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Priorities for investment in the railways - Transport Committee Contents


Memorandum from Transport for London (TfL) (PIR 44)

1.  SUMMARY

  1.1  Transport for London (TfL) is pleased to respond to the Transport Select Committee's inquiry into priorities for investment in the railways.

  1.2  The Department for Transport (DfT) published its 30 year vision for National Rail in July 2007 as well as a High-Level Output Specification (HLOS) for the passenger railway. Shortly after, the go-ahead for Crossrail was announced. TfL had already started from November 2007 an upgrade of London's orbital railways under the banner of "London Overground".

  1.3  TfL and DfT have taken the first steps towards a real improvement in London's railways. Whilst there are plans for an unprecedented investment in the railway, some slippage is already emerging, including the deferral of improvements to the frequency of trains on the Finsbury Park to Moorgate route. TfL strongly urges that HLOS1 is delivered in full and to timescale.

  1.4  HLOS2 presents a series of longer term, and additional, challenges. TfL believes that the focus for investment and indeed management resources in the period 2014-19 should be on:

    — Targeted additional capacity/capability:

    — Passenger trains.

    — Stations.

    — Freight, including freight interchange.

    — Specific international links to airports and ports.

    — Carbon reduction, the greatest single challenge.

    — Improving the railway's level of customer service, for example through simplifying the customer proposition through for example:

    — consistent standards for facilities, personal security and information at London's National Rail stations similar to those of the London Overground, and

    — a less disrupted railway that operates seven days a week.

    — Improving fairness, for example by continuing to improve accessibility to the railway.

    — Greater coordination and integration between transport modes, for example in the areas of fares and ticketing and service planning.

    — Greater efficiency, making the most of the resources the industry has at its disposal.

    — Greater responsibility and accountability for London's suburban rail network by the Mayor of London.

  1.5  Given public finances, it is more necessary than ever for the rail industry to make the most of the investment the industry has recently enjoyed. TfL believes this can more readily be met by giving TfL greater powers of integration in order to maximise revenues and reduce whole (public transport) industry costs. Examples are:

    — TfL could, where appropriate, provide rail replacement bus services using its regular service bus routes.

    — A stronger service planning role for TfL would reduce the need for bus and Underground feeder services from the main termini by making better use of interchange at stations such as Clapham Junction and Stratford.

    — A simpler customer proposition in terms of facilities, fares and ticketing which has time and again been shown to lead to more demand and higher revenues.

  A budget to operate London's rail network would enable the Mayor to balance and prioritise London's transport needs, priorities and service standards across the capital.

  1.6  The means by which this will be implemented in practice will affect not just Network Rail and its future enhancement programme, but also the content of future franchises. TfL also believes that there should be an enhanced role for a future National Station Improvement programme and a future generation of Station Travel Plans to drive the delivery of more consistent standards.

2.  INTRODUCTION

  2.1  The Transport Select Committee has announced a new inquiry into priorities for investment in the railways.[25]

  2.2  TfL has already welcomed the DfT's framework for strategic planning as set out in Delivering a Sustainable Transport System. Specifically, TfL welcomes the publication in summer 2012 of a 30 year vision for transport, as well as the High-Level Output Specification, not just for the passenger railway, but also for rail freight and highways. TfL is therefore pleased to take this opportunity to set out its objectives for rail services in London.

3.  CONTEXT FOR TFL

  3.1  London is Europe's fastest growing city with the population expected to increase by one million over the next 20 years.[26] For the capital to remain a key driver of the national economy, the city's rail system needs substantial improvement. This was recognised in HLOS1, and there is a substantial investment programme. However, this will not solve the challenges the railway faces by any means.

  3.2  London's continuing economic prosperity depends heavily on the city having a good rail system. It has the smallest motorway system of any comparable world class city, but one of the largest rail networks. It relies on its rail network to bring employees from a wide area into a business centre where high job densities and productivity result in considerable wealth generation for the UK. One of the reasons for the high productivity levels is that the rail network allows London's businesses to employ skilled people in a labour market that extends far outside the boundaries of the city. The employment density of the urban cluster that rail serves is unique. There are only five local authorities in the UK with employment densities of more than 5,000 jobs per square kilometre and all are in central London. The City of London has a density of 130,000 jobs per square kilometre.[27]

  3.3  For these reasons, TfL welcomed the Government's decision to commit to investment in London's railways during Control Period 4. In summary, this included a number of vital enhancements to the existing infrastructure:

    — a new east-west rail link—Crossrail 1—as the only realistic solution to capacity issues into London and through central London;

    — an upgraded main north-south route—Thameslink;

    — lengthening some trains and some platforms on South West Trains, Southern South Eastern, C2C, and West Anglia, and

    — purchase of additional rolling stock and reconfiguration and refurbishment of existing stock to make best use of existing infrastructure.

  3.4  TfL has also committed an investment of £1.3 billion to upgrade London's orbital rail routes. This includes the extension of the East London line from Highbury & Islington to Croydon; the upgrade of North London Railways; and its complete re-equipment with new and longer trains.

4.  QUESTIONS

4.1  Question 1:   In the medium to long term, what should be the main objectives for investment in the railways, in order to improve both freight and passenger services?

  4.1.1  In London, the process of revising the Mayor's Transport Strategy is underway, and means that TfL has recently identified the challenges facing London's transport network to meet the Mayor's vision of London:

    "London should excel among global cities—expanding opportunities for all its people and enterprises, achieving the highest environmental standards and quality of life and leading the world in its approach to tackling the urban challenges of the 21st century."

  4.1.2  The transport vision for London is guided by the five broad goals below:

    — Support economic development and growth.

