Memorandum by Fast Tracks to Europe Alliance
THE GOVERNMENT'S INTEGRATED TRANSPORT WHITE
FTEA brings together the Thames Gateway London
and North Kent Partnerships, Dartford Borough Council, Kent County
Council, London Borough of Newham, London Borough of Camden and
Outside the capital it includes Birmingham City
Council, Cheshire County Council, Glasgow City Council, the Channel
Tunnel Initiative, the North West Regional Association, Kent and
Essex County Councils, Ipswich Borough Council, Milton Keynes,
Watford, The City of York and Doncaster councils. Over one hundred
businesses and chambers of commerce are members of the Alliance.
FTEA has been campaigning for the completion
of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link in its entirety along the agreed
route. FTEA has consistently argued that the real benefits of
the Link lie in the regeneration of Thames Gateway, East and North
London and in connecting the regions to Europe.
FTEA welcomed the recent announcement by John
Prescott as a demonstration of the Government's continued commitment
to building the whole of the Link and to the development of regional
FTEA welcomes A New Deal for Transport and in
particular the Government's commitment to the integration of different
types of transport and to the integration of transport with land
FTEA believes that the Channel Tunnel High Speed
Rail Link (CTRL) is a positive example of the benefits of an integrated
transport policy. It is sustainable, cuts road traffic and air
pollution, and meets all the Government's integrated transport
policies objectives. This theme is developed later in the submission.
The benefits of CTRL for the regeneration of
East London and Kent have long been recognised. In 1991 Sir Bob
Reid stated in a letter to Malcolm Rifkind that:
"The easterly route offers substantial new
development opportunities. It will open up the prospect of major
development and employment which . . . I have no doubt will be
welcomed by the people of East London and those living in the
Lower Thames area".
More recently, Glenda Jackson, the Minister
for Transport in London, stated in the Commons that:
"That the key reason for routing it via
the Thames Gatewayalso known as the East Thames Corridorwas
that stations along it would act as focal points for regeneration".
FTEA welcomes the Government's recognition that
CTRL is crucial to the future prosperity of East London and of
UK plc as a whole.
The present position with CTRL highlights the
complex nature of transport decision making. The Government has
acted boldly and creatively to underpin the CTRL project and the
White Paper identifies some of the measures in the overall development
and funding package which are needed to ensure that the project
However, the CTRL is now in two phases, which
creates uncertainty for the key regeneration areas along the route
in Kent, London and in the regions. The doubts now surrounding
the implementation of the White Paper serve to increase this uncertainty,
and hesitation can only undermine the achievement of an integrated
and sustainable transport system in which the CTRL is a positive
Recommendation 1. FTEA believes that
the Committee should press the Government to continue to do all
in its powers to ensure that the northern section of CTRL is built
along the agreed route without delay.
FTEA believes that the CTRL experience offers
the Committee some valuable insights into the practical difficulties
associated with creating an integrated transport policy. Based
on the CTRL experience FTEA recommends that the Committee adopts
the following additions and amendments to the White Paper:
Recommendation 2. The White paper recommends
that the Strategic Rail Authority should "ensure that rail
transport options are assessed in a way which constitutes good
value for money and optimise social and environmental gains".
FTEA believes that in making such assessments the Strategic Rail
Authority should have a specific responsibility to take into account
the regeneration benefits of new rail schemes.
Recommendation 3. In assessing the regeneration
benefits of new rail schemes the Strategic Rail Authority should
also take into account the cost implications of delaying or not
pursuing a particular project.
Recommendation 4. The White Paper recommends
that the Strategic Rail Authority should "take a view of
on the capacity of the railway, assess investment needs, and identify
priorities where operators' aspirations may conflict with one
another". FTEA believes that in assessing such conflicts
the Strategic Rail Authority should have a specific responsibility
to take account of the wider regeneration and public policy implications
of differing projects.
Recommendation 5. Before proceeding further
with the Heathrow/Waterloo Eurostar link the Government should
consult with FTEA and other organisations affected on the regeneration
impacts of such a development.
