Examination of Witnesses (Questions 220
WEDNESDAY 19 APRIL 2006
Q220 Mark Pritchard: Under your proposals,
you expect the effects of the Low Emissions Zone to be carbon
neutral, that is it would improve air quality but not reduce carbon
emissions. Why is this, given that it is only achieving half of
Dr Austin: The main objective
of the Low Emissions Zone was to reduce the most polluting, the
HGVs, buses and coaches, so that is particularly particulates
and NOx. The prime aim was not to reduce carbon. For example,
if someone has an old, poorly-maintained vehicle and they decide
to upgrade it to a brand new vehicle, then there will be fuel
efficiency savings which will go through to carbon savings but,
alternatively, people could put particulate traps on and therefore
there will not be the carbon dioxide saving.
Q221 Mark Pritchard: Your colleague
Isabel mentioned sticks. Do you think this is another stick and
the Department for Transport ought to be offering more carrots
before sticks are applied as far as coaches, buses, vans and HGVs
coming into London are concerned? People have to go about their
Dr Austin: Looking at the figures,
I think the majority of vehicles will meet the standard; some
of them will not. The critical factor is that a thousand people
a year are dying as a result of poor air quality in London. We
need to do something otherwise there will be problems and therefore
to wait, I do not think is really the answer.
Q222 Mark Pritchard: I understand
that point. I think we would all agree that we have to do something,
but hopefully we might all agree that it needs to be in co-ordination
with government policy, and there needs to be joined-up thinking
and linkage between policies in the capital of our country and
what the Government is planning strategically for the rest of
the nation otherwise we might find ourselves in difficulty in
achieving the objectives in the medium and long term.
Dr Austin: We are discussing those
issues with the Government and also, more importantly, discussing
it with key stakeholders, such as the Society of Motor Manufacturers,
the Confederation of Passenger Transport et cetera, who have an
important interest in that to work out what their views are and
how we can best address their problems and needs.
Q223 Mark Pritchard: I presume the
Rail Freight Association and so on and so forth?
Dr Austin: The FTA and the RHA.
Q224 Mark Pritchard: Coming to Heathrow,
some people claim that Heathrow is in breach of EU levels on air
quality; it is arguable. I wonder what your thoughts are, Transport
for London, vis-a"-vis airport expansion in the South East
and what impact that may or may not have on carbon emissions and
your strategy on reducing those?
Ms Dedring: I guess, first of
all, as you probably know, because a lot of the standards of what
is counted and is not counted are set through Kyoto, when we look
at aviation in London, we are only counting on-ground activity
basically and take-offs and landings. It does not take into account
the flights that Londoners take and the freight that is brought
in by air which, if you did include that, would be equivalent
to twice the size of London's total transport emissions, so it
is vast and dwarfs the transport emissions from London itself.
However, that is not an area that we have been looking at. We
have primarily looked at the impact of airport expansion on ground
transport in terms of getting people to and from the airport,
but obviously if one was to consider the truly attributable percentage
of that air travel to London, then we would have to really re-think
where our focus lay, but at the moment that is not pertinent.
Q225 Mark Pritchard: Finally, Chairman,not
a suggestion, just a questiondo you think that might involve
some sort of linkage to the Heathrow Express which currently does
not run, am I right, from terminal four because you have to change
and get on at one, two or three? Is that something that you might
be having discussions with BAA on?
Dr Austin: Certainly as part of
the terminal five expansion there. The Heathrow Express will go
to terminal five, as far as I can recall, and that will be the
terminal British Airways will be flying out of, and I think they
are fairly happy with that. I think the issue with airport expansion
again is that it is unlikely Heathrow will meet the targets for
NOx and PM10 by 2010, so there are obviously concerns there. The
Government, I think, is doing some work on looking at environmental
implications on Heathrow and the work will be out at the end of
the year. When that work is published, it is a question of having
a look through that and seeing what implications that will have
for airport expansion.
Q226 Mark Pritchard: Coming back
to terminal four, I fly from Heathrow quite a lot so I should
know, but I keep thinking that the Heathrow Express does not run
to terminal four, is that right?
