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London Transport Users Committee – Update

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					Subject: London Transport Users Committee –
Update

Report Number:
Date:               22 July 2004

Report to:          Transport Committee

Report of:          Director, London Transport Users Committee


1.   Summary

1.1 This report provides members with an update of recent activities of London
    Transport Users Committee (LTUC) and its out-turn performance against the
    targets set in 2003-04 Business Plan, together with a financial report for the 12
    months ended the 31st of march 2004.

2.   Finance

2.1 LTUC’s budget from the GLA for 2003 - 04 was set at £1,289,000, to which is
    added an estimated £20,415 as recompense from the Rail Passengers Council
    (RPC) in respect of work done on rail safety matters for the Rail Passengers
    Council/Committee network on two days per week by LTUC’s Deputy Director.
    LTUC budgeted for expenditure totalling £1,310,368, the difference of £953 was
    to be funded from reserves.

2.2 The actual receipts from the RPC for the year were £26,373. In addition LTUC
    received £1,037 interest on its Business High Interest Account.

2.3 A summary of LTUC’s income and expenditure for the year can be found in
    appendix A to this report. The summary shows that as at 31 March 2004, LTUC
    had spent £1,316,457 compared with income of £1,316,410. LTUC’s Chair’s
    Panel approves virements as necessary to balance budget heads. The principal
    variations between budget and out-turn can be found (a) in the pay budget
    which was under spent because there were periods in the year when LTUC had
    staff vacancies waiting to be filled, and (b) the accommodation budget which
    was overspent because LTUC had expected to set the whole of the rent-free
    period negotiated in respect of the new offices against its 2002-03 and 2003-04
    budgets. However, during last year’s audit (after the 2003-04 budget had been
    agreed) the auditors advised that, under accounting rules, the benefit has to be
    spread over the length of the lease.

2.4 LTUC’s accounts are about to be audited and full, accruals-based, accounts will
    be presented to the Committee, probably in mid- September.
2.5 During the year LTUC adopted SAGE as its IT accounting package and its
    accounts are now fully computerised.

2.6 Following receipt of questions from the GLA’s Head of Core Finance on the
    Governance Report submitted by LTUC, discussions are taking place with the
    auditors to consider whether any additional internal procedures need to be put
    in place to ensure best practice in respect of good governance.

Complaints Handling

3.1 During 2003-04 LTUC received 60% more appeals cases than it had received in
    2002-03. The increase is almost wholly due to the effects of the Chancery Lane
    derailment. However, as predicted when LTUC presented its last report to
    Transport Committee, that was a blip and this year new appeals are running at
    approximately the same level as was the case in 2002-03. This experience does,
    however, demonstrate that LTUC’s casework workload is entirely dependent on
    factors outside its control.

     New cases received 1.4.02 – 31.3.03                      1103
     New cases received 1.4.03 – 31.3.04                      1762

     Actual increase in new cases 2003-04                      659
     Over 2002-03
     % increase 2003-04 over 2002-03                           60%

     Cases finalised 1.4.02 – 31.3.03                         1219
     Cases finalised 1.4.03 – 31.3.04                         1885
     Actual increase in cases finalised by LTUC               666

     % increase in cases finalised by LTUC                     55%


3.2 LTUC is currently checking data to be able to include accurate figures in its
    annual report as to the amount of money it has secured for complainants in 2003-
    04. It will be in excess of £70,000. This compares with a total of £11,212 in
    2002-03. In addition, in both years LTUC secured a number of free tickets and
    other forms of compensation, the value of which is difficult to determine. 2003-04
    was an exceptional year because of the Chancery Lane derailment. Nearly
    £62,000 of the money secured by LTUC related to the Chancery Lane incident
    and it is unlikely that the same high levels of compensation will be secured in the
    current year.

3.3 LTUC sets great store in trying to meet complainants aspirations vis-à-vis the
    handling of complaints. LTUC believes that this is the best measure of its
    success with transport users and this and future reports will concentrate on this
    as the measure by which LTUC is judged. Every final reply sent to an appellant is
    accompanied by a questionnaire and six-monthly reports are prepared for LTUC
    members analysing the replies received. Two of the questions asked specifically
    relate to matters within LTUC’s direct control.
3.4
      Question 1: How satisfied were you with the way LTUC handled your
      concerns?

      Answer on a weighted scale ranging from 100 (= 100% ‘very satisfied’)
      to 0 (= 100% ‘very dissatisfied)

      Oct 02 to March 03      April 03 to Sept 03        Oct 03 to March 04
               75                        74                       83


3.5 The figure of 83 is the highest level of satisfaction that LTUC and its
    predecessor Committee have achieved since records began in October
    1993.

3.6
      Question 2: How quickly did LTUC deal with your concerns?

      Answer on a weighted scale where 100 (= 100% ‘very quickly’) to 0 (=
      100% ‘much too slowly’)

      Oct 02 to March 03      April 03 to Sept 03        Oct 03 to March 04
               75                        57                      67


3.7 The score of 67 represents a 10 points increase over the past six months.
    LTUC has continued to employ a part-time member of staff on a full-time basis for
    most of this period to deal with the level of casework currently being presented.
    However, staff sickness has impacted on LTUC’s ability to get back fully to the
    satisfaction levels that were achieved prior to the Chancery Lane incident.

Policy Development

4.1 LTUC completed its planned policy development programme for 2003 – 04 in line
    with its Business Plan objectives and most of the reports were published by the
    end of the financial year. The remaining two reports will have been published by
    the time that Transport Committee meets.