Recommendation 6. CTRL demonstrates the
benefits of creating new rail freight opportunities. FTEA believes
that the sections of the White Paper relating to freight need
to be strengthened in order that the nation can benefit further
from railfreight opportunities.
Recommendation 7. The Commission for
Integrated Transport should be given a specific responsibility
to investigate the problem of blight to local communities caused
by the exceptionally long lead in time to major rail projects
and to advise the Government on ways in which such blight can
Recommendation 8. Pending the creation
of the Commission for Integrated Transport the Government should
work with local authorities to develop a programme of short and
medium-term measures that will encourage investor confidence in
the CTRL project and ensure the momentum for development is not
Recommendation 1. FTEA believes that the
Committee should press the Government to continue to do all in
its powers to ensure that the northern section of CTRL is built
along the agreed route without delay.
The CTRL is major transport infrastructure project
that demonstrates many of the key themes of the White Paper. It
gives real meaning to the idea of integrated and sustainable transport
(a) Freeing up capacity for railfreight to take
HGVs off the roads
The White Paper acknowledges that poor infrastructure
hinders efficient freight movement and supports the transfer to
sustainable transport modes. The dedicated tracks for CTRL will
free up the existing network and create significantly greater
capacity for slower freight trains. This is in addition to the
high speed, light freight that will use the Link.
(b) Releasing domestic lines for improved passenger
Domestic passengers from Kent will gain from
new high-speed commuter services into London on CTRL as well as
better local services on the existing network. These new services
will attract users away from their cars.
The new stations at Stratford and St Pancras
will ensure the best passenger interconnections and dispersal,
and provide the train paths and platforms needed when Waterloo
reaches overcapacity in 2006. In doing so they will maximise passenger
attraction, growth and revenues.
(c) Providing access to Europe, especially for
The second phase of the CTRL from northwest
Kent through Stratford to St Pancras not only provides greater
capacity for European connections servicing the South East, but
also connects the regions to Europe. Access to Europe is seen
by key agencies in the Midlands and the north as fundamental to
economic growth and the concept of UK plc.
(d) Creating direct interchange with Underground,
bus and main line transport systems
The CTRL domestic services to Stratford and
St Pancras will provide excellent connections with London's public
The multi-modal strengths of the St Pancras/King's
Cross interchange will be enhanced by the connections with Thameslink
services, especially when upgraded by the new station at King's
Cross. This station is enabled and built by the CTRL, but is key
to the Thameslink 2000 project which connects the South East region
comprehensively through London.
Vital London Underground improvements are also
contingent upon the CTRL development at Stratford and St Pancras,
as a further major ingredient in the integrated transport system
for London and the South East.
(e) Providing an alternative to congested and
polluting air travel
Eurostar services are testimony to the alternative
to air travel provided by high speed train links. The European
experience is that the high speed rail links will also carry those
who would otherwise drive.
Recommendation 2. The Strategic Rail Authority
should have a specific responsibility to take into account the
regeneration benefits of new rail schemes.
The White paper recommends that the Strategic
Rail Authority should "ensure that rail transport options
are assessed in a way which constitutes good value for money and
optimise social and environmental gains". However the White
Paper does not specifically refer to the need to make an assessment
of the economic, or regeneration, benefits of rail schemes.
FTEA believes that there has been a serious
underestimate of the regeneration benefits of CTRL which has distorted
the views of opinion formers of the merits of the scheme.
The sections below give examples of the employment
and housing benefits of CTRL to East London and the indirect benefits
to Kent of opening up domestic rail services.
CTRL unlocks some of the largest urban regeneration
sites in Europe. The potential of Stratford, King's Cross and
the Thames Gateway areas along the route accumulates to over 100,000
jobs, not to mention a total 55,000 dwellings when Ebbsfleet is
The St Pancras terminus alone releases a major
inner-city site development potential for 13,500 jobs, 1,600 dwellings,
and triggers £1 billion+ investment in the area as a whole.
