1 In 1997 an initial piece of qualitative research, involving six small study groups, was used to identify the key barriers which prevented people from using public transport interchanges. This was followed by a more comprehensive research exercise conducted during the first quarter of 1998.

  1.2 A second study focused on "Customer Priorities" for interchange. This assessed the improvements most valued by passengers according to how much extra they would be prepared to pay to see such improvements. Analysis of all this research identified the following issues with the highest "Customer Priority" values at the point of interchange:

    —  Time and convenience in crossing roads between modes.

    —  Lighting and security in the interchange corridor.

    —  Service disruption and real time information.

    —  Interchange signage and general route information.

    —  Shelter from weather whilst interchanging.

    —  Staff helpfulness.

  The study also identified that the biggest challenge involves interchange from Underground and National Rail on to buses. This is because National Rail and Underground stations are generally easier to locate, and transport options are generally easier to understand when moving from bus to rail as opposed to changing from rail to bus.

2. WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP TO ACHIEVE IMPROVEMENTS

  LT has recently established a London Interchange Steering Group consisting of representatives from LT, Railtrack, ATOC, GoL, ALG, DLR and LRPC. This group focused on two key improvement categories which emerge from the research that has been carried out to date.

2.1 Network wide operational improvements

  These improvements address for example the role of staff, public address announcements and printed information. Guidelines are being set for the Underground and for all operators, through a proposal to develop a joint "Code of Practice Agreement". The objectives here are to define standards, which can be applied to all interchanges from key large volume stations such as Victoria to lower density suburban areas such as Cockfosters.

2.2 Capital improvements

  Using research gathered by LT attention is also focused on providing better service at locations where performance is poor. This covers "Piggy backing" existing interchange schemes and evaluating best practice for planned schemes. Projects will also be advanced for roll-out on a network wide basis, e.g., signage and security initiatives, as well as location specific initiatives.

  The next stage for LINK is to complete further feasibility studies to generate a short-list of projects covering small and major projects. The funding for these schemes would then need to be agreed across LUL, LTB, TOCs, Railtrack, Local Authorities as well as other agencies. The aim is to complete many of these projects by the year 2000.

  In addition LINK will also be reviewing existing projects to ensure that they cover interchange, e.g., South West London Transport Co-ordination (SWELTRAC) interchange study, Croydon Tramlink and Bus Priority interchange projects.

3. LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

  An important element in the development of longer term plans has been LT's work on piloting initiatives. Ongoing projects include:

  3.1 Trial of a linked taxi service (Home-Link) at Cockfosters, Totteridge & Whetstone and High Barnet. Scheme recently extended to East Putney, Southfields, Wimbledon Park, South Wimbledon and Morden.

  3.2 New signage standards. Currently being tested at Ealing Broadway and Finsbury Park.

  3.3 Simplified Bus information displays, which are being trialled at Manor House.

  3.4 The trial of new cycle parking facilities at selected stations.

  3.5 Freephone link to Travel Enquiry Service at key interchange points.

4. IMPROVING CUSTOMER INFORMATION

  Improving the quality and clarity of customer information offers a number of "quick win" opportunities. A number of actions are either proposed or already under way. These include:

  4.1 Installation of local bus maps and underground material at all London rail stations and a simple "buses from" map on trains to central London termini.

  4.2 Production and distribution of joint public transport guides throughout London—following on from the Ealing trial the intention is to roll-out the preferred combined guide across London from April 1999.

  4.3 Development of options for a new London "metro" map, embracing Underground services and high frequency rail services.

  4.4 Reviewing use of existing real time information and messaging systems.

  4.5 Provision of "alternative services information". (NB: all Underground managed stations completed, next stage is to extend to other locations).

  4.6 London Journey planner to be introduced to Internet site. (NB: Expected delivery date of Summer 1999).

  4.7 Integration of LT information with National Rail Enquiry Service.

CONCLUSION

  Though LINK is being driven by London Transport, its success is critically dependent upon the support and co-operation of all those parties who play a part in the planning and provision of London's public transport system.

  A joint LT and ATOC seminar took place in May 1998 with a keynote speech by London Transport Minister Glenda Jackson. The seminar resulted in the production of a manifesto for delivering improvements. LINK's role is to physically progress and deliver that manifesto.

London Transport

March 1999


 
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Prepared 28 April 1999