A new Deal for Transport Better for Everyone The Government's White Paper on the Future of Transport Contents Foreword Acknowledgements Scope of the White Paper part I chapter 1: a new Deal for Transport part II chapter 2: Sustainable Transport Chapter

In pursuit of the seamless journey

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In pursuit of the seamless journey
For public transport to provide an attractive alternative to the convenience of a car, it must operate as a network. With the New Deal for transport there will be:

  • more through-ticketing;

  • better facilities at stations and other places for interchange;

  • better connections between and co-ordination of services;

  • wider availability and provision of information on timetables, route planning and fares;

  • a national public transport information system by 2000, available over the telephone, internet etc.

In preparing their local transport plans local authorities will be required to address these matters. For the most part, improvements can be gained through the co-operation of public transport providers and through effective partnerships with local authorities. But, where necessary, we will strengthen local authorities' powers to secure integration.

The integrated transport system that we want can already be seen in other parts of Europe; for example:

  • fares and ticketing - in the Netherlands, 'strippenkaart' tickets allow passengers to make a fixed number of journeys in different Dutch cities using any type of public transport;

  • interconnecting services - in Hanover and Stuttgart, evening passengers can ask their tram driver to radio ahead for a taxi to meet them at their destination stop. The cost is included in the tram fare as a flat-rate add-on;

  • passenger information - since May 1992 passengers in the Netherlands have been able to ring a single national telephone number for full door-to-door timetable, fares and other information;

  • interchange facilities - vandal-proof lockers for cycle storage are provided at stations in the Netherlands. Local buses in Basle and Tubingen carry bikes on special racks or platforms.

Fares and ticketing
Tickets which are easy to get, offer value for money, flexibility and make changing easy can encourage more people to use public transport

Rail operators are required to offer through-ticketing for all rail journeys. There have been some problems but the requirement is closely monitored by the Rail Regulator. There are no equivalent obligations on bus operators. We welcome the positive action taken by some companies to accept other operators' tickets or participate in area ticketing schemes, but more needs to be done. We also welcome the increasing number of operators who are starting to introduce initiatives such as rail-bus tickets. We will encourage their wider use. We want to see more 'travelcard' schemes across the country.

Local authorities when preparing their local transport plans should consider the arrangements for through-ticketing and travelcards. We will publish guidance on good practice and ensure that the necessary powers are available locally to require operators to promote and participate in joint-ticketing/travelcard schemes.

London Travelcard

  • one of the best examples in Britain of a successful area ticket scheme;

  • provides unlimited pre-paid travel within specified zones on bus, rail, underground and Docklands Light Railway services throughout the capital;

  • London Transport estimates that introducing the Travelcard increased bus passenger miles by one fifth with underground use going up by one third.

The structure of bus fares outside London can be very complex. This can add to the time buses spend at stops whilst fares are collected. Unnecessary delay at stops makes buses less attractive and adds to congestion. Passengers who are forced to change buses in the course of their journey usually have to pay twice and pay more than they would if the journey had been made on one bus.

Our proposals to provide local powers to ensure that bus operators participate in multi-operator ticketing schemes will go part of the way to resolving these problems. But we are also looking to the bus industry to introduce simpler fare structures and through-ticketing, where necessary in co-operation with local authorities.

Technology can help to provide better ticketing arrangements. The most should be made of smartcards. We are reviewing the capabilities of technology with key players in the industry, both to identify the potential benefits for integrating journeys and to see what role Government should play to help bring forward viable applications.

Integration through technology

  • CONCERT research project, supported by the European Commission, is piloting integrated payment systems using smartcards for parking fees, bus and rail fares, and in some cases road tolls;

  • pilots in Marseilles, Bristol, Bologna, Dublin, Barcelona and Trondheim.

We will encourage all bus and rail operators to offer carnets (batches of single rail or bus tickets bought at discounted rates) as part of their ticketing range. They can be a flexible alternative to season tickets for part-time workers, and useful for the occasional traveller.

Physical interchange
Many journeys include an interchange, from the relatively straightforward change of buses at a bus stop to major rail stations and airports where several ways of travelling come together. Quick and easy interchange is essential for public transport to compete with the convenience of car use, which is why we will expect local authorities' local transport plans to consider interchange facilities. These audits will assess the adequacy of existing facilities against the key attributes of good interchange:


  • reliable/punctual and frequent services to produce minimal waiting times;

  • short walking distances and clear directional signs;

  • good timetable displays;

  • staff availability;

  • well maintained infrastructure, including public conveniences and baby changing facilities;

  • good personal security;

  • accessibility.

Good practice for interchange

  • Sheffield, Leeds and Laganside in Belfast are examples of high quality bus stations that have been opened in recent years. They have smart and clean waiting facilities, with electronic passenger information systems, travel enquiry centres, retail outlets and security arrangements;

  • cycle lockers to provide secure and weatherproof storage are being introduced at Ipswich railway station and stations in the West Yorkshire PTA area. Some operators, including Anglia Railways are installing cycle racks on trains;

  • Oxford park and ride is the largest in the UK and an essential element in holding down traffic levels in the city.