Such brownfield site recovery depends on CTRL
coming to Stratford and St Pancras, while the connections to the
Northeast and Northwest will provide significant additional economic
benefits nationwide. Over £1 billion of regeneration benefits
between the Channel and St Pancras have been identified by FTEA,
and confirmed by the Government's own research.
Until recently there was relatively little qualitative
work undertaken on the impact of CTRL which was available in the
public realm. The most substantive piece which had been conducted
was carried out by the Department of Transport. The results were
outlined in the "Explanatory Memorandum on Contracts with
London and Continental Railways" which was produced in 1996.
The 1996 figures are indicated in the table below.
|£ million||£ million
|Increased value through time savings to international passengers
|Benefits to domestic rail operators arising from reserved capacity on CTRL
|Benefits to domestic passengers||350
|Regeneration benefits to Thames Gateway and east London
|Benefits from reduced road congestion||100
|1 NPVs at 2/95 prices discounted to 1994-95. To estimate benefits in terms of current prices, we have taken the changes in the RPI and have increased the 1994-95 figure by 10 per cent.
Source: Berkeley Hanover Consulting Report on the benefits of CTRL to UK PLC for FTEA 1998.
According to these figures only 10 per cent of the benefits
from CTRL came from regeneration and environmental impacts. The
same document indicated that within the Thames Gateway area a
pessimistic assumption for the creation of jobs by CTRL would
be in the figure of 50,000 jobs, whilst some DOE figures suggested
that between 75,000-80,000 jobs could be created.
FTEA believes that these figures were too low and gave a
distorted picture of the full benefits of the scheme. FTEA therefore
commissioned Berkeley Hanover Consulting (BHC) to conduct its
own research on the regeneration impact of CTRL on UK plc and
the areas along the CTRL route. According to the BHC research
there are two key areas in which the CTRL aids regeneration in
inner East London. They are employment and housing.
In 1996, the DOE estimated that the easterly route of CTRL
could enhance development prospects to the extent of 75,000-80,000
jobs. It further estimated that the total regeneration benefits
would be worth £500 million at 1994-95 prices. FTEA believes
that these estimates were conservative.
BHC estimated that a combined IPS/DPS would help to protect
some 165,000 jobs in inner East London. This was based upon the
premise that companies already in the area are unlikely to want
to move out of London if CTRL guarantees them access to new business,
new markets and a strengthened economic base. BHC also estimated
that up to 119,000 new jobs could be created by an IPS/DPS station
A joint London Planning Advisory Committee and Victor Hausner
and Associates report (The LPAC/Hausner report) indicates that
the IPS would bring major benefits to the large-scale regeneration
potential which already exists at Stratford, The Royal Docks,
the Isle of Dogs and the Greenwich Peninsular, the four major
development zones. They argue that specific uses that trade under
and "international" label would be attracted by the
IPS. Such uses would include:
"Exhibition facilities, major leisure draws, research
and higher education facilities and the continued attraction of
high profile companies to the Isle of Dogs. They go on to argue
that at Stratford itself the key effect would be to attract activities
that would act as catalyst to regeneration and create a critical
The report estimated the following number of jobs would be
created at the Stratford Rail Lands.
|These figures exclude employment at the new station that may involve transferring existing staff rather than employing new staff. Estimates suggest that in the longer term the number of jobs may exceed 20,000 depending on the density of development.
With regard to the domestic station, LPAC/Hausner argue it
is likely to have strong benefits in attracting "mobile"
employers to relocate to the four major development zones by the
opening up of commuter labour markets. They go on to argue that
other areas such as Canning Town, Plaistow, Bow Leyton, Walthamstow
West and Tottenham Hale would also benefit.
Inaction can have the opposite effect on employment. According
to the LPAC/Hausner report the following decline in the employment
base is likely to take place if the International Passenger Station/Domestic
Passenger Station (IPS/DPS) is not built at Stratford.
|Figures indicate 000s jobs
|Source: LPAC/Victor Hausner and Associates November 1993.
