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Young Professionals - Taking Transport Forward in 2007

Wednesday 25th April 2007, was the date of the 6th Young Professionals Transport Conference held at The Point Conference Centre in Edinburgh. Sarah Longair, Operations Director of Stagecoach West Scotland and CILT's Young Manager of the year 2006 chaired the day's event. She opened the event followed by a few words from John Yellowlees, Chairman CILT Scottish Region.

Chris Green, Vice President CILT, Chair CILT Railway Forum and former Chief Executive of Virgin Trains gave the Keynote Address - Taking Transport forward in relation to trains. In 1955 1 billion passengers travelled by rail, by 1985 this had reduced to 850,000. In the period 1995-2005 rail travel saw a 40% increase in passengers and the future would be to plan for that passenger level to have a 70% growth. Rail has many advantages in relation to volume of urban and Inter-City passengers, High Value Freight and heavy volume freight. It can have beneficial effects for impact on the environment eg Asda and Tesco have both been distributing by rail. The Co2 emissions from 1 train is said to be the equivalent of 45 HGV's.

Rail can also improve urban access - Airport, Intercity and Freight and can potentially give faster access for airport and rural links (eg Airdrie-Bathgate development). The refurbishment of St Pancras station, London will also improve High Speed links between London and Europe.

A Perspective on the Re-Regulation Debate was explored by Mark Savelli, Managing Director, First Glasgow. Mark was based in Hong Kong before heading back to the sunny climate of Glasgow.

First Glasgow strives to put passengers first. As an employer of 3000 people, 1000 buses and a passenger load of 1 million passengers every three days, they have impressive figures for a commercially operated bus company. First Glasgow has set up a local agreement with both SPT and Glasgow City Council. This pact relates to stability and growth. The new agenda will improve responses from the public thus good press! They are hoping for a 4% growth in passenger numbers. First Glasgow has made a legal agreement which entails the operation of radios on buses, CCTV, bus priority lanes and bus stops. Mark said that "evolution not revolution is required in regulation".

New regulations that might accelerate present successes:

  • More accountability for partners
  • More transparency
  • More consultation
  • Higher barriers - quality of fleet, improving friendliness
  • Co-ordinated headways

Prior to 1986 there was a decline in passenger numbers. Fact: Diesel buses built in the 1980's had emissions that were 34 times more than those of buses built today. Mark's concluding comment - "If it ain't broke don't fix it !"

David Anderson Head of Transport Economics, Analysis and Research at Transport Scotland (The Scottish Executive's Transport Agency) opened his presentation with a few facts about Transport Scotland and then went on to look at STAG, an appraisal tool for transport projects. The Agency is there to

  • deliver The Scottish Executive's £3 billion capital investment programme of transport improvements to 2010.
  • is an Executive Agency that is responsible for rail and road networks. It strives towards excellence, enhancing both rail and road networks. It helps to deliver projects objectively assessed by The Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG).

STAG grew out of multi-modal assessment including WAM and NATA. In 2003, the guidance provided the basis for all appraisals sought by The Scottish Executive. England and Wales have their own TAG appraisal guidance's. STAG is a four stage process:

  • Pre-Appraisal
  • Initial Appraisal
  • Detailed Appraisal
  • Post Appraisal

STAG philosophy has key themes using the STAG methodology: Objective led, open-minded, pragmatic, auditable and inclusive.

Objectives - planning objectives, outcome focus, SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timed). Options should be developed with the intention of meeting the defined objective. He cautioned against rushing in to the planning stages. STAG is being refreshed and will be on their website in the summer 2007. We look forward to viewing the updates. Transport Scotland continues to prioritise projects, investing in transport, creating a curve of excellence and focusing on the delivery.

Bob Reynolds Business Development Manager of BLCC (Business Learning & Conference Centre - a part of Dunfermline's Lauder College) conducted a workshop on PRINCE 2 - a new venture for some of us Young Professionals - and what an introduction ! Prince 2 is used to add value to the project you are proposing. It was introduced in 1996 for the taking forward projects in controlled environments.

