Friday, February 20, 2009

Integrated Transport : Update

The Dronfield Labour Party Discussion Group's submission to Compass on "Integrated Transport" needs to be submitted on 23 February. In the light of points made in the appropriate Dronfield Blather comment box, I have amended our initial proposals as indicated below. Other changes have been made to fit in with the word-limits stipulated by Compass.

If you wish to see further amendments, then please give the details in the comment box on this thread over the week-end.

The "Political Education : Update" appears here.

Policy Name : Integrated Transport.

Policy Explanation

A programme to move towards the effective use of an integrated public transport system; involving the establishment of a variety of forms of social ownership for the operations of buses, trams, taxis, aeroplanes, ships and lorries. In order to reduce congestion on our roads, priority will be given to public forms of transport over the use of private cars. A full use of an expanded rail network would be employed for the movement of goods as well as passengers. To maximize the use of public transport facilities, cheap and free fares would be extended, based on need. Current free and concessionary travel facilities for pensioners and others would provide a model for such schemes. Publicly run (or supported) taxi services, buses, trams, planes and ships would be linked whenever possible at bus and tram terminals, airports and ports. Entitlement to air travel would balance the needs of travellers with carbon footprint considerations.

When considering integrated transport policies, account should be taken of how transport effects climate change, and any decisions regarding integrated transport should include plans to reduce carbon emissions from future forms of transport. Consideration must therefore be given to future plans to convert the existing rail network to a completely electrical system of rail transport. An expanded rail network should also be fully electrified. An integrated transport policy should also include plans to develop road transport vehicles with greatly reduced carbon emissions. Types of electrically driven vehicles, which satisfy future transport requirements, will therefore have to be developed if this objective is to be realised. Electrifying the rail network and the provision of road vehicles, which depend on electrical power, will transfer demand from fossil fuels to electrical power and will place greater demands on the electricity supply industry. An integrated transport policy should therefore include plans to increase the amount of electricity produced by renewable sources and plans to replace the current generation of aging power stations with power stations with low carbon emissions.

The role of railways in an integrated transport system would require a curb being placed on the need for the use of heavy road transport with limits being placed on the use of lorries and huge pantechnicons. Their operations would need to be restricted, especially where alternative rail services are available. This could be achieved through the licencing of the giants of the road.

Whilst cheap public transport would attract many away from private car usage, it is likely that a programme of restraints on private car usage will need to be introduced to relieve major avenues of congestion. This will need to be done via a programme of restrictions rather than via a market policy involving the use of congestion charges.

Note : The first paragraph is what originally appeared. The second paragraph is the submission from Jack Wearing in line with points also stressed by Ken Turton. The third paragraph is made up of extracts from Ken Turton's two submissions. Whilst the final paragraph is related to points Bob Heath made at our initial discussion and looks in the direction of comments from "Peezedtee". The word total for the section is 348. The word limit is 400.

Arguments In Favour

1. Freedom of movement for many currently isolated due to age, poverty and residence in isolated communities.

2. Tackling problems of traffic congestion and pollution, with cut backs for disruptive road building programmes.

3. Most travel would be in a social context, with people moving away from being isolated in their cars.

Arguments Against

1. The alienation of those committed to private car ownership and usage.

2. Job losses in the car industry, mitigated by more employment associated with public transport.

3. Current lack of a public service ethos throughout society.

Note : The above two sections go together in needing to be limited to a total of 100 words. They have been cut back from 154 in the original to 83.

How Does The Policy Relate To the Core Beliefs of Compass? (i.e. equality, collectivism, sustainability, democracy.)

An integrated transport system will radically extend equal access to convenient forms of transport to everyone. It will challenge the possessive individualism which arises from the current dominance of private car ownership and advance collective and co-operative forms of behavior. In reducing private car usage, congestion and pollution; a sustainable transport system would reduce the need for road building and disruption. To operate a widespread and interlinked public transport system, there would be the need for a variety of forms of municipal, co-operative, regional and national forms of ownership.

Note : As in the original. 89 words. 100 word limit.

How Does It Build The Institutions Of Social Democracy?

The variety of forms of public ownership mentioned above would require a range of forms of democratic control. Bus and tram companies would be subject to local government ownership. Taxi services could function under co-operative arrangements. Whilst an expanded rail service would function better under national or UK governmental controls. The structure for Air and Shipping Companies would depend on the scope of their operations. Scrutiny by elected representatives would be required at all levels, plus avenues of influence over policies by consumers and producers.

Note : This is a condensed version of the previous 136 words, reduced to 82 words to meet the 100 word limit.

What Are The Cost Implications?

Decisions will have to be made on compensation levels. The scale of compensation can differ between major investors on the one hand and on the other holdings by pensions funds, public bodies and small shareholders. The cut back in the use of private cars will save police and health service costs as accidents and pollution decline. Savings would be made in the decline in the need for road widening and construction programmes, whilst the costs of rail electrification and expansion (plus the need for anti-pollution power stations mentioned earlier) will need to be taken into account.

Note : The changes here arise (a) from the need to cut back on the number of words to fit the 100 word limit (they are down from 111 to 95), and (b) to meet points made by Blogger Brader, Ken Turton and Jack Wearing.

Who Wins And Loses Amongst The Electorate?

Resistance to aspects of the programme would come from many car owners, yet as individuals they would benefit from a more integrated transport system which would build a more civilised society. Strong support would come from many young people (in particular) who have commitments to environmental improvement.

Note : Unchanged. 47 words. Limit 100.

A Sound Bite For The Public?

We will be able to move around conveniently when we want at a cost we can afford.

Note : Unchanged. 17 words.Limit 25.

Where Has This Worked Before?

An aspect of the policy was run by the former South Yorkshire Metropolitan Council in relation to its bus services. It was possible to find buses easily and to interchange between services. Bus prices were held, becoming relatively cheap over time. It was popular and well used, until it was disbanded due to the actions of the Thatcher Government. British Rail also ran a fully (internally) integrated service of some significance prior to the Beeching cuts of the 1960s.

Note : This is the same as previously, plus an extra final sentence drawn from the case made by Ken Turton. 78 words. Limit 100.


  1. Harry re sound bite
    how about "Our children will be able to move...."

  2. I support the idea that taxis should be part of the solution. However they will need to be rationed otherwise car owners could just use them as a replacement for their cars. Our policy should also ensure that usage of taxis would be equitable and not just available to the rich.

  3. Canals are an environmentaly friendly form of transport. I feel we ought to at least list them as an alternative to huge pantechnicons.

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