However, since then work carried out by London East Training
and Enterprise Council (LETEC) has indicated that the decline
in the employment bases has been sharper than predicted in the
The second major regeneration benefit of IPS/DPS on CTRL
at Stratford is housing. The Newham UDP indicates that between
1800-2000 residential units could be built within Stratford Rail
Lands. This does not take account of potential mixed-use development
including housing that could take place in the core of the Rail
Lands. Neither does this figure take into account potential residential
development on sites peripheral to the Railway Lands. The vast
majority of this residential development will take place on Brownfield
sites. This will bring back in to economic use some sites that
have been vacant or underused for many years.
New transport links do more than create opportunities for
the growth of local business and the creation of new jobs. They
also extend travel to work areas and in doing so alter local economies.
With the recently completed M20/A20 between Dover and the
M25, together with the July announcement in the Strategic Roads
Review that key sections of the A2/M2 will be built in the next
seven years, Kent will have an extensive road network.
In comparison, the rail service to and from Kent is still
extremely poor. The introduction of new rolling stock is a very
slow process and trains, over 30-years-old with slam doors, will
still be running into the next century on the longer distance
routes in Kent. More importantly, the journey times between Kent's
towns and London are poor compared to the rest of the country.
Trains between the depressed Thanet area in East Kent and
London take around two hours, although the distance is only some
75 miles. To put this into perspective, in the same time it is
possible to travel from London to Lille by Eurostar, or to York
or to Taunton.
The CTRL is the vital link that will significantly improve
the journey times and, therefore, accessibility between parts
of East and North Kent and London. With the Link complete and
new domestic trains built specially to operate on the CTRL, journey
times to London will fall as follows:
|Dover||1 hour 50 minutes
||to||1 hour 10 minutes|
With such reductions, commuting to London will become feasible
from much of East Kent, dramatically changing both its image and
its economy. The CTRL will also open up new connections to and
from Kent. With the CTRL link to Stratford connections to the
Docklands Light Railway, Jubilee Line, Central Line, regional
services will be opened up. With the link to St Pancras/Kings
Cross, ready access to the East Coast Main Line, Midland Main
Line, Thameslink, six underground lines and Euston for West Coast
Main Line will not be far away.
Given the evidence above, FTEA believes that the new Strategic
Rail Authority should be required to take these regeneration benefits
into account when assessing new rail schemes.
Ebbsfleet is the catalyst for the success of the vast regeneration
project in Kent Thameside. It is an essential element in bringing
about the expansion, modernisation and diversification of the
economy of South East London and North Kent. It will enable the
Government to meet policy objectives in terms of economic regeneration,
job creation, sustainable development and integrated transport.
Ebbsfleet will be one of the largest private sector initiatives
of recent in the UK. The outline planning application provides
for 790,000 square metres of floorspace, including up to 495,000
square metres of commercial floorspace and up to 3,200 new homes.
As such, the site around Ebbsfleet station offers one of the biggest
development opportunities in Europe. It is anticipated that the
25,000 new jobs will be created. It will bring about a fundamental
change to the area's economic base in terms of both the quality
and quantity of jobs created.
The station at Ebbsfleet will also be a major public transport
hub, linking in with existing and planned public transport routes.
The density, mix and layout of the development are designed to
maximise public transport usage and the project is therefore a
major spur towards sustainable development.
Recommendation 3. In assessing the regeneration benefits
of new rail schemes the strategic Rail Authority should also take
into account the cost implications of delaying or not pursuing
a particular project.
Successful regeneration is undermined by continued uncertainty
for inward investors, while local residents and businesses carry
on under the perceived unfairness of blight.
FTEA estimates that the overall costs of not building the
second phase of CTRL through to St Pancras would exceed the relevant
CTRL project costs, in terms of major railway and Underground
infrastructure maintenance, lost passenger usage and revenues,
increased SRB area regeneration costs, heritage buildings viability,
and lost employment and housing benefits.