A few facts about PRINCE 2:

  • A structure still evolving from experience
  • A de facto UK standard
  • Widely adopted internationally
  • Applicable to any project of any size and any topic
  • Part of OCG's Best Practice Portfolio

What can cause a project to fail?

  • Poor business case
  • Lack of quality
  • Insufficient definition of outcomes
  • Lack of communications
  • Inadequate definition of roles and responsibilities

The key features of Prince 2:

Management of the Project and the project's resources, Business Case driven, Supports Customer/Supplier relationships and Scope.

The workshop involved a task to re-locate a boat yard using the principles of PRINCE 2 for the planning stage. A few people came up with very vague answers! Maybe the smell of lunch was distracting delegates?

Frank Dixon and Mairi MacAskill from The Scottish Executive gave us an insight into the use of transport throughout Scotland titled "What the Statistics say about Public Transport Usage in Scotland".

  • 48 % of adults use buses in a month but only 4% use them on a daily basis. 65% of women use the bus for shopping (a priority), commuting and to visit friends and family. The age group 60+ make up 33% of bus journeys.
  • 29 % of the population use their car. They are mainly in the 30-59 age group, 13% said the bus was inconvenient whilst 15% said it took too long.
  • Train Travel - 54% of women use the train. Most people find the trains safe and secure. Although there were negative views on the late running of trains.
  • Figures for Air Passenger travel were encouraging.

Guy Houston Director of Finance & Corporate Services - Transport Scotland talked us through De-mystifying the Allocation of Funding for Transport Schemes.

Total public sector transport funding is split between - The Scottish Executive and Local Authorities. The funding covers roads, concessionary fares' schemes, and public transport support and school crossings. The trunk road network takes up a huge part of the budget - maintaining trunk roads -structural repairs, routine and winter maintenance, minor projects, strengthening improvement, Traffic Scotland, Planning Road Safety, and other major projects. The elderly and disabled concessionary travel scheme was successfully launched in 01 April 2006 and The Young Persons Scheme was launched on 08 January 2007. Funding is also allocated for sustainable transport: cycling, walking, bus/freight, and aviation/ports.

Micro-Simulation Models for Traffic Management were introduced by Steve Druitt, Managing Director, SIAS Transport Planners. SIAS was born in 1974 and is the longest standing Transport Planning Consultancy in the UK. Micro-Simulation is a Transport Planning tool. Traditional Transport Planning Models tend to ignore real things such as bus stops, illegally parked cars, pedestrians, and the modern day transport system. The SIAS Micro-Simulation Model is very visual. It directly models basic components of the traffic flow covering the use of both public and private sector vehicles. Interesting examples of micro-simulations were demonstrated on projects undertaken by SIAS.

Steve Agg, Chief Executive, CILT (UK), conducted the second workshop on Teambuilding and Teamwork. The task was set for delegates who were divided into groups and they had to devise a TV advert or radio commercial to advertise CILT to encourage new young professional members. Each group was given a bag containing stationery and five 'props'. The advert had to last less than a minute, involve all team members and use all the props provided. The groups spent 45 minutes industriously co-ordinating their adverts. The rehearsals were polished ready for the performance to delegates and the panel of Young Professional judges. A good deal of fun and effort led to excellent presentations with the promise of a prize for the best team. The incentive of a prize goes a long way with Young Professionals!

A most enjoyable workshop, concluding that Young Professionals are good communicators and work well as a team.

Sarah Longair gave the closing remarks. She rounded up the success of the day, with the varied and interesting mix of presentations. A raffle was drawn, raising £116 for Transaid, the international Transport Charity supported by the Institute. The number delegates attending rose to a very healthy 75 for this year's event. The Scottish Region - Young Professionals Group continues to flourish with our events growing from strength to strength.


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