    — Enhance quality of life.

    — Improve safety and security.

    — Provide transport opportunities for all.

    — Tackle climate change.

  4.1.3  A sixth goal to deliver the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games will also influence the future of transport in London.

  4.1.4  The DfT has consulted on an updated set of national transport objectives, as set out in Delivering a Sustainable Transport System. As shown in Figure 1 below, the objectives of the Mayor and TfL are closely aligned.

Figure 1

TRANSPORT OBJECTIVES[28]


  4.1.5  This close alignment leads to TfL agreeing that these objectives are the right ones against which to prioritise investment in the railways to improve freight and passenger services.

4.2  Question 2:   How should these objectives be determined?

  4.2.1  The rail industry's objectives should be consistent not just with transport policy as a whole but also wider government policy, both at national level and at regional level.

  4.2.2  TfL believes that the process set out in the DfT's strategy document Delivering a Sustainable Transport System is a good means by which objectives for transport as a whole should be set, by taking into account the Eddington Study and the Stern Review.

  4.2.3  The Eddington Transport Study, published in December 2006, recognizes transport's role as a key enabler of productivity and competitiveness; stressing the need for Government action to avoid transport constraints hampering the economic growth of the UK. Prioritising improvements in growing and congested areas, particularly London and the south-east region, will allow the railways to make a substantial contribution to economic expansion. London is heavily dependent on the success of the transport system for its economic health. Rail is a critical component of this system, accounting for 76% of all commuter journeys into central London.[29] In fact, 36% of all rail journeys in the UK are made wholly within the Greater London boundary.[30]

  4.2.4  According to the Eddington Study, reductions in travel time for both passengers and freight can have a significant impact on improving both labour productivity and cost savings. It is estimated that a 5% reduction in travel time for all businesses and freight travel on roads can generate £2.5 billion of cost savings, or 0.2% of GDP.[31] Given London's unique circumstances, it is estimated that an additional 30% in time-savings benefits will accrue for some transport schemes in the Capital. Rail in London is uniquely positioned to have a substantial impact on the reduction of travel times and delays associated with congestion.

  4.2.5  The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, published November 2006, signalled a widespread recognition of the importance of sustainability and the measures necessary to avert large-scale climate change. As the UK's primary urban conglomeration, London is a substantial contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Some 22% of these emissions are transport related and, more specifically, road vehicle related.[32] The Mayor's ambitious plans to reduce carbon emission focus largely on promoting a modal shift away from private road transport to public transport. Rail can move both passengers and freight efficiently and at significantly lower levels of carbon emissions.

  4.2.6  There are other factors that should affect transport objectives identified by TfL and incorporated in the Mayor's Transport Strategy and by the rail industry as well for example in "The Rail Industry Sustainable Development Principles".[33] Extensive research has shown the value of improving the journey experience itself. This covers factors such as speed, reliability, comfort and the quality of the travel environment in terms of its cleanliness, customer friendliness, and indeed the built environment or "urban realm".

  4.2.7  Other objectives should support Government environmental policy more widely. For this reason, the Mayor's Transport Strategy contains an objective to reduce air pollutant emissions from ground-based transport, contributing to EU air quality targets, reducing impacts of noise, and helping to improve health impacts. Transport can also contribute to the safety and security goals, with the objective of reducing crime, fear of crime and anti-social behaviour as well as reducing casualties on public transport networks. Finally, rail transport has a long way to go to meet government policy in the area of physical accessibility of the transport system, and this should therefore remain an important objective.

  4.2.8  Successful investment will lead to progress against all the goals, though there can be tension between them when considering decisions about the different options for future investment and the level of resource given to each. In particular supporting economic growth while reducing greenhouse gas emissions are likely to be the most challenging to deliver in parallel, at least in the short term. Again, however, there will be examples of synergy between different goals.

  4.2.9  The expected state of the public finances means that transport will be expected to demonstrate how it will be making the most of the resources we have got, for example through efficiencies and maximising return on the investment from HLOS1. Integration between the modes here can enable this.

4.3  Question 3:   What is the impact of rail enhancements on the economy?

  4.3.1  London and the South East are critical to the success of the UK economy. London is a world-leading financial centre, it has more corporate headquarters than any other European city, it provides many major tourist attractions and it acts as a global centre for cultural and creative industries. As such it competes with other global centres such as New York, Paris and Frankfurt. London's success in the global market place brings substantial benefits to the nation with the wider South East region making up a third of the UK's total GDP and Greater London itself nearly 20% of GDP.[34] London is 30% more productive than the rest of the UK and makes a net contribution of £9-15 billion to the national exchequer.[35] In short, investments that make a demonstrable improvement to London's economy will have a significant impact on the UK as a whole.

  4.3.2  Rail is vital to London, as it provides the only effective solution to transporting large numbers of people, relatively quickly, from the suburbs and the South East of England into Central London. As mentioned earlier, 76% of journeys to central London are by rail including London Underground, 43% by National Rail, and Londoners travel 2½ times as far by rail as the average UK resident.[36] Improvements to London's rail system will affect more people and have greater economic impact than elsewhere.

  4.3.3  However, rail's strong position in the market is not because of its current high quality. London's railways are under great stress, with passenger satisfaction lower and crowding substantially worse than other UK regions. The current committed investment will improve this in the period to 2017 when Crossrail is delivered. Notwithstanding the recession, long-term growth in jobs and population is anticipated to resume with population expected to grow by over one million by 2025.[37] The recession has not affected this underlying trend: the Greater London Authority's most recent population projections, published in April 2009, show an increase in London's 2026 compared with 2006 projections. The south eastern region also shows a substantial increase of 13%.[38]

  4.3.4  If nothing is done, then some routes where demand is expected to grow particularly rapidly will become very stressed in the absence of additional investment. TfL believes railways should not become once again the poor relation of transport in London, given the scale of the rail transport task they face and given that London's rail system is more necessary than anywhere else.

