Call: 07545 641204Email: jr@jrc.org.uk

Transport Projects

 

Major rail project lobbying - East London Line Extensions *

  • Jonathan Roberts lead the consultancy team which reported to the East London Line Group. ELLG was a consortium of local authorities, partnerships and private sector along the route of the ELL.
  • The case for the railway emphasised its regeneration benefits, helping to leverage £10 billion investment (identified along the route in 2002). The extensions serve an 'arc of deprivation' where there are strong social benefits from improving accessibility to jobs and training.
  • A history of the East London Line Group campaign was published in 2012 (linked in this website).
  • The Group existed from 1992 to 2010. It briefed London and national decision makers, worked with the London Assembly, elected councillors and MPs, and maintained relations with local and London media.
  • Transport for London welcomed the consistent high profile Group support which helped the project's outcome.
  • The Group is now developing a new campaign for enhancements to stations, new interchanges and better service levels.
  • Briefing by the East London Line Group helped to win more than £1 billion towards major railway extensions. The investment created an 'Outer Circle' railway for London. The extended line opened in 2010-12, with much available for the Olympic Games.

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Roads investment - Asphalt Industry Alliance, Luton Borough Council

  • A new funding allocation was agreed in March 2005: £5m from the Communities Infrastructure Fund, and £17m from ODPM’s Growth Area Fund.
  • The East Luton Corridor road supports economic regeneration and growth in Luton, following the closure of the former Vauxhall car plant. It opens up the area for inwards investment, relieves town centre congestion, and creates capacity for new housing.
  • Jonathan Roberts advised Luton Borough Council on the strategic arguments and audiences.
  • £22m for the East Luton Corridor road was reinstated by Government in March 2005 after extensive briefing by Luton Borough Council and its partners.
  • The main audiences were the Department for Transport, Office of Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM), Department of Trade and Industry and the regional government office.
  • This short project arose in December 2004 when funding was withdrawn because of financial constraints. Funding was originally approved by DfT in 2001.

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New stations approval - Lea Bridge station *, Woolwich Crossrail station

  • Main benefits were identified as jobs, homes, regeneration and the sub-regional economy. In July 2006, the Commons' Select Committee said it was "clearly convinced of the essential need for a Crossrail station at Woolwich".
  • In October 2006 the Government still resisted the station's go-ahead. The Select Committee restated its requirement.
  • Further campaigning was supported by local redesign of the route and the station, which cut the costs to £162m. Private funding for the station box was secured by Greenwich Council in negotiations with developer Berkeley Homes.
  • Inclusion in the Bill was finally achieved in 2007. The campaign was short-listed for a PR Week award.
  • A regeneration-led campaign in 2005-07 gained Government approval for a Crossrail underground station in central Woolwich, despite Department for Transport objections.
  • Crossrail passes under Woolwich, which is the main Thames Gateway town centre and transport interchange in outer South East London. A £350m station was excluded from the Parliamentary Bill because of affordability.
  • Greenwich Council was determined to secure a station. It set up a steering group to co-ordinate the technical, community, business and Parliamentary cases, with full support by the Leader, Councillors and local MPs.
  • Jonathan Roberts led the external political consultancy team which assisted Greenwich Council's case into Parliament, and reported to the steering group. There were also community and business campaigns. Overall, a fully representative case was made to decision makers.

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Busway funding and inquiry - Luton Dunstable Busway

  • Ahead of the busway's public inquiry in 2005, Jonathan Roberts was commissioned by Luton to assess the range of public responses which comprised objections in principle to the scheme.
  • He provided a method statement on how to respond to each type of objection, addressing procedural challenges and discussions on alternative transport options.
  • Luton Borough Council was the lead partner for the busway, with Bedfordshire County Council. Luton led the financial negotiations with the government regional office, Department for Transport, and the Office of Deputy Prime Minister.
  • Jonathan Roberts advised Luton on the strategic arguments and audiences. A programme of briefing and visits was arranged in autumn 2003, in the months preceding public spending announcements on local transport investment.
  • £78m funding for the Luton Dunstable Busway was authorised in December 2003, as a precursor to the public inquiry which took place in 2005.

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Transport corridor investment - West Anglia Route Group (WARG)

  • Co-ordinated briefing by the West Anglia Route Group helped to