Local authorities will be expected to identify the improvements that need to be made. Funding will be available through local transport plans for improving interchanges - especially to help disabled people and for pedestrian and cycle access. We will encourage greater use of public-private partnerships to fund improvements.

Designing for better interchange can yield significant benefits and represents good value for money. For example, many towns have re-organised their high street bus stops and now have groups of stops served by interconnecting services. Small scale improvements which can make a real difference but which are often overlooked include:

  • better protection from the weather;

  • instantly readable and relevant information on routes and frequencies;

  • better directional signs between, for example, bus stops and between rail and bus stations;

  • regular cleaning and maintenance;

  • secure parking for bikes at bus shelters.

We will commission further research4 in order to update guidance on interchange, identifying best practice and good design. The guidance will cover the needs of disabled people and will consider the planning process. It will look at the way shops and cafes, well-maintained toilets and baby-changing facilities, and attractive architectural design and public art can add to quality of interchanges and make them safer and more inviting places.

Pedestrian access to rail and bus stations is often poorly designed and can be hazardous. Significant measures also need to be taken to improve provision for cyclists. This is relatively limited even at the larger rail stations and where storage facilities are provided, security is often poor, deterring cyclists from using trains and rail passengers from cycling to the station. We will look carefully in our additional research into interchange at how pedestrian and cycle access can be improved.

All rail operators will be asked to report on their success in meeting the objectives in the code of practice for rail operators developed by Sustrans, the Cyclists Public Affairs Group and the CTC. We will collaborate with local authorities, public transport operators and other bodies to help establish acceptable methods of carrying cycles on buses and coaches.

Providing for cyclists, Sustrans' code of practice for rail operators
Rail operators should provide as far as is reasonably practicable:

  • general customer information on cycle facilities;

  • improved access for cyclists to stations;

  • sufficient, adequate and convenient cycle parking at stations - under surveillance and well-signed;

  • onboard storage of bicycles which is sufficient, safe and secure and does not unduly inconvenience other users;

  • at-station information and help for cyclists.

Local development plans should consider allocating sites for interchange; for example, for park and ride to town centres and at bus and rail stations. Local planning authorities can protect these proposals through the exercise of their development control responsibilities. To help local authorities we have commissioned research into what makes park and ride successful and its effect on car mileage. On completion of the project, which is expected shortly, we will publish advice on best practice.
Timetable co-ordination and service stability

We will bring forward changes to promote service stability and limit the frequency of bus timetable changes as well as improving the quality of timetable information. These will include changing the period of notice required before a registration with the Traffic Commissioners, or its variation, becomes effective, introducing set dates for service changes and proposals for requiring operators to provide service and schedule information electronically in a standard format. Some of these changes can be made by secondary legislation after consultation but others will require primary legislation.

Our proposals will, of course, reflect the need for operators to retain sufficient flexibility to make essential and timely adjustments to meet passenger demand. Bus operators and local authorities will be expected to make progress on a voluntary basis in the interim.

The current railway performance regime - the incentives system used by Railtrack and operators - could be improved to encourage train operators to hold connecting trains when delays occur. We look to the Rail Regulator to address the weaknesses of the current system.

We will continue to encourage bus and train operators to develop the potential of integrated bus and rail services. Some train operators already operate feeder bus services linking stations to those towns that have no rail routes or inadequate connections. We expect the pace of these initiatives to accelerate with increased co-operation between bus and train operators. We will issue general guidance on the application of the prohibitions in the Competition Bill, so as not to deter co-operation between operators that is in the interests of connecting services, co-ordinated timetables and integrated networks.

Local authorities will be expected to establish groups with transport operators, user groups and others to discuss timetable needs and planning. Their recommendations will inform the preparation of local transport plans.

Passenger information
Although operators have recently improved passenger information, its quality still varies dramatically across the country. It is quite good for rail journeys, variable for bus journeys and only good in a few places for journeys involving bus and rail.

For journey planning the customer needs information on

  • timetabling;

  • services;

  • fares;

  • interchange details and facilities;

  • how to book;

  • delays and engineering works.

Train operators are required to co-operate in the provision of passenger information and information must be impartial between rail companies. As part of their licensing agreement, train operating companies are obliged to provide timetable and fare information for a central database5 and operate the National Rail Enquiry Service collectively. The Rail Regulator is presently responsible for enforcing licence conditions and has been active in doing so. Train operators and Railtrack are now working together to improve information. The improvements include:

  • common standards for information displays and timetable information;

  • development of 'real time' information for passengers;

  • co-operation between operators following service disruption.

There is no obligation on bus operators or local authorities to provide published timetables but most of them do so. Local authorities often provide area-wide timetables derived from the information that operators are obliged to send them when registering services with the Traffic Commissioners. There are good examples of well-designed information backed up by telephone enquiry points.

Great Britain Bus Timetable

  • published by Southern Vectis three times a year. Provides comprehensive coverage of long distance bus and coach services, with limited coverage of local services;

  • Southern Vectis also operates a central telephone enquiry service, providing telephone numbers for individual operators so that more detailed information about services (including rail services) can be obtained.