Ms Dedring: You mean terminal
five, the new terminal?
Dr Austin: It runs to terminal
Q227 Mark Pritchard: It does, so
it runs to every terminal?
Dr Austin: Yes.
Mr Evers: And it will run to terminal
five which will be the main BA terminal.
Mark Pritchard: Thank you.
Q228 Lynne Featherstone: This is
about travel demand. You say you are increasing the budget to
£30 million. I have to say, I have always thought that the
money that is spent on reducing demand on travel plans is miniscule
compared with the major infrastructure projects. I just wondered
if you had done any comparators, bang for buck effectively, on
what you get your best out of in terms of both carbon emissions
reduction and also modal shift for the money you spend on these
kinds of measures as opposed to money you spend on some of the
large infrastructure projects?
Ms Dedring: They are not really
comparable because they tend to be in different areas for different
purposes. A large-scale rail scheme is primarily for radial commuting
versus demand management, but roughly per space created on the
network, if you want to think about it that way, it is one-fifteenth
or one-twentieth of the cost. If you think about raw capacity
on the network and you try and equate a seat on the Tube with
space for somebody to drive with a seat on the bus, it is roughly
Q229 Lynne Featherstone: There is
this theory, is there not, that there will be a limit to how much
public transport you can have and therefore, ultimately, you are
going to need to change behaviour, which all this travel planning,
travel reduction and reducing the need to travel, will attack
whereas provision of more public transport will have a finite
Ms Dedring: The additional provision
of transport creates induced demand, as you know, and that historically
has all operated on the basis of new transport technologies coming
out which can then support that additional demand, but it is not
clear what that new technology is. In the 1950s and 1960s it was
the car, before that it was rail and before that it was canals.
What is the new thing that is going to enable people to move faster
over longer distances which would enable the infinite spread of
London, for example?
Q230 Lynne Featherstone: Apart from
twitching your nose and hoping you can transport yourself like
Ms Dedring: Quite. I think the
challenge of the demand management is helping people to understand
that we are not asking them to reduce their volume of activity
and what they want to do, it is just the way they are doing it
and when they are doing it.
Q231 Lynne Featherstone: Perhaps
you would like to describe what the £30 million is going
Ms Dedring: If I just look at
the schools and the workplace, there are school travel plans and
workplace travel plans, where we are basically targeting organisations
rather than individuals because it is much more cost-effective
and work and school are the primary trip purposes during the peak.
In terms of the workplace, we are quite reactive, we were targeting
employers who came to speak to us, usually looking for infrastructure
changes on the road network asking, "Can you put in some
helpful traffic lights here?" "Well, no, would you like
a workplace travel plan instead?" Now we are trying to totally
invert that and focus on the largest employers because if you
can get the top 300 employers in London, you have got 10% of all
employees or the top 10% of employers, you could get roughly 70%
of all of London's employees that way. There is a huge bulk of
employees employed by the largest employers. That is where we
really need to be focusing our activities, but in order to do
that you need to have a really high-skilled team of people to
go in and talk to them, you cannot send somebody who does not
know how to speak to senior business decision makers into that
kind of environment. It used to be that we would bring along 200
or 300-page documents saying, "Here is how to incentivise
people to cycle to work"; nobody is going to read that and
so we are trying to be much more intelligent about the quality
of materials and people that we are sending in, and both of those
things cost more money. Schools are a similar thing; we are trying
to focus on schools that are in areas of highest congestion where
the parents will tend to have an incentive to want to not drive
because they are experiencing very high levels of congestion in
driving their children to school, so starting with the schools
that are in the most congested areas where the school run is contributing
very significantly to the congestion, we have basically mapped
congestion on the network against where schools are located.
Q232 Lynne Featherstone: Do you have
targets for carbon emissions for the money that you put in for
Ms Dedring: Not at the moment.
