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1999-06-15 SRA-001
Shadow Strategic Rail Authority

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Assessment of the type and level of services the network should provide


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Shadow Strategic Rail Authority

Assessment of the type and level of services the network should provide
_______________________________________________________________


date
15 June 1999
source Shadow Strategic Rail Authority
type Consultation



CONTENTS


INTRODUCTION
THE ASSESSMENT
CONSULTATION PACKAGE
Section 1 Expanding & Improving the Role of Rail
Section 2 Relationships and Policy Issues
Section 3 Feedback on Assessment Consultation
Section 4 Additional Comments
Annex 1 Ranking Sheets for Questions 1.1/1.5/1.8/1.9.





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INTRODUCTION
Your Views
You are invited to contribute to an assessment of the type and level of services the rail network should provide. This document is to assist you in structuring your contributions. It is intended for consultation with a broad range of interested parties.

It will assist us greatly in considering and evaluating your responses if you would structure and number your comments in the same way as we have adopted for the questions.

Responses
Your response should be addressed to:

Stephen Taylor
OPRAF
Golding's House
2 Hay's Lane
London SE1 2HB
Closing Date
The last date for receipt of responses to this consultation document is:

9 July 1999
Helpline
If you have any queries regarding this consultation exercise or the contents of this document please call:

Stephen Taylor at OPRAF on 0171 940 4399
An outline of the role of OPRAF, together with a series of documents and press releases concerning the national railway, is available on our Website :

www.sra.gov.uk
Contact Details
In case OPRAF needs to follow up with any queries, please ensure that your response contains the following details:

Title of Body
Contact Name (inc. position)
Full Postal Address Telephone No.
Fax No. e-mail Address (if any)
Fax and e-mail
If preferred, queries and responses may be sent to OPRAF by fax or e-mail.

fax number : 0171 940 4210
e-mail address: assessment@opraf.gov.uk
Confidentiality
The responses to this consultation will not be put on a public register. However, they will be used to inform the report to Ministers which might subsequently be published. If there are any parts of your response which you wish to remain confidential would you please indicate this accordingly.

Priorities
We recognise and appreciate the commitment in time and resources which this consultation may require. If you do not feel able to respond to all of the consultation questions, or if you feel that questions are not relevant to you, please concentrate on those you consider to be of greatest relevance.

Thank you for your time and assistance.

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THE ASSESSMENT
Background
The former Minister of Transport, Dr John Reid, asked OPRAF to launch:

"....a consultation with Local Authorities, Consumer Committees, Train Operators and others to get their early views on the development of the country's rail services and infrastructure."

The results of the consultation will be taken into account in an assessment of the type and level of services the network should provide and the development of the strategic plan for the railways. The Assessment will be an input into the future planning of the Strategic Rail Authority.

Speaking at the Rail Summit on 25 February 1999, John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, said:

"We need a clear picture of where we will want the railways to be in ten years time."

"In creating our vision of the railways of the future, we must have in our minds what the users of the system, and especially the travelling public, want to see in the future."

This consultation is an opportunity for you to express a view on your priorities for a better railway.

Integrated Transport White Papers
The Government's integrated transport policies for Great Britain were set out in the White Paper A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone. For Scotland and Wales, these are supplemented by separate policy statements Travel Choices for Scotland and Transporting Wales into the Future. These documents are collectively referred to as the Integrated Transport White Papers. A New Deal For Transport explains what integrated transport policy means:

" integration within and between different types of transport - so that each contributes its full potential and people can move easily between them;
integration with the environment - so that our transport choices support a better environment;
integration with land use planning - at national, regional and local level, so that transport and planning work together to support more sustainable travel choices and reduce the need to travel;
integration with our policies for education, health and wealth creation - so that transport helps to make a fairer, more inclusive society."
Government wants to see public transport, including rail, play a more significant role in meeting all our transport needs. A New Deal for Transport therefore sets the framework to:

produce better public transport, with easier, more reliable connections;
improve choice between different transport modes;
enhance public transport networks;
encourage more through ticketing;
provide better travel information;
ensure more reliable and frequent services; and
give the passenger a bigger voice in public transport.
The 1999 Assessment
The Assessment will consider how to provide a better railway. It will look at key long term issues concerning demand, capacity, service levels, performance and investment, in the light of Government policies for integrated transport, including value for money and affordability.

