Transport Committee Press Notice

NEW INQUIRY

TICKETING ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Terms of Reference and Call for Evidence

The House of Commons Transport Committee is to conduct an inquiry into ticketing arrangements and concessionary travel on public transport. This inquiry will consider the way in which ticketing is organised, handled and enforced. It will not address the levels of fares on public transport.1

Nearly seven billion journeys are made by passengers on public transport in Great Britain every year,2 and many journeys involve more than one operator and mode of transport. The Department for Transport states that "integrated ticketing is a key component of integration between services and between public transport modes". Changes in statutory provisions over the past decade have enabled local authorities and other transport providers to create integrated ticketing schemes.3 But is it working?

The use of smart-card technologies for ticketing on public transport is closely linked to the creation of integrated ticketing strategies, allowing passengers an easy and seamless travel experience. In recognition of the importance of integration in modern ticketing technologies, the Government supports ITSO, the Integrated Transport Smartcard Organisation. The question is, is progress happening quickly enough, and are the best possible systems being put in place?

Transport operators depend not only on well-functioning ticketing systems, but also on ticket inspectors and other methods of revenue protection to ensure that passengers pay the correct fares for their journey. The Committee will look at the commitment of transport providers to collect due revenue, and will also examine the balance between the rights of passengers and the duties of ticket inspection teams.

The Committee also intends to look at the Government's policy on concessionary fares across different modes of transport. In its recent report on Bus Services across the UK, the Committee concluded that the Government's policy on concessionary fares was beset by problems.4 With a new Concessionary Bus Travel Bill now going through Parliament, the Committee wishes to take a closer look at the Government's policy on concessionary fares across the public transport sector.5


1 The Levels of fares on the railways was addressed extensively in the Committee's Sixth Report of Session 2005-06: How Fair are the Fares? Train Fares and Ticketing, HC 700-I, published on 19 May 2006.
2 2005 figures; Transport Statistics Great Britain, 2006 Edition.
3 Transport Act 2000, the Competition Act 1998 and the Public Transport Ticketing Schemes Block Exemption Order 2001 (SI 2001/319) and the Public Transport Ticketing Schemes Block Exemption Order 2005 (SI 2005/3347)
4 Transport Committee, Bus Services Across the UK, Eleventh Report of Session 2005-06, HC1317
5 Concessionary Bus Travel Bill [HL]

The inquiry will consider:

Integrated ticketing:

1.Is ticketing sufficiently integrated across different modes of transport and between different geographical areas?

2.Does the Government have an adequate strategy for developing the integration of ticketing systems?

The use of smartcard technologies:

3.Is the industry taking up modern smartcard technologies adequately and appropriately?

4. Does the ITSO system cater for the needs of all passengers and travel providers?

5.What can be learned from the experiences of areas such as London and Scotland where smartcard technology is already in place?

Revenue protection and the powers of ticket inspectors:

6.Is the legal framework within which ticket inspectors function appropriate?

7.What appeal mechanisms exist for passengers, and are they adequate?

8.Are the rights of passengers and the powers of ticket inspectors well-balanced?

9.Do operators of public transport take adequate measures to protect fares revenue?

Concessionary fares - the right strategy?

10.Is the Government's concessionary fares strategy, including the proposed scheme for concessionary bus travel, adequate?

11.Are concessionary fares schemes sufficiently integrated across different modes of transport and different geographical areas?

Interested parties are invited to submit written memoranda to the Committee no later than Wednesday 7 March 2007.

Guidance on submitting written evidence

It assists the Committee if those submitting written evidence adhere to the following guidelines:

1. Submissions should be as short as is consistent with conveying the relevant information. As a rough guide, it is usually helpful if they can be confined to six pages or less. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference. A single-page summary of the main points is sometimes helpful. The submission should be in a form suitable for monochrome photocopying.

2. Evidence should be submitted in Word or Rich Text format, by e-mail to the above address. The body of the e-mail should include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. It should be absolutely clear who the submission is from, particularly whether it is on behalf of an organisation or in the name of an individual.

3. Once accepted by the Committee, written evidence becomes the Committee's property and it may decide to publish it or make other public use of it. You should not publish evidence submitted to the Committee. If you wish your submission, or any part of it, to be treated as confidential, then please indicate this clearly when you submit it.

4. Though the Committee is happy to receive copies of published material, formal submissions of evidence should be original work and not published elsewhere.

5. Committee staff are happy to give further advice on any aspect of the Committee's work by phone or e-mail.

More detailed guidance on giving evidence to a select committee is available on-line at:

www.parliament.uk/documents/upload/witnessguide.pdf

Notes:

1.The Membership of the Transport Committee is as follows:

Gwyneth Dunwoody (Chairman) (Crewe and Nantwich), David Clelland (Tyne Bridge), Jeffrey M Donaldson (Lagan Valley), Clive Efford (Eltham), Louise Ellman (Liverpool Riverside), Philip Hollobone (Kettering), John Leech (Manchester Withington), Eric Martlew (Carlisle), Lee Scott (Ilford North), Graham Stringer (Manchester Blackley), David Wilshire (Spelthorne).

Press Notice 18/2006-07 8 February 2007