If I understand the question then, no, not really where we would
assign CO2 reductions to all of our policies on a more
consistent basis, but we do have a sense of what we would expect
travel demand management, as a whole, to deliver from a CO2
Q233 Lynne Featherstone: Lastly,
what are you doing to assist car clubs and do you think the Department
for Transport is doing enough to assist them nationwide?
Ms Dedring: It is quite a difficult
area because they are private companies, so TfL is trying to assist
them. Simply granting money to an organisation that may be struggling
from a commercial standpoint anyway we do not see as being necessarily
a sustainable way to contribute to car clubs. Rather helping them
in terms of getting parking spaces on the road and getting around
some of the local planning problems with getting parking spaces
freed up is where we are trying to focus our activities. It is
quite a difficult area and it is very fragmented at the moment.
There is quite a number of providers and a low level of consumer
understanding of what is being offered and the offer is still
relatively expensive, so there are a lot of problems on a number
of different dimensions.
Q234 Emily Thornberry: Nowhere in
Britain has been more successful in encouraging cycling than London,
so what is the secret of your success?
Dr Austin: I think it is a number
of things. Firstly, it is investment. We have quadrupled the investment
over the last five years. That is not only by putting hard measures
in, cycle lanes, parking et cetera, but also funding soft measures,
better information, more cycle training, and linking this to other
elements. For example, the travel demand management has certain
elements of cycling associated with it. When you are talking to
a person, you work out they could and would want to cycle, then
you can give them a range of measures to do that, for example
if they need training to encourage them to cycle or whatever,
that is one thing. Certainly, the issue to do with cycle lanes
and I think about half the budget, £12.5 million, is going
to develop cycle lanes not only on the road but also through parks
and along green areas. This is a big incentive; people feel safer
on the cycle lanes, safer travelling through parks and along canals
rather than on the roads. I think once you have got that and there
is a critical mass, more and more people will cycle. Cycling use
has doubled over the last four or five years. We are getting to
the stage now where people see cyclists, they are much more visible
in London and as you see more cyclists, you start thinking to
yourself, "That might be something for me" and that
encourages them more.
Q235 Emily Thornberry: You have had
terrible trouble though, have you not, getting cycling integrated
with rail travel and some difficulties with stations around London?
Do you know about this, and, if you do, could you tell us a little
bit about it?
Dr Austin: There is certainly
the issue of providing sufficient parking at rail stations. We
are working with the train operating companies to provide not
only cycle racks but also cycle lockers, which are a far more
secure way of putting cycles away. I think we are putting about
£700,000 a year into that. As part of TfL's commitment, they
are looking on new infrastructure they are putting in, such as
DLR stations, to provide enough parking for 25 cycles so that
integrates into TfL's planning process.
Q236 Emily Thornberry: I was thinking
particularly about St Pancras, which is going to be the biggest
European rail hub, and yet provision for parking bicycles has
just not been considered at all, and it has been TfL that is having
to pay for it, is it not?
Dr Austin: That does not surprise
me. We are paying for it throughout the network, but in order
to get people to cycle to a station rather than maybe driving
or whatever throughout London to improve the integration modes,
it is essential to do that.
Q237 Colin Challen: You have a very
prominent advertising campaign promoting bus use and cycling and
so on. How much are you spending on that, are you aware?
Ms Dedring: I do not know the
answer off the cuff. I can get that for you.
Dr Austin: No.
Q238 Colin Challen: Do you measure
its effectiveness, and have people been asking how effective it
has been, particularly the DfT itself?
Dr Austin: I am not sure about
the DfT. We will measure the effectiveness of campaigns by doing
market research, product recall et cetera to identify whether
people have seen the campaigns and whether they have changed the
way they think about things. I do not have any results to hand
at the moment, but I am sure we could provide those.
Q239 Colin Challen: How long has
it been running now?
Dr Austin: The bus campaign has
been running for a number of years. The large cycling campaign
has just been launched, I think, a few weeks ago.
Chairman: Thank you very much. We have
covered quite a wide range of issues. We are very grateful to
you for coming in and if we could have the extra bits of information
we have discussed, that would be very helpful.