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Public Transport Organisation and financing in the practise - United Kingdom -. Vince Christie Local Government Association Transport Policy Officer November 2005. Introductions. Mainly concentrating here on bus funding issues rather than rail, although some mention of rail.

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Public TransportOrganisation and financing in the practise- United Kingdom -

Vince Christie

Local Government Association

Transport Policy Officer

November 2005


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Introductions

  • Mainly concentrating here on bus funding issues rather than rail, although some mention of rail.

  • Apologies for technical acronyms!

    There are:

  • Issues of how public transport is funded

  • Issues of how local government is funded in order to itself fund public transport


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Local Government I.

  • Local Government Association formed April1997 –formerly AMA/ADC/ACC. Also WLGA/ALG and COSLA/ALANI for Wales/London and Scotland/N Ireland. GLA for London-wide government outside these.

  • London legislation – different from everywhere else in a number of respects

  • Metropolitan authorities and PTAs/PTEs – Transport Acts 1968 and 1974


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Local Government II.

  • Counties and districts in some areas - from even more variations before 1974

  •  More unitary authorities in the 1990s – Scotland/Wales and parts of England

  • But boundaries now perhaps less convenient for public transport strategies

  •  Wales and Scotland spiralling off from England now in transport and local government legislation after devolution


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Transport legislation I.

Transport Act 1985

privatisation of former NBC and STG (Scotland)/public sector companies set up – led to selling of PTE bus companies but 17 municipal companies left/commercial operations of 70 to 80% of network/service reductions evenings and Sundays and an ‘unmet need’ provision which is funded by local authorities


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Transport legislation II.

  • London legislation – public control of network but private operation via route tendering

  •  Northern Ireland – still public control.

  •  Transport Act 2000 – some changes but not what local government wants

  •  Railways Acts – various – privatisation and all the troubles since/diminution of the PTE role this year except for Merseytravel


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Local Government finance I.

  • Complicated!

  • Three year spending settlements – annual updates for new burdens – this year LGA announces a ‘black hole’ of which £300 million revenue resources shortfall

  • Capital and revenue issues – Transport Capital via 5 year Local Transport Plans (LTPs) published on www.ltpnetwork.gov.uk

  •  No ring fencing is LGA principle!


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Local Government finance II.

  • Concessionary fares via districts (EPCS) – is it a subsidy to public transport or the user?

  • Fuel Duty Rebate/Bus Service Operator Grant – similarly is this a real subsidy?

  • No VAT (sales tax) on public transport fares – same point

  • Bus revenue support via counties and unitaries (in EPCS block of RSG)


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Local Government finance III.

  • Government trying to get more of a regional dimension led by Scotland and Wales, but upset by vote against in NE England – some issues such as bus route funding must be more local. However some regional transport funding allocations are to be made.

  • Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) is the latest Government initiative – July 2005 – linked to road pricing experiments and public transport improvements as part of a package


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Local Government finance IV.

  • Ten Year Transport Plan (10YP) – with targets and private investment assumptions - first published 2000 – seems it is being quietly forgotten.

  • Ambitions in 10YP for light rail – but arguments since on funding – who to blame

  • Light rail and utility diversions

  • Politics of light/heavy rail versus guided bus option


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Local Government finance V.

  • Targets for bus patronage – but we say deregulation needs to have tools in the toolbox see www.lga.gov.uk and www.pteg.net

  • Community railways is latest local rail idea this year, which could involve more local government funding and local responsibility in the end – but where is the money to come from – longer term closure worries?


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Arising from how distribution of local government spending is decided nationally (in England)

  • Rural and urban issues - current circumstances very different esp regarding accessibility and congestion policies

  • North and south balance in spending; eg priority for Crossrail/Olympics around London


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  • Formula funding issues is decided nationally – how to make them fair – not just an issue for transport of course

  • Local funding - S106 planning agreements limited, some parking/road pricing income esp London, no property taxes etc at present for infrastructure although some would like them


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  • Bus operators’ appear to have opposing views to local government about UK legislation on bus regulation – many of them operate in both London and on the continent and operate franchised trains in the UK

  • London – the Mayor and TfL – usage up but costs high and some bold Mayoral decisions eg up to 150% fares increase on single fares on underground from Jan 2006 to encourage electronic ticket use – will disadvantage tourists


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  • Government and/versus local government government about UK legislation on bus regulation – many of them operate in both London and on the continent and operate franchised trains in the UK – always a tension over funding split via DfT, including extent of private investment, and via ODPM which gives overall local government settlement –

  • Ministries often thinking of local authorities as ‘delivery agents’ and wanting performance statistics at the same time as not giving the legislation necessary to allow delivery everywhere.


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The future government about UK legislation on bus regulation – many of them operate in both London and on the continent and operate franchised trains in the UK

  • We want better bus legislation to make all tools available as needed for all areas – no common template

  • We want to preserve and develop local rail networks and maintain network benefits such as through ticketing, there is a need for capital investment on rail bottlenecks

  • We want good accessibility to essential services in both rural and urban areas


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  • We want funding mechanisms which allow authorities to deliver what is necessary locally, in the light of local economic, social and environmental objectives

  • We want a modern and efficient local government trusted by central government and not subject to invasive performance monitoring at every stage


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Main Acronyms deliver what is necessary locally, in the light of local economic, social and environmental objectives

  • DfT – Department for Transport

  • EPCS – Environment Planning and Cultural Services (I think)

  • ODPM - Office of the Deputy Prime Minister

  • PTA/E – Passenger Transport Authority/Executive

  • PTEG – Passenger Transport Executive Group (public transport managers in PTEs)

  • RSG – Rate Support Grant

  • TfL – Transport for London


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Thank you deliver what is necessary locally, in the light of local economic, social and environmental objectivesfor your attention!

Contact:

Vince Christie

Local Government Association UK

E-mail: [email protected]


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