4.2 The report ‘When is a train not a train?’ on rail replacement bus services has
    resulted in London Underground arranging a seminar later this month to take
    forward LTUC’s findings. All Train Operating Companies operating in the London
    area are being invited.

4.3 The report ‘Where is this?’ – an audit of station name signs – has been well
    received and a number of train operators have approached LTUC to take forward
    its concerns.

4.4 The reports ‘Whose station am I?’ on the requirements of and problems
    encountered by passengers at stations jointly served by London Underground
   and the national railways, and ‘Fare deals for London?’ reviewing the pricing of
   rail travel in the capital will be published over the coming days. LTUC is confident
   that the finding in both documents will contribute to changes in transport which
   will benefit people travelling by rail in and around London.

4.5 One project that LTUC advised in its last report would be carried through to the
    current year is now making good progress. This relates to problematic bus
    routes. After consultation with London Assembly members, local authorities and
    its own members, LTUC has selected routes 123, 263 and the G1 for a study
    which will involve volunteers being asked to complete a diary of their travel
    experience, followed by focus groups at locations along the lines of route. The
    object is to assess the impact of corridors being wholly reliant on the operation of
    a single bus route. This study results from long-standing complaints about poor
    performance on route 263, which is the only means of public transport between
    East and North Finchley and the only bus service between East Finchley and
    Highgate station. LTUC plans to complete this project in time to publish its report
    in October in line with its current Business Plan commitment.

4.6 LTUC is in discussions with staff in the Assembly’s Secretariat to consider how
   its policy development reports might be given a wider airing at City Hall.

4.7 LTUC is actively involved in the rail re-franchising process. It is working jointly
    with the Rail Passengers Committee for Southern England, the Corporation of
    London and Transport for London to press for changes to the proposed
    Integrated Kent franchise. It is working with the Rail Passengers Committee for
    Scotland, North Eastern England and Eastern England to secure the best deal for
    the new East Coast Main Line franchise.

4.8 LTUC is actively contributing as a member of the Stakeholder Fora for the
    Strategic Rail Authority’s (SRA) Regional Planning Assessments for Kent and for
    Eastern England. It is also providing input to the SRA’s work on Route Utilisation
    Strategies in and around London.

4.9 LTUC is involved with the London 2012 Olympic Forum pressing for the best
    possible transport arrangements should that bid be successful. LTUC is also
    keen to ensure that any transport improvements secured as part of the bid will
    have a legacy benefit for London.

4.10 LTUC is continuing to lead the work of London Buses ‘Bus Design Forum’.
   The Chair of LTUC chairs the Forum.

4.11 LTUC’s ‘Station Champions’ are continuing to work with Network Rail to
   secure improvements to the 11 ‘Major Stations’ in the LTUC area. A process has
   been put in place to identify common themes which might be taken up with
   Network Rail centrally.

Communications

5.1 LTUC has circulated its new publicity leaflet widely in its area and requests
    continue to be received for further supplies. It has been well received, for
    example by MPs’ constituency assistants who have indicated that they will find it
    a useful tool in dealing with constituents’ complaints about public transport.

5.2 LTUC is nearing completion of work to refresh its web site.

5.3 LTUC is liasing with the Rail Passengers Council on its nationwide proposals to
    promote the Rail Passengers Committees, including LTUC, as the first port of
    call for passengers concerns. There are major financial implications for LTUC in
    being involved in this project, however, there may be implications in the project
    going ahead with London left out. LTUC understands that both Ministers and the
    SRA are keen for the project to go ahead. LTUC’s 2005 – 06 Business Plan will
    provide for its involvement in the project and discussions on the funding
    implications more properly fit into that forum.

5.4 As part of its continuing work to inform itself about local transport aspirations
    LTUC members have met with members of the London Forum of Civic and
    Amenity Societies.

5.5 LTUC members and senior staff continue to play an active role as members of
    local authority transport consultative committees.

5.6 LTUC’s offices are located in the City of London. LTUC has been invited to
    serve on the City of London’s Local Strategic Partnership – ‘The City Together’.
    LTUC’s Director has been elected Vice Chairman of the Partnership.

Social Inclusion, transport integration and environmental protection

6.1 LTUC continues to work with transport providers to secure improvements to the
    transport network to make it more socially inclusive. For example, the Bus
    Design Forum is specifically looking at the needs of different people when using
    bus services and, through the Rail Passengers Council and Committee network,
    LTUC is pressing for improvements to train design to meet the needs of people
    with differing disabilities.

6.2 LTUC continues to work London Buses to consider the demand for public
    transport on Christmas Day.

6.3 LTUC’s policy development reports referred to above have addressed a number
    of integration issues.

6.4 LTUC has installed an induction loop at the reception in its offices and has
    installed radio hearing assistance in its meeting rooms.

Chair of LTUC

7.1 Suzanne May has written to the London Assembly giving three months notice of
    her intention to resign as Chair from the 17th of September 2004. Suzanne will
    have served on LTUC and its predecessor body, the London Regional
    Passengers Committee (LRPC) for 19 years having first been appointed to
    LRPC in 1985. Suzanne was appointed by Ministers as a Deputy Chair of LRPC
   in 1990 and remained in that post until the abolition of LRPC in 2000. Suzanne
   has been Chair of LTUC since its inception.

7.2 Suzanne May was appointed a member of the new British Transport Police
    Authority on the 1st of July 2004.