Land trasport security - scope for further EU involvement? - Transport Committee Contents

Conclusions and recommendations

The risk-based approach

1.  We recommend that Government acknowledge the importance of the work done by TruckPol and work with industry to ensure that the successor system is fit for purpose. (Paragraph 10)

Security of transport interchanges and mass transit security

2.  We recommend that the Government explain what action it is taking to improve the security of the UK's multi-modal transport hubs. (Paragraph 20)

Rail security

3.  We conclude that while there is some support for commonality of rail standards, there is no appetite for further EU legislation in this area. We note that the DfT considers that EU-level action would be best delivered through updates to the EU-wide standards found in the Technical Specifications for Interoperability. We recommend that the Government seek further information from the Commission and report back to us on the exact nature of potential legislative changes that are discussed in the Commission's document. (Paragraph 21)

The training of staff and planning for the aftermath of an incident

4.  The proposals for mandatory requirements for training are not supported by either the rail or road haulage and distribution sectors. However, despite existing arrangements, concerns remain about the consistency of staff training, particularly in the rail sector. We recommend that the DfT work with the rail industry and other relevant stakeholders to address these concerns. In the first instance, the DfT should review the mandatory and best practice standards relating to training requirements in the National Railway Security Programme. (Paragraph 23)

Technology and equipment

5.  We recognise that the development of new security equipment will be driven by a number of factors, including commercial needs and regulatory standards. We recommend that further work is undertaken to determine appropriate action for encouraging the development of new security equipment. This is something that we would like to see the advisory groups on land transport security (discussed later in this report) take forward. (Paragraph 24)

Research on transport security

6.  We support the closer alignment between transport security policy and funding available for EU research. (Paragraph 25)

Secure lorry parking

7.  We recommend that the Government work with representatives from the road haulage and distribution sector to identify and overcome barriers to the provision of secure lorry parking sites. (Paragraph 28)

Cybercrime against transport

8.  We recommend that the DfT update us in 12 months on its progress in exploring pan-European arrangements for dealing with the threat of cybercrime against land-based transport networks. (Paragraph 29)

9.  We recommend that the Government, in consultation with industry, should consider the viability of proposals to increase coordination of security measures in relation to cross-border services, as an alternative to further EU legislation. (Paragraph 31)

Reaction to land transport security advisory groups

10.  We agree with the Government and industry that the new advisory groups on land transport security could be a useful forum for exchanging information and sharing good practice. We recommend that the Government provide further information on who should be included in these two groups, the actual composition of members on them, and on lines of communication between them. (Paragraph 33)

Our opinion to the European Scrutiny Committee

11.  The issues raised in the Commission's document are significant and deserve proper consideration in the House of Commons if, and when, more detailed proposals come forward. We do not consider that a debate in a European Committee would be appropriate at this stage because of the lack of detail in the proposals as they stand. However, given the industry's strong disinclination towards EU legislation in this area, we recommend that the European Scrutiny Committee keep abreast of, and alert the House to, any further proposals as they arise from the Commission, with a view to recommending them for debate. (Paragraph 34)

Principal conclusions for Government

12.  We encourage Government to participate actively in the Member States' Advisory Group on land transport security. Through this forum the Government should provide input into further discussions on EU proposals in this area. The Government is already alert to the potential that action at the EU-level might result in levelling down existing security measures and it should steer discussion towards an approach more appropriate to UK land-based transport sectors. Furthermore, the DfT should note the concerns about current weaknesses in the land transport security regime identified in this report and ensure that these are addressed at the appropriate level. We recommend that the Government provide us with an update in its response to us, and again 12 months from now, on the Commission's emerging proposals, including the work of the advisory groups on land transport security, Government's contribution to the development of these proposals, and its view on the proposals as they stand. (Paragraph 35)

13.  There is a risk that in conflating such a wide range of security issues the Commission's thinking on how to deal with those issues will lack focus. We urge the Government, through its participation in the Member States' Advisory Group, to ensure that future EU land transport security proposals are more focussed and that a broad range of security issues, which each require distinct responses from Government, are not unnecessarily conflated. Government should also ensure that appropriate measures are brought forward to deal with these differing types of security challenges. (Paragraph 36)

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Prepared 22 March 2013