The Assessment will address:

priorities for rail at national, regional and local level; and
how the rail industry and its stakeholders should be working together to achieve improvements to the network.
OPRAF wishes to focus on ways in which the rail network, railway services and facilities can contribute most effectively towards achieving integrated transport. To assist in this process, OPRAF has developed the following themes:

Expanding rail's role in passenger transport
Seamless journeys for passengers
Improving the quality of passenger rail transport
Expanding freight by rail.
These themes are not exhaustive, but are intended to aid you in the process of identifying and developing strategic options. Please regard them as an enabling device, rather than a constraint.


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Section 1: Expanding and Improving the Role of Rail
A. Expanding Rail's Role in Passenger Transport
One of the key themes of the Government's Integrated Transport White Papers is the need to reduce dependence on the car and the consequent congestion and pollution, by encouraging greater use of public transport.

1.1 We would like to know your views on what the railways should be doing to continue to increase passenger usage and encourage car users to switch to rail. We would like you to respond to the list of possible priorities below by ranking them in order of importance to you.

You will find a sheet for this question at the end of the questionnaire, on which to record your answers.

Please mark

1 against your highest priority
2 against your second
3 against your third, and so on

- until you have ranked the entire list.

A Improve journey times
B Improve frequency of services
C Provide more comfortable trains
D Improve passenger security
E Improve amenities at stations
F Improve punctuality
G Provide better connections
H Provide better timetable information
I Provide better Sunday services
J Reduce fare levels
K Improve reliability
L Provide more staff at stations and on trains
M Provide more through journeys
N Provide better interchange with other transport modes

1.2 Please offer any comments you would like to make on your ranking of the above priorities.

1.3 Please identify any additional priorities you would like to add to the list in question 1.1.

1.4 Please tell us about any other rail network or service improvement initiatives you think would assist in increasing rail passenger usage and encouraging car users to switch to rail.

1.5 Train Operators have introduced a wide range of fares. The cheapest fares often include complex restrictions, require pre-booking and are also subject to quota control. We would like you to indicate your preference on the sheet at the end of this document.

Please show whether you want to see either :

(a) Continued availability of cheap fares with restrictions and pre-booking

or

(b) A simplified fares structure even at the cost of losing the availability of the cheapest fares.

1.6 What types of measures should the rail industry be taking to improve the attractiveness of rail to motorists, pedestrians, cyclists and bus users.

1.7 Demand for travel to and from air and sea ports is rising, for passengers, employees and freight. How can rail play a greater role in providing these links?


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B. Transport Integration and Seamless Journeys
Another key theme of the Integrated Transport White Papers is the concept of the seamless journey. We are keen to understand which factors are of greatest importance to passengers. The key elements are described as:

More through ticketing, between modes as well as between rail operators.
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 system of integrated public transport information available by the year 2000 over the telephone, on the Internet, and by other means.
1.8 To what degree are the following priorities important for making rail travel more accessible? We would again like you to respond to the list of priorities below by ranking them in order of importance to you. You will find a ranking sheet for this question at the end of the questionnaire, on which to record your answers.

Please mark

1 against your highest priority
2 against your second
3 against your third
4 for the lowest priority

Security of passengers
Provision of information
Ticketing arrangements
Intermodal interchanges and connections
It would also be helpful if you would indicate reasons for your priorities on your original reply and not on the ranking sheet.

1.9 The Railtrack 1999 Network Management Statement (NMS) identifies five themes for assessing the standard of station facilities:

Accessibility - Unassisted disabled access to all platforms, platform length and disabled toilets

Comfort and convenience - Sheltered waiting accommodation, waiting rooms and toilets

Integrated transport - Car parking, bus/light rail interchanges, taxi ranks and cycle racks

Information & Communications - Customer information systems, public communications address, help points and pay phones

Safety and security - CCTV, lighting, anti-slip floors and handrails in subways and on footbridges

We would again like you to respond to the above list of priorities by ranking them in order of importance to you. You will find a sheet for this question at the end of the questionnaire, on which to record your answers.