  4.3.5  The Eddington Review, commissioned by DfT and the Treasury in 2007, established the case for investing in transport infrastructure, particularly where existing infrastructure demonstrably faces capacity constraints (as is already the case in London). It is simply not credible for London to remain a driver of the UK economy and competitive with other world cities without a rail system that meets not just its current needs but also its future growth.

  4.3.6  This sets London's key transport challenge as one of delivering people swiftly from their homes in the London suburbs or the wider South East, to a geographically concentrated central business district. The effectiveness of the Capital's transport infrastructure will be critical to cater for this growth. Rail will be the dominant mode in this.

  4.3.7  If the Government does not continue to facilitate transport improvements from 2014 onwards, then this will have a long-term adverse impact on companies deciding to locate in London. These companies are unlikely to move to other areas of London or the UK, as they tend to cluster around Central London to gain efficiencies arising from the co-location of other similar businesses (ie in the financial services sectors) thereby losing the UK economy billions of pounds of investment and much needed tax revenue. Businesses are more likely to relocate to other international centres such as Paris or Frankfurt. The UK will also face reduced employment, accessibility and urban regeneration opportunities.

  4.3.8  Projections show that rail passenger demand will increase over the next 20 years by some 30 to 40%. Currently funded rail projects add 25% to rail capacity.[39] The committed investment will ease crowding significantly in the next five years, but will worsen once again as employment and population continue to rise without further any investment after Crossrail opens.

Figure 2

STRESS ON THE LONDON RAIL NETWORK[40]


  Key to corridors:
A: South Eastern Trains—North Kent lines (Woolwich, Bexleyheath and Sidcup) I: Chiltern Railway—Aylesbury Line, London Overground—DC Lines (Watford-Euston)
B: South Eastern Trains—Orpington, Hayes and Bromley lines (to London Bridge and Victoria via Herne Hill and Catford Loop) J: First Capital Connect—Midland Main Line
C: Southern Railway—Croydon lines and First Capital Connect—Brighton Main Line K: First Capital Connect—Great Northern
D: Southern Railway—Sutton lines, First Capital Connect—Wimbledon loop L: West Anglia Main Line (via Seven Sisters and Tottenham Hale)
E: South West Trains—South West Main Line to Woking via Surbiton and Worcester Park M: Chingford branch
F: South West Trains—Windsor lines (including Richmond Loop) N: Great Eastern Main Line
G: Heathrow Express, Heathrow Connect, First Great Western—Great Western Main Line and South West Trains—Hounslow loop O: c2c lines (mainline to Upminster and Rainham loop)
H: Chiltern Railway—Birmingham Main Line



  4.3.9  TfL does not believe that demand management techniques alone can solve crowding problems. There is already a degree of peak pricing built into the fares structure, for example with the off-peak Travelcard, cheap day returns and Oyster pay as you go, and its extension to other ticket types can make a further contribution to meeting the challenge of growth by encouraging people to travel at quieter times of day. Technology such as teleworking also offers opportunities to reduce the need to travel, while TfL's programme of smarter travel measures should reduce pressures on public transport to some degree. However, these do not provide a panacea, and TfL estimate that growth in the peaks will still be substantial.

  4.3.10  The immediate impact on passengers is obvious, but there are a number of other consequences, such as delays and longer journey times, as the efficiency of the railways buckles at peak times under the weight of numbers. This ultimately will affect the business efficiency of Central London.

4.4  Question 4:   How should long-term development of major new infrastructure, such as high speed lines, be balanced against short and medium term investment to improve capacity and passenger experiences?

  4.4.1  The long-term development of major new infrastructure, such as high speed lines, is not necessarily in conflict with investment to improve capacity for freight and passenger on the main lines into London. A new line to the Midlands and the north west of England for example would release capacity on the West Coast mainline; TfL would wish to see this capacity reused by suburban services as well as providing capacity for the expected increase in cross-London container freight flows from the Thameside ports to the Midlands.

  4.4.2  Employment growth in London over the past decade has led to significant levels of crowding on both National Rail and Underground routes in the Capital. Both rail and Underground generally operate at capacity, resulting in heavy crowding on most lines but particularly the Victoria, Jubilee, Central and Northern lines on the Underground and routes into London Bridge, Waterloo, Victoria, Moorgate and the Thameslink core on National Rail.

  4.4.3  Employment and population in London are projected to rise notwithstanding the recession, and so a major investment programme is underway by both TfL and Network Rail to introduce new capacity. The industry as a whole needs to anticipate this through the development of schemes not just in the short-run, but also the medium and long-run too.

  4.4.4  The case for new lines is unlikely to be compelling unless there is no longer capacity on the classic routes. TfL wholly supports the development of new lines where there is a case in the next control period for delivery in the 2020s.

4.5  Question 5:   Is enough consideration given to the integration of rail with other transport modes, and with demographic developments, such as new housing developments, when rail investment decisions are made?

  4.5.1  With 44% of rail journeys in London involving transfers to LU or Docklands Light Railway (DLR), TfL believes that integrated solutions across all modes in London offer the most advantages to customers.[41] There is a pressing need to integrate better National Rail services with Overground, Tube, DLR and Tram as well as TfL's extensive bus network to deliver seamless journeys and fares for passengers as well as better value for the taxpayer. South London, for example, suffers from a much poorer perception of connectivity because of the way in which the National Rail network is presented and operates. Public transport usage is only four-fifths of that in North London, while car use per capita is 10% higher—congestion and journey speeds are thus commensurately worse than North London.

