WHAT FUTURE FOR RAIL
TEN YEAR PLAN FOR TRANSPORT?
Report to the All Party Parliamentary Rail Group
What future for Rail in the Ten Year Plan for Transport?
Preface by All Party Parliamentary Rail Group
The All Party Parliamentary Rail Group (APPRG) comprises over 300 parliamentarians from both Houses who are interested in rail issues. It meets regularly in Westminster and arranges visits both in the UK and abroad. Lawrie Quinn MP and Nick Hawkins MP are the joint chairmen of the APPRG. This Report was commissioned by the APPRG as a contribution to the current debate on transport policy. It is timely in that the Government is currently undertaking a review of the Ten Year Plan and the next Comprehensive Spending Review is under way. The 10 Year Plan for Transport published in 2000 provided an innovatory framework, particularly for investment. The principles lying behind the plan commanded a wide degree of all-party support. Events have however now challenged the assumptions of the Plan, both for road and rail, and the APPRG concluded that a new and independent systematic analysis would be of value. That is why we decided to commission this report by Professor Phil Goodwin of University College London, a widely acknowledged expert authority on transport economics. We are grateful for the financial support from The Railway Forum, which made this possible. Having agreed outline terms of reference with us, the approach and responsibility for the report lies totally with Professor Goodwin. The All Party Group now welcomes this report; we are very satisfied with the quality of the analysis and therefore commend it for wider study. We believe that the report adds very powerfully to our understanding of the issues and have noted Professor Goodwin's conclusion on the continuing economic rationale of strong programmes of both road and rail investment, along with modification to the prices and charges regimes for both modes. Professor Goodwin has helped to raise the level of public understanding and debate, and this is central to our purpose. With some reshaping, a 10-year (and longer) planning framework clearly remains an essential tool of public policy. Road user charging is now on the political agenda, as is the financing of the railways with the publication of the Rail Regulator's draft Final Conclusions of his Interim Review of Network Rail's Access Charges. The APPRG intends to facilitate a number of meetings at different levels to disseminate the report's analysis both within Parliament and Government, the rail industry and the wider community of business, both freight and passengers, and thus promote a lively and well informed public debate and, hopefully, engender some degree of common ground on the way forward. November 2003
Contacts: Lawrie Quinn MP, Nick Hawkins MP, joint Chairmen, APPRG House of Commons , l,
Adrian Lyons, Secretariat APPRG and Director Genera The Railway Forum - 020 7259 6543 2
A key feature of the present period is the collapse of a policy consensus, which had slowly emerged in UK transport planning over several decades, that the role of railways should, can, and will increase in importance and scale. The Government's 1998 White Paper A New Deal for Transport had announced a railway renaissance'. In July 2000, the Ten Year Plan for Transport, proposed a programme of investment in which, for the first time, rail would have as much funding as roads. Given that rail had a substantially smaller market share at the national level, this meant a very high priority indeed, although actually the majority of investment for public transport would be private, while the majority of investment for private transport would be public, which was problematic. Successful completion of this investment programme was forecast to produce rapid, unprecedented growth of 50% in passenger traffic and 80% in rail freight. With other policies, it was hoped that road congestion...
Links: "Another argument for rail subsidy is to relieve road congestion, but with congestion charging on the agenda for Britain that is no longer valid
we need to know much more about this from the SRA" (Observer, 3.8.2003)
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