Please mark

1 against your highest priority
2 against your second, and so on

- until you have ranked the entire list.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

C. Making Rail Travel Easier and More Attractive
1.10 What priorities do you suggest the railways should adopt in making rail travel more accessible to those with mobility difficulties?

1.11 How can rail travel better serve the differing requirements of differing social, ethnic, gender, mobility and economic groups?


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D. Freight by Rail
Government policy is to facilitate transfer of freight traffic from road to rail. Local Authorities, in preparing development plans, will be expected to consider opportunities for rail connections to existing manufacturing, distribution and warehousing sites adjacent or close to the rail network, and to allocate suitable sites for new development, which can be served by rail.

1.12 What land use or other policies would help to increase freight on, and transfer freight to rail, e.g. establishing freight terminals or road to rail transfer facilities?

1.13 What else could be done, and who should be doing it?


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Section 2: Relationships and Policy Issues
The Integrated Transport White Papers emphasise that land use planning plays a central role in delivering sustainable development. They also emphasise the importance of inclusive consultation and a strong voice for consumers.

2.1 How can relationships and processes with the rail industry be improved to facilitate the rail aspects of transport planning?

2.2 Government has indicated in the Integrated Transport White Papers, their intentions to strengthen the passenger's voice. How do you think this can be best achieved?

2.3 The growth in demand for rail services and consequent increase in the number of trains operated, have required both the Rail Regulator and the Franchising Director to consider priorities in the use of existing network capacity, including freight. Consideration is also being given to how capacity may be expanded, consistent with value for money and affordability. We would be interested in your views on how priorities in the use of existing network capacity should be determined.

2.4 Please include any general comments you may wish to make on Railtrack's 1999 NMS, or specific comments relating to proposals in your area.


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Section 3: Feedback on Assessment Consultation
3.1 Do you think this consultation is focused on the right issues? What other issues should it have considered?

3.2 Were the questions clear?

3.3 Were the questions easy to respond to? If not, how could they be improved?

3.4 Did you have sufficient time to respond to the consultation?


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Section 4: Additional Comments
4.1 Please provide any additional comments you consider relevant for the Assessment of the type and level of services the network should provide.


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Annex 1 : Ranking Sheets for Questions 1.1/1.5/1.8/1.9
Q.1.1

We would like to know your views on what the railways should be doing to continue to increase passenger usage and encourage car users to switch to rail. Please respond to the list of possible priorities below by ranking them in order of importance to you.

Please mark

1 against your highest priority
2 against your second
3 against your third, and so on

- until you have ranked the entire list.




Priorities
Rank

A Improve journey times
B Improve frequency of services
C Provide more comfortable trains
D Improve passenger security
E Improve amenities at stations
F Improve punctuality
G Provide better connections
H Provide better timetable information
I Provide better Sunday services
J Reduce fare levels
K Improve reliability
L Provide more staff at stations and on trains
M Provide more through journeys
N Provide better interchange with other transport modes



Q. 1.5

Train Operators have introduced a wide range of fares. The cheapest fares often include complex restrictions, require pre-booking and are also subject to quota control. Please show whether you want to see either :

(Please place below a v against the statement that represents your views)



a. Continued availability of cheap fares with restrictions and pre-booking.



b.
A simplified fares structure, even at the cost of losing the availability of the cheapest fares.

Q.1.8

To what degree are the following priorities important for making rail travel more accessible? We would again like you to respond to the list of priorities below by ranking them in order of importance to you.

Please mark

1 against your highest priority
2 against your second
3 against your third
4 for the lowest priority.



Priorities
Rank

Security of passengers

Provision of information


Ticketing arrangements


Intermodal interchanges and connections


Q.1.9

The Railtrack 1999 NMS identifies five themes for assessing the standard of station facilities. Please respond to the list of priorities below by ranking them in order of importance to you.

Please mark -

1 against your highest priority
2 against your second priority, and so on

- until you have ranked the entire list.



Priorities
Rank

Accessibility

Comfort and convenience


Integrated transport


Information & communications


Safety and security


Please attach the completed ranking sheets to your response.


Railhub Archive ::: 1999-06-15 SRA-001





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