In Camden alone, delaying the second phase of CTRL without
other actions until 2007 means:
Permanent development of most (15 hectares)
of the railway lands will be deferred for 10 years or more, pending
clearance, decontamination and access works by the CTRL project,
and new permanent roads, bridge(s), aggregates handling plant
and other structures. Discussions with LCR about interim and permanent
uses and infrastructure have already begun.
Disruption to the Single Regeneration Budget programme
and expenditure profile of £25 million of public money over
the next four years, across a range of projects from job training
to bridge works. The King's Cross Partnership is considering adaptations
to the programme to respond to the new situation.
Headline developments like the £45 million
St Pancras Chambers restoration as an hotel, and the P&O site
opposite King's Cross stationand probably the Railtrack
station itselfare held back several years. The Chambers
consortium are being encouraged to carry on developing their proposals,
as are P&O in Islington.
Secondary costs will continue to mount, including
maintaining the structural integrity of the station and its approaches;
the deterioration of the Chambers and other heritage buildings;
and the increased policing and management of the environmental
effects of some uses on the railway lands which would otherwise
have been removed or modernised by having the CTRL. These problems
ought to be eased by positive moves on interim uses, working with
LCR as the "custodians" of sites both on and off the
King's Cross London Underground station will continue
to operate without the Fennel safety works, and despite
the frequent fire alerts.
Recommendation 4. As well as considering the transport
implications of conflicting transport projects the Strategic Rail
Authority should have a specific responsibility to take account
of the wider regeneration and public policy implications of differing
Recommendation 5. Before proceeding further with the Heathrow/Waterloo
Eurostar link the Government should consult with FTEA and other
organisations affected by the regeneration and public policy impacts
of such a scheme.
In the summer a proposal emerged to take Eurostars on from
Waterloo into Heathrow Airport. This proposal is enthusiastically
endorsed in the White Paper.
FTEA believes that such a proposal has far reaching effects
not just on transport but also on the economies of Kent, East
and North London. There is a very real danger that the Heathrow
Eurostar proposal will subvert the need for the second phase of
the Channel Tunnel Rail Link from Ebbsfleet through Stratford
to St Pancras.
Enlarging the Heathrow sphere of influence by increasing
its importance on the international and national railway network
also risks negating the Government policy to shift the balance
of development from west to east London. Greater development pressure
in the Heathrow corridor is likely to be the result.
Concerns of the West London Boroughs to the Terminal 5 proposal
including a further 25,000 car parking spaces has focused upon
trying to encourage new rail connections into Heathrow to relieve
pressure on the strategic road network. It is one thing encouraging
rail access to and from Heathrow, another thing to develop it
as a major hub of international rail services.
The European Parliament has adopted the Trans European Networks
programme establishing a priority list of rail projects. The Channel
Tunnel Rail Link, which is high on the priority programme, has
been carefully planned to provide wider benefits for the UK as
a whole, through connections to the West Coast Main Line (also
on the Tens programme).
The BA suggested surface route through the chimney pots of
south London from Feltham to Waterloo and thence to Ebbsfleet
in the East has no realistic wider UK potential. BA have suggested
that at some unspecified future date a connection might be achieved
to the West Coast Main Line via Reading and presumably via DidcotOxford
and Banbury to a connection at Coventry or Birmingham. This would
effectively bypass the huge investment now agreed between Railtrack
and Virgin Trains for the major upgrading of the southern section
of the WCML.
SWELTRACK is a grouping of west London Boroughs, LT, and
Railtrack. Their objective has been to try to modify the modal
split for London-Heathrow passengers and the local labour market,
in favour of rail. They are proposing a new connection from Feltham
to Heathrow. Their major concern has been centred on objections
to Terminal 5 and the 25,000 new car parking spaces that are planned.
BA appear to have taken up the SWELTRACK proposal, coupled
with options considered in the London Airport Surface Access Study
(LASA), in what could be construed as an attempt to maintain control
of the competition developing on routes to Europe.