  4.5.2  TfL has a clear role to ensure the interchange between modes is as seamless as possible—for example ensuring that the ticketing system covers all modes and is as simple as possible. Many of the changes and innovations described above match TfL's strategic aspirations, and therefore our role in pricing and planning needs to be comprehensive in order to ensure that the transport system as a whole can make best use of these developments. As a multi-modal service provider, TfL would be able to ensure that improved interchanges benefit from technological advances and improved services. This could be as simple as providing adequate signage or physical access that ensures modal transfers are quick and seamless. It may also involve additional technological innovation that provides passengers with greater knowledge of transfer options and more effective trip planning.

  4.5.3  The introduction of Overground with standards consistent with other TfL modes has been highly welcomed by passengers. Unlike elsewhere, patronage is increasing despite the economic downturn and ticketless travel (fares evasion) is down by over 10%. Overground stations are now clean and well maintained. The Overground model of rail services under the Mayor's direction should be now extended across the rest of London. The inner suburban element of each London rail franchise should be specified and managed by TfL. London-wide rail services should be operated to the same byelaws and travel conditions as the rest of TfL (for example the Penalty Fare and alcohol rules are different) and branded accordingly.

  4.5.4  Under the current arrangements, convincing Train Operating Companies (TOCs) to introduce new technology is both difficult and time consuming. The up-coming introduction of Oyster ticketing has proved exceptionally inefficient and slow, despite TfL's offer to fund capital works.

  4.5.5  In summary, service integration is a theme of previous White papers, and can be better delivered by:

    — The Mayor being allocated a rail budget for London for all suburban passenger services.

    — Common rail, Overground and LU fare levels.

    — Inner suburban services to be to franchised to Overground standard with same performance indictors to allow a comparison of quality.

    — Gross cost contract operated by private sector specified by TfL.

    — Mayor to be cosignatory to franchise contract where franchise covers both suburban and long distance services.

    — Inner Suburban services should be branded Overground.

    — All London fares to be set by the Mayor.

    — Conditions of Travel in London should be same for Overground and National Rail services.

    — Inner suburban stations to be transferred on long lease to TfL.

  4.5.6  In terms of integration with land-use planning more broadly, both the Eddington Study and Barker Review of Land Use Planning, published in 2006, highlight the need for strong linkage between transport and local planning. Given the economic importance of the UK's cities and regions, there is a strong case for local decision making to deal with local issues. This is particularly the case with regard to local transport provision and the Eddington Study strongly endorses the idea of enhanced sub-national decision-making as a means to a more efficient and responsive transport policy.

  4.5.7  In London the form that this has taken has been the development together of the London Plan (spatial land-use strategy) and Mayor's Transport Strategy. This ensures that planning is joined up; the impact of one upon the other is explicitly taken into account. TfL also ensures that the impact of developments upon transport is recognises and where appropriate mitigated, for example through "section 106" contributions. Crossrail will also be partially funded from a supplementary business rate.

4.6  Question 6:   Is enough consideration being given to the views of passengers in making investment decisions on the railways?

  4.6.1  The simple answer is no. Neither local residents nor rail passengers in London would say they have a significant say in the planning or operation of their local rail service. Many of them would assert that rail services in London appear predominantly planned and funded by the largely remote and completely centralised DfT and Network Rail. In contrast bus, Tube, and tram services in London are planned and operated by TfL which is directly accountable to London's elected Mayor. Stakeholder engagement is central to decision-making by the Mayor. He is elected on a mandate which includes manifesto promises in respect of public transport and he has personal ownership and accountability for his Mayor's Transport Strategy.

  4.6.2  There are six main requirements that customers consistently say they want from their rail journey:

    — Speed—customers want to reach their destinations quickly, with minimal delays.

    — Safety—customers want to feel confident and secure.

    — Environment—customers want clean and pleasant trains, stations and facilities.

    — Simplicity—customers want a rail system that is easy to use and understand, integrated with other transport services and accessible to all.

    — Reliability—customers need confidence in the level of service provided, with problems quickly rectified, and good passenger information.

    — Comfort—customers want to travel in relative comfort in carriages that are not filled to over capacity. Transport for London has undertaken research to define a consistent and customer-friendly level of service quality on trains and stations cost effectively. These quality standards cover cleanliness, information, personal security, facilities and staffing. They enable the organisation to focus its activity to best effect on meeting these standards while giving customers confidence in using the system and thereby improving their perceptions.

  4.6.3  TfL would like to see such standards applied across National Rail as well as TfL services. This reflects the fact that research shows that rail passengers have similar needs to TfL passengers more widely. There is no particular reason for rail to be treated as an exception. Rather, it should be integrated as closely as possible, so the better it can play the maximum role possible in meeting London's transport challenges.

  4.6.4  This is reflected not just within TfL policy but increasingly at a national level too. The Secretary of State has announced a proposal to improve the consistency of standards at National Rail stations, and the DfT is preparing terms of reference on developing these standards according to the level of footfall at a station.

  4.6.5  Such standards could then be measured regularly by both Mystery Shopper Survey[42] and specific performance measures to ensure a consistently welcoming passenger experience, on a comparable basis across all franchises and all modes. TfL's analysis concluded that there were significant revenue benefits from applying consistent station standards as well as increased customer satisfaction.