Getting timetable and connection information is vital for many passengers. We are keen to see a national integrated journey timetable set up. The best way forward is to develop a framework which builds on information already available6 and draws on new information schemes as they become available. Passengers would access the system through one enquiry point, even though information would be drawn from different sources. The enquiry points could include a telephone information line, enquiry bureau, teletext and the internet.

In partnership with local authorities, operators and user groups, we will seek agreement on the format of information and interfaces between different systems, and co-ordinate research to provide both local and national coverage.

. The initial focus will be on timetable information but the framework will be developed with the aim of including information on fares.

We will also develop our existing guidance on passenger information including timetables, fares, interchange and booking information across all types of public transport and different media. The new guidance will in addition cover the marketing, promotion and presentation of information, and best practice for in-journey information.

We will ensure that local authorities and transport operators are aware of their duties under Part III of the Disability Discrimination Act which will require them, in certain circumstances, to produce information in formats which are accessible to disabled people. This might include information provided in large print or on audio tape for visually impaired people or given via a minicom for people who are hard of hearing. We will announce the timetable for implementation of the remaining duties in Part III in due course.

Using new technology

  • London Transport's ROUTES (Rail Omnibus Underground Travel Enquiry System) is a sophisticated information system, providing real time multi-modal information on travel in the Greater London area;

  • North West Trains has a web site providing real time information on the state of arrivals and departures at stations in its area as well as timetable and journey planning information;

  • Buckinghamshire County Council provides a comprehensive county-wide public transport guide with a linked map, timetable and route finder;

  • Southampton and Winchester have bus arrival time information at bus stops and late running buses are given priority at junctions through the SCOOT traffic signal control system;

  • Tyne and Wear is developing a transport information service using teletext on cable television and the internet aimed specifically at elderly and disabled people.

To help secure improvements in passenger information at the local level, we will require local authorities to ensure that information about bus services is available in their areas, including at bus stops. This will enhance local authority involvement in promoting public transport. Local authorities will have new powers to secure the availability of passenger information where necessary and to recover the costs from operators. These changes will require primary legislation.

In the short term, we intend to introduce a series of small scale improvements via secondary legislation. These will strengthen the requirements on bus operators to display timetables and fares inside buses.
Better taxis
Taxis are an important part of an integrated public transport system and, together with private hire vehicles (PHVs), fill the gap when most buses and trains have stopped for the night. Local authorities will need to consider these vehicles in their local transport plans including, for example, the priority they are to be given when road space is reallocated and whether there are sufficient taxi ranks in the right places, operating at the right times of day.

It is important that local authorities use their taxi and licensing powers to ensure that taxis and PHVs in their district are safe, comfortable, properly insured and available where and when required. Outside London, taxis and PHVs are regulated by local authorities to check that vehicles are safe and that drivers do not have relevant criminal convictions. In London, the taxi trade is regulated but there is no criminal record check of minicab drivers, nor proper checks on the vehicles or minicab companies. Inadequately regulated minicabs are open to abuse and at worst are an unsafe way to travel. Therefore, following consultation last year, we have concluded that there should be regulation of London minicab drivers, vehicles and operators. We are supporting a Private Member's Bill on this matter but if that should fail for any reason then we would introduce a Bill as soon as Parliamentary time permits.

Travelling without fear
Many of the responses to our consultation for this White Paper suggest that concern about personal security is a constraint on the use of public transport and walking. This can be worse at night and for older people, women and ethnic minorities. People who live in inner city areas with high crime levels can suffer most. Research7 has suggested that over 10% extra patronage of public transport could be generated mainly in off-peak times if travellers, particularly women, felt safer in making their journeys. There is a virtuous circle here - fuller trains and buses make people feel safer when travelling.

Government's objectives for the police

  • targeting and reducing local problems of crime and disorder;

  • making towns and neighbourhoods safer will help promote walking, cycling and public transport as alternatives to the car;

  • securing co-operation of all, including the local community.

The New Deal for transport is about giving people choice. We want people to make more use of public transport but understand that for some, especially women, and for some time, the private car will continue to be perceived as providing the safest way (in terms of personal security) of getting around. The reduction of crime, and fear of crime, wherever it occurs in the transport system will be a major priority.

We will work with local authorities, transport operators, the police and motoring and other organisations on specific measures to reduce fears about personal security on transport, and more generally in the planning and design of urban and rural areas.

Tackling car crime
We are working across Government with the car industry and insurers, motoring and consumer organisations and the police to reduce vehicle crime by, for example:

  • revamping and relaunching the secured car parks scheme, promoted by the Association of Chief Police Officers with the support of the Home Office and administered by the AA. This aims to create a safer parking environment by increasing the number of accredited car parks from 450 to 2,000 by the year 2000;

  • analysing and publishing vehicle crime data to inform motorists of the risk of theft by make and model;

  • setting targets for manufacturers on the performance of vehicle perimeter security and immobilisation devices.

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