The existing route between Feltham and Waterloo operates
commuter services with rolling stock that is significantly different
from that used by Eurostar. It is unlikely that an upgrading of
the route could be achieved simply by re-signalling or modifying
track layouts within existing corridor.
Any modification of the route corridor could impact upon
residential and commercial properties on either side of the existing
line. Clearly such issues would become a focus for objection at
The BA proposal has not been discussed with the Local Authorities
who have spent considerable effort promoting local services into
Heathrow via Feltham or Staines. There appear to be a number of
There are insufficient train paths on the route
for locally needed services.
Major disruption occurs at the Manor Road level
crossing (between Richmond and North Sheen stations) which is
closed for more than 50 per cent of the day.
The BA route would pass through an SSSI and the
sensitive Stanwell Moor corridor adjacent to the M25.
The BA proposed Staines cord creates other general
environmental problems, and would disrupt proposals to relocate
Staines station to the former railway triangle site to improve
access to the town centre, and improve capacity on the rail network.
The SWELTRACK proposal developed by the West London authorities
seeks to reduce the number of journeys to Heathrow by car from
the south. Work undertaken to date has not considered the impacts
of running Eurostar, or other TGV type trains in the existing
FOR UK AND
The Heathrow Eurostar proposal raises serious competition
issues. It could be interpreted as an opportunistic attempt to
sink the north London section of CTRL whilst the project has commercial
difficulties. It effectively places any rail alternative to airline
connections to Europe within the control of BA, while purporting
to offer an alternative route (however tortuous) to the regions
north of London.
The proposal strengthens BA's monopolistic position, protects
market share, and at the same time offers the opportunity to divert
short haul passengers to Europe onto a rail system they control,
releasing aircraft slots at Heathrow for more lucrative international
Recommendation 6. FTEA believes that the sections of the
White Paper relating to freight need to be strengthened in order
that the nation can benefit further from railfreight opportunities.
FTEA supports the White Paper's commitment to the development
of railfreight. FTEA believes that the CTRL demonstrates the possible
benefits of a pro-active effort to transfer freight from road
Last year about 2.9 million tonnes of railfreight passed
through the Channel Tunnel (equivalent to some 250,000 lorry loads).
This is a disappointingly low figure compared to forecasts made
before the Tunnel was opened to traffic. However there are encouraging
signs that major growth in the future will be achieved.
Despite the hiatus surrounding the long, drawn-out privatisation
of Railfreight Distribution and its acquisition by EWS Railway
in November 1997, an increase of 18 per cent in traffic was achieved.
The encouraging signs for the future are:
The integration of domestic and international
rail freight operations under EWS will increase efficiency and
drive down costs.
The integration of international and domestic
terminals, services through the channel tunnel are now much more
accessible from all over the country.
The new realism in Europe, led by the European
Commission, to overcome the structural complexities in running
freight trains over national boundaries.
The creation of Trans Europe Rail Freight Freeways,
with "one-stop shops" shows the way forward to achieve
faster journey times at less cost.
Eurotunnel has reduced prices from traffic to
the huge German market which has not been served by railfreight
through the Tunnel in the past.
Railtrack's plans to increase the loading gauge
on key routes in the UK to enable larger containers and swap bodies
to travel by rail in this country and Piggyback traffic to flow
between the UK and mainland Europe.
Increasing road congestion will tilt the balance
towards rail which will be increasingly more cost effective and
more reliable in comparison.
With these factors in mind, Railtrack has predicted an increase
of 77 per cent in railfreight in the next 10 years and EWS 200
per cent. Eurotunnel considers that a doubling of international
railfreight can be exceeded.
This increase in traffic will cause an increased demand for
train paths for freight in competition with international and
domestic passenger train services.
The completion of the whole CTRL route would create this
capacity for freight by removing most international and many domestic
passenger trains off the existing lines in London and Kent. Additionally,
the CTRL will be capable of handling some freight trains itself.
Any delay, or in the worse case abandonment, of the northern
section of CTRL would have the opposite effect. A partial CTRL,
ending at Southfleet, would not take Eurostars or domestic passenger
trains off the critical parts of the network to free up space
for the freight trains and the shorter route would not attract
any freight trains to use it.