  4.6.6  Naturally, over time there will be changes in the passenger market that will affect the type of services demanded by customers. Demographic shifts in age and income composition coupled with potential changes in work patterns will require transport operators to adjust the type of service they provide. Increasingly, new technology will push the expectations and demands of passengers ever higher.

  4.6.7  Given these changes, the industry must focus on improving services and using technological innovations to push service enhancement further and bring down costs.

  4.6.8  Given the expected changes in the customer market, TfL believes that the long-term strategy must provide for a higher quality of service, including:

    — more off-peak services for the growing leisure market;

    — meeting the need of workers with increasingly flexible working hours, and

    — better step-free physical access, given an ageing population.

  4.6.9  TfL welcomes the role of Passenger Focus in the development of Network Rail's route utilisation strategies and DfT's franchises because of the expertise it brings in ensuring passenger interests are fully reflected. TfL also believes that benchmarking customer service performance through the National Passenger Survey across franchises is a very important means of driving up standards. This common approach should be extended to other measures in the service quality management system found within franchises. At the moment, both the measures themselves and the targets are set on a case by case basis in such a way that no comparison is possible across train operators.

4.7  Question 7:   What should be the key priorities for the next High Level Output Statement?

  4.7.1  TfL believes the following should form the key priorities for the next High Level Output Statement:

    — targeted additional capacity/capability:

    — Passenger trains;

    — Stations;

    — Freight, including freight interchange;

    — Specific international links to airports and ports;

    — carbon reduction— the greatest single challenge;

    — improving the railway's level of customer service, for example through simplifying the customer proposition through for example:

    — consistent standards for facilities, personal security and information at London's National Rail stations similar to those of the London Overground;

    — a less disrupted railway that operates seven days a week;

    — improving fairness, for example by continuing to improve accessibility to the railway;

    — greater coordination and integration between transport modes, for example in the areas of fares and ticketing and service planning, and

    — greater efficiency.

TRAIN CAPACITY

  4.7.2  To meet this challenge TfL is developing proposals as part of the new Mayor's Transport Strategy to define solutions for London's travel needs. This projects passenger rail demand growth of 40%, estimated the extent to which demand management can play a role, and identified where additional capacity is required.

  4.7.3  TfL has also started to identify specific schemes that will ensure London's rail network can cater to future passenger and freight growth beyond 2014:

    — West Anglia: more capacity through a greater number of 12-car trains and a turn-up-and-go service between Cheshunt and Stratford in the fast growing Lea Valley where there are significant regeneration plans.

    — South-western: more capacity through running more 10-car trains along the route between Staines, Feltham, Putney, Clapham Junction and Waterloo.

    — Overground: more capacity through longer trains on these fast growing routes, with some opportunities to expand its coverage.

    — Some additional capacity on some specific stressed routes, for example between Finsbury Park and Moorgate and Bromley South and central London.

    — Improved interchange at a dozen locations by a combination of calling more services and changes to the stations themselves to effect better links between orbital and radial routes and reduce station congestion.

    — Freight capacity around London north of the Thames from the fast growing container ports to the Midlands and north of the country, and provision of interchange terminal capacity near London.

  4.7.4  TfL is starting to assess the value for money of these improvements. For example, TfL's proposed improvements to the West Anglia services have a benefit cost ratio of 1.9:1,[43] more once the wider economic benefits as recommended in the Eddington report are included. The proposals also enhance accessibility, bringing another more people within reach of jobs, goods, and services. The scheme will also aid regeneration of the Lea Valley, and affect directly some of London's most deprived wards. TfL is working closely with DfT and Network Rail to ensure that the strategy and solutions are consistent with wider National Rail objectives.

  4.7.5  Additional capacity for the routes into Waterloo is also value for money (a benefit cost ratio of more than 3:1), as are a package of other capacity enhancements. The total value across London as a whole is £2 billion over the five year period.

  4.7.6  These proposals complement current investment programme not just on National Rail but also on other parts of London's passenger transport system, such as Underground and DLR enhancements, interchange development, improvements to London bus services, multi-modal ticketing systems, cycling and pedestrian initiatives.

  4.7.7  Increasing the amount of passenger capacity will require additional rolling stock. Given limited resources, a cheaper and quick way to do this is to extend the life of existing rolling stock. The ability to do this however, is constrained by 2020 deadline associated with the implementation of the People of Reduced Mobility Technical Standard for Interoperability and/or Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations. This implies some quite costly changes to rolling stock, which is not always worthwhile where trains are already 25 or more years old. Consideration should therefore be given to some flexibility in their interpretation to ensure that basically sound assets are not scrapped unnecessarily, at the cost of enhancements elsewhere on the system.

STATION CAPACITY

  4.7.8  Just as with the train service, many National Rail stations are congested at peak times and enhancements to station capacity are required in order to improve customer service and to enable London's growth in rail demand to be accommodated. This is an area where HLOS1 gave less priority, but where spare capacity is now running out at many locations. HLOS2 should therefore set aside monies for a programme of cost effective station capacity enhancements. Particular priorities are:

    — some central London termini such as Charing Cross and Fenchurch Street;

    — Clapham Junction station where the subway, stairways and entrances are regularly overwhelmed by passengers, and

    — a package of other medium sized stations with severe congestion either already or emerging, including East Croydon, Finsbury Park, Bromley South, Wimbledon, Vauxhall, and Barking.[44]

  4.7.9  TfL's analysis shows that these need not always be expensive, and that small scale improvements to remove pinch-points can offer good value to money. An example package would cost £100 million over five years and have a benefit cost ratio greater than 2:1.[45]

FREIGHT CAPACITY

  4.7.10  In addition to the increased capacity of passenger services, the long-term strategy should also look to improve freight systems and capacity in London and the surrounding regions. It is anticipated that as early as 2014, the number of trains along certain routes will increase by 60%. Given the projected increase in London's population and the proposed expansion of rail services, any additional freight traffic will place substantial pressure on existing network capacity. The need to improve freight capacity is supported by the Mayor's Transport Strategy (MTS), in which the importance of encouraging the transfer of goods to more sustainable modes of transport is considered an important goal in so far as it helps reduce congestion and carbon emissions.

  4.7.11  Currently, there are large volumes of through freight in London, the most important category of which is deep sea containers from the East Coast ports to destinations on the West Coast Main Line. Maritime container traffic is also expected to be the fastest growing category over the next 10 years with an expected increase of over 64%.[46] It is also anticipated that freight traffic through the Channel Tunnel could grow to six million tonnes of freight by 2014-15, compared with two million tonnes today. In order to meet this growth challenge effectively, the planning of passenger and freight capacity and capability needs to be integrated. The current system presents a number of challenges to the development of the full range of modern facilities which are needed to encourage rail freight serving London's needs.

  4.7.12  In order to meet these challenges TfL's proposes a number of solutions, including:

    — further capacity and capability schemes inside London such as the Barking to Gospel Oak route;

    — further capacity and capability schemes outside London, including the full upgrade of the Felixstowe to Nuneaton cross country route;

    — Schemes which encourage better use of the network, such as freight train lengthening and trains that can keep pace with passenger traffic, and

    — Terminal development—strategic facilities for developing large scale value adding activities on rail connected sites (eg for primary retail distribution customers).

INTERNATIONAL LINKS

  4.7.13  TfL is also supportive of both improvements to passenger and freight's international links. Notably, this includes the main Lea Valley line to Stansted, and also the freight routes to Thameside and Haven ports on the East coast.

  4.7.14  The Mayor is supportive in principle of the development of a new high-speed rail line to the North and locating the London terminus in the central area would maximise access to jobs and London's population, and enable efficient onwards dispersal of high-speed line passengers.

CARBON REDUCTION

  4.7.15  The greatest environmental challenge we face today is climate change. While other environmental challenges such as air quality and noise pollution are important, the impact of climate change carries a far greater risk. The reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is now a major part of Government policy—witness the Stern Report and the profile its launch enjoyed. It is also an objective of the Eddington Study, despite its explicit focus on the economy.

  4.7.16  Climate change is a priority for the Mayor. London is already the UK's most carbon efficient region per pound of economic activity, but the Mayor has pledged to reduce the volume of emissions by 60% by 2025 (compared with 1990 levels). Reduction in GHG is an explicit transport objective for the Mayor. The 4% modal shift from cars to public transport in London—an unprecedented success anywhere in the world—has made a big contribution to helping keep London's transport emissions down despite economic and population growth in the period from 1999.[47] TfL wishes to see National Rail in London play its part in this.

  4.7.17  Whilst private cars and road freight are comfortably the largest contributors, only 4% of GHG emissions are due to rail operations.[48] TfL is encouraging this through a range of means:

    — improved energy efficiency and reducing consumption through for example, efficient use of resources (reduce empty running or remove or shorten trains with low load factors), enabling regenerative braking or "intelligent" trains that reduce power consumption, reducing transmission losses through the use of low-loss conductor rail, lighter weight trains, installing low power lighting and energy efficient equipment where possible, and building design and improvement, for example building insulation and the installation of low power lighting and energy efficient equipment at stations;

    — supporting land-use changes in the London Plan that reduce emissions;

    — encouraging the switch from high emission modes, such as the car, and

    — producing a switch to low-carbon technologies, such as development of hybrid engines and procuring more energy from green sources, and installing photo-voltaic cells, windmills, and micro-generation.

  This extends to encouraging correct behaviours such as:

    — Driver behaviour—increase coasting, smoother and gentler acceleration and deceleration, only turn lights on when necessary, have optimum heating and air conditioning levels, turn off heating and lighting over night, turn off rectifiers and transformers when not in use.

    — Station staff behaviour—efficient use of energy by, for example, turning on appliances and lights only when necessary.

IMPROVING CUSTOMER SERVICE

  4.7.18  TfL's research has defined a value for money set of customer service standards covering cleanliness, information, personal security, facilities and staffing which it applies consistently across its modes. There is no reason why these could not be extended to National Rail as well, given research shows that rail passengers have similar needs to TfL passengers more widely.

  4.7.19  In London, TfL believes that Overground service standards provides an evidenced template that HLOS2 and the franchising process could readily follow. Indeed, it has already been adopted for the new South Central franchise, which started on 20 September 2009, with more than 40 stations and extensive route patterns.

  4.7.20  The minimum standards include:

    — staffing over the traffic day with improved customer and technology skills;

    — Oyster acceptance and retailing through ticket machines within Travelcard Zones 1 to 6;

    — station facilities such as seating and shelters and better integration with other, sustainable modes—cycle storage, safer pedestrian access routes, bus stop facilities;

    — multi-modal customer information at stations, through posters and electronic means, on-system and off, scheduled and real-time;

    — security features such as lighting, CCTV and help points;

    — graffiti removal, litter removal and cleaning;

    — train frequency of at least four trains per hour on each route where the infrastructure allows this up to 23:00, and

    — first and last trains broadly aligned with the Underground's operating hours.