To accommodate the expected growth, without the whole CTRL
route, would require expensive works on the existing lines involving
grade separated junctions and would bring forward the need for
a new freight route to be created bypassing London. These works
would take time to design, plan and pass through the necessary
procedures, choking off the growing demand to send freight by
Recommendation 7. The Commission for Integrated Transport
should be given a specific responsibility to investigate this
problem of blight to local communities caused by the exceptionally
long lead in time to major rail projects and to advise the Government
on ways in which such blight can be mitigated.
Major transport infrastructure projects have a history of
delays, often serious affecting the areas they are supposed to
benefit. The June announcement by the Deputy Prime Minister on
the future of CTRL was a bold move to underpin the project. However,
there is still some uncertainty around the building of The northern
sectionboth about whether it will go ahead and when. The
current phasing of the CTRL will delay the start of construction
until 2003, and very possibly later.
This perceived uncertainty continues to blight large areas
of the Thames Gateway and St Pancras areas and will act as a brake
on the regeneration opportunities offered by the Link. The delay
defers the major regeneration of large areas of railway land for
five more years unless positive steps are taken now to fill the
gap with interim and longer-term uses and infrastructure.
The railway lands at King's Cross, Stratford and Dartford
available for interim and "priming" development comprise
massive brownfield sites close to central London. Some have excellent
public transport accessibility. As with many similar projects,
most buildings, streets and open land would benefit from a rationalising
of uses and infrastructure, with perhaps 10 per cent captured
for new uses. Many heritage buildings are likely to remain in
a final redevelopment, but currently stand at risk of neglect.
As is often the case, such lands are surrounded by high resident
populations, but are given over to low value activities that are
generally poor neighbours in character. The resulting environment
is downgraded, prone to lax management, and unattractive to new
investment because of the uncertainty of the impending transport
FTEA believes that the Commission for Integrated Transport
should be given a specific responsibility to investigate the problem
of blight to local communities caused by the exceptionally long
lead in time to major rail projects. It should advise the Government
on innovative new ways in which such blight could be mitigated.
Such a responsibility would be a logical extension of the
recent consideration given to improving the rules for compensation
arising from such major projects.
Recommendation 8. Pending the creation of the Commission
of Integrated Transport the Government should work with local
authorities to develop a programme of short and medium-term measures
that will encourage investor confidence in the CTRL project and
ensure that the momentum for development is not lost.
FTEA member authorities along the route of CTRL are keen
to work with the Government to explore ways in which the effects
of the delay on blighted areas could be mitigated by bringing
forward local projects. These projects might be directly related
to CTRL, be transport-related, improve local infrastructure or
bring about more general regeneration.
FTEA believes that the principles of a pro-active programme
of interim activity to mitigate and exploit this delay could include:
bringing empty buildings back into use, especially
where this sustains buildings of heritage value in the conservation
making full and rational use of available land
by tidying up and improving existingand often "bad
neighbour"uses, and assembling viable sites for temporary
providing infrastructure and buildings that will
eventually be used in the CTRL or other construction, and integrating
short-term uses with the permanent development of the sites in
FTEA authorities most directly affected by the delay in building
The northern section of CTRL have each identified some schemes
that fit the criteria above. FTEA has already submitted these
proposals to the DETR with a view to creating a new partnership
with Government aimed at ensuring a successful outcome to the
CTRL project. A copy of the paper presented to the DETR is attached.
The document should not be viewed as a simple shopping list
but rather as an indication of the numerous possibilities for
authorities and the Government to work together. Such a partnership
would ensure that the delay in building CTRL is turned into positive
benefits for the local communities along the route.
Such joint initiatives will create an improved environment
in the immediate areas surrounding the sites of future CTRL stations
and will make the areas more attractive to businesses. This, in
turn, will boost business confidence in the likely success of
CTRL and encourage investment.
23 September 1998