  4.7.21  The means of delivery could be not just through HLOS2 directly, in the form of a fund analogous to the current National Station Improvement programme, but also through franchises as they come up for renewal. Such ideas would also influence the content and funding of a future generation of Station Travel Plans, again a valuable idea from HLOS1.

  4.7.22  Another important part of this is the on-going measurement of quality against these standards on a comparable basis across all operators and all parts of the network. At the moment an individual TOC can measure performance in different ways which means there is no reputational pressure from the use of a consistent benchmark with which to help drive up customer satisfaction. Future franchises should have a series of specified measures as part of their service quality management system.

  4.7.23  The other part of the reason for this is to make public transport in general and railways within this as simple as possible for customers to understand the network, plan their journey and buy their tickets. If customers know more of what they can expect, infrequent or under-confident users will be more likely to become regular users. TfL is convinced that such outcomes are more likely if it has a strong role in planning, fares and ticketing (see section on coordination below).

  4.7.24  Improving customer service goes even further than identifying and delivering travel standards. The handling and response of passenger comments and travel enquiries requires the provision of accurate and impartial travel information across all modes and single point responsibility for service delivery. This currently exists only for TfL services. National rail service information provided by the rail industry fails to provide multi-modal door to door travel information for Londoners.

FAIRNESS

  4.7.25  Programmes to improve accessibility at National Rail stations, such as the DfT's "Access for All", must continue as part of HLOS2 and be accompanied by further accessibility improvements around stations to enhance integration for everyone, including works to surrounding streets and more accessible bus stops adjacent to stations.

COORDINATION

  4.7.26  It is abundantly clear that the railway industry has a great opportunity to improve the customer experience, increase its sustainability, and upgrade its capacity. TfL believes these changes can be brought about concurrently. However, through closer partnership with TfL, the industry can achieve much more. TfL would encourage a further devolution of rail powers as part of HLOS2. Specifically, TfL believes it should be given greater powers—in particular pricing, planning and potentially funding—with regard to franchise specification over certain inner suburban routes into central London.

  4.7.27  Such changes in governance would allow TfL to deliver a system that is more responsive to changing customer needs. TfL's ideas allow integration and simplicity for customers, yet overcome the significant drawbacks of the existing increment and decrement regime, where it is very difficult for example to obtain value for money changes between re-franchising. Fundamentally, TfL's ability to drive improved take-up of rail in the capital is constrained by a lack of influence over the following areas.

FARES AND TICKETING

  4.7.28  Research consistently shows that passengers perceive rail fares and ticketing to be complex and poor value for money. They often perceive fares to be higher than in fact they are.

  4.7.29  The extension of Oyster pay as you go to National Rail in January 2010 is long overdue. However, while very welcome, more can be done to make it easier to use by customers. Rail fares integration would allow a reduction from the three separate Oyster pay as you go and ordinary fare tariffs (one each for National Rail, London Underground, and through fares between the two networks) to just one tariff for each ticket type.

  4.7.30  Further steps could include standardising concessions across TfL rail and National Rail and simplifying the ticket product range once integration is complete within the Oyster area. TfL is also developing automatic ticketing using contactless bank cards. This would obviously be more effective if introduced London-wide.

SERVICE PLANNING

  4.7.31  An enhanced role in planning could tackle barriers to usage and make the most of the networks we have by increasing simplicity through application of consistent standards.

  4.7.32  An example is the role of interchange. TfL's could utilise capacity better if it had a stronger service planning role on routes such as those through Clapham Junction. Making the most of the interchange opportunities here both reduces passenger journey time and cuts costs through reducing the need for onward bus and Underground journeys from terminals. This could help both TfL and rail industry to make the most of its resources.

EXPANDING THE OVERGROUND

  4.7.33  TfL believes that a strong case exists to expand the current Overground concession, that is the orbital rail lines in London, and the radial Watford-London Euston route. TfL believes that other similar routes serving London should progressively be transferred to the Overground as re-franchising and other opportunities arise. There are opportunities to reduce the unit costs of both DfT franchises as well as the TfL concession to mutual advantage.

PLANNING FOR ENGINEERING WORK AND MOVING TO A "SEVEN DAY RAILWAY"

  4.7.34  The amount of HLOS-related renewals and enhancement investment during the next few years on the railway will be significant. The downside is the short-term disruption, but there are many ways in which TfL and National Rail could work more closely together to reduce the cost to the tax-payer and improve service to the fare-payer.

  4.7.35  For example, it would be possible to make as the default position that National Rail tickets would be valid on regular relevant TfL bus services at weekends, rather than hiring rail replacement bus services. Where London Underground has done this, there are potential savings of 30% over current costs for replacement buses. It is also more convenient for passengers who can catch the bus to/from the most convenient places along the route.

EFFICIENCY

  4.7.36  The means to achieve the objectives above should themselves help to improve efficiency with which resources are used by the rail industry. For example, there is scope for greater efficiency through:

    — carbon—electrification and reduction in fuel consumption;

    — planning—integration not competition between other modes especially in London;

    — outputs—common standards, and

    — franchising—greater use of gross cost contracts for urban railways, which allocate risks (such as changes to levels of employment, population and income) to those bodies that can most cheaply mitigate them.

  4.7.37  HLOS2 should also consider other means of obtaining operational efficiency such as reducing the costs of ticket retailing through simpler fare structures and a move towards the use of contactless credit and debit cards directly as ticket medium, rather than having a bespoke Smartcard. Greater use of driver-only operation, tram-train and automatic train operation could also reduce operating costs.

4.8  Question 8:   Is the current investment programme sufficient for the needs of the UK economy and for passengers themselves?

  4.8.1  TfL believes that the current investment programme is a good start in making the railway in London and the South East fit for purpose for the 21st century. The various elements address the Mayor's transport objectives as shown below:
Supporting economic development and population growth The Crossrail, Thameslink and other National Rail upgrade schemes will provide additional capacity to Central London and significantly improve connectivity in London through, for example, linking Heathrow, central London and Docklands and enhancing links from the City to Gatwick and Luton airports. These investments will improve businesses access to labour and commercial markets and enhance the attractiveness of London as a place to do business.
Providing a better quality of life for all Londoners Enhanced public transport information provision together with reduced public transport crowding will improve the journey experience for those travelling in London. Some rail projects will also enhance the built environment and improve perceptions of the urban realm. There are also significant resources for cycle parking at stations.
Ensuring the safety and security of all Londoners Safety for public transport passengers will continue to be the number one operational priority. HLOS1 targets continued improvement. Implementation of best practice design guidance and improved surveillance (through police officer patrols, staff visibility and CCTV) will reduce crime rates and improve perceptions of personal safety and security.
Improving transport opportunities for all Londoners Physical accessibility of the public transport system will be improved. A "whole journey" approach will deliver increased step free access and other accessibility improvements to the Tube and rail networks to complement accessibility improvements already made to the bus service. Furthermore, improvements to the streetscape will improve physical accessibility and integration of land-use and transport planning will deliver improved walk, cycle and public transport accessibility to jobs and essential services.
Tackling climate changeThe committed and future planned investment programmes in London's transport system will increase the attractiveness of low carbon modes of public transport, walking and cycling and lead to further mode shift away from the car. Decarbonised electricity supply will make electric powered transport, such as the majority of London's railways and electric cars, more environmentally advantageous. The strategic freight network will reduce the costs associated with use of rail for freight movement.



  4.8.2  The investment, therefore, supports the Mayor's vision to develop London as a sustainable World City based on strong economic growth and social inclusion, alongside improvements to its environment and use of resources. TfL believe the programme offers good value for money against the standard cost-benefit methodology, as well as recognition of the region's rail needs. It believes it will also pay off in terms of superior economic performance at both national and regional level.

  4.8.3  The timely delivery of the entire capacity enhancement programme is essential and the Mayor has welcomed the Secretary of State's reassurance that it will be delivered in full without slippage. DfT's Rail team and TfL London Rail worked together in preparing for Control Period 4 and there is every reason to believe they will achieve similar results in the upcoming planning work required for Control Period 5.

4.9  Question 9:   In light of the current economic crisis is it still important that projects designed to increase capacity continue on the present timescale?

  4.9.1  TfL believes that it is indeed it still important that projects designed to increase capacity continue on the present timescale.

  4.9.2  Demand in the period between 2004 and 2008 was growing very fast, at around 5% per annum, and even though demand is now static, there is little sign of any dramatic drop off in demand as measured by the number of journeys in London. This means that trains are still heavily overcrowded on many routes. The recession does mean though that it will not worsen in the near term; it has in effect bought perhaps two years for investment to catch up with a pre-existing problem of overcrowding.

Figure 3

PERCENTAGE OF PEAK HOUR TRAINS ARRIVING OVER CAPACITY[49]


  4.9.3  The current recession and its impact on public finances means that it is more important than ever that the strategy should also identify ways of making the most of the investment delivered and reducing costs in order to maintain the competitive advantage of rail. This note has described above a number of ways by which the industry can make the most of existing resources.

5.  CONCLUSION

  5.1  The choices made in the next high level output statement will affect uniquely affect London given its high dependence on rail. TfL will continue to develop more detail proposals for change in the period through to its expected publication in July 2012.

September 2009






























25   Transport Committee: Press Notice, 27 July 2009. Back

26   Mayor's Transport Strategy-statement of intent, figure 5, page 29, May 2009. Back

27   City of London, City Research Focus, 2007, p 7. Back

28   TfL analysis from DfT's Delivering a Sustainable Transport System and Mayor's Transport Strategy, statement of Intent. Back

29   TfL central area peak count. Back

30   National Rail Trends, 2007-08. Back

31   The Eddington Transport Study, 2006, p 15. Back

32   TfL, Environment Report 2008, 2008, p 16. Back

33   RSSB Sustainable Rail Programme, February 2009. Back

34   Oxford Economic Forecasting, London's Place in the UK Economy 2006-07, 2006, p 20. Back

35   As measured by GVA per capita. Source: Regional Trends 2008. Back

36   Source: National Travel Survey as reported in Regional Trends. Back

37   London Plan, statement of intent, July 2009. Back

38   TEMPRO dataset v5.4. Back

39   TfL estimate. Back

40   TfL analysis, Mayor's Transport Strategy public consultation draft (up-coming). Back

41   TfL origin and destination data. Back

42   A tool used by market researchers to measure quality of service. Mystery shoppers posing as normal passengers perform tasks such as purchasing tickets, asking questions of staff, establishing the presence of accurate information, degree of cleanliness, etc. They provide detailed quantitative feedback about their experiences. Back

43   Source: TfL analysis of costs and benefits. Back

44   List of medium sized National Rail stations includes Balham, Putney, Orpington, Peckham Rye, Putney, Surbiton, Sutton. There are also some London termini where there is congestion of course, as well as stations on the route of Crossrail where there are proposed funded works. Back

45   TfL estimate of costs and benefits. Back

46   Network Rail Freight route utilisation strategy. Back

47   TfL, Transport 2025, 2006, p 34. Back

48   Mayor's Climate Change Action Plan, figure x, page xxiv. Back

49   DfT passenger in excess of capacity data 2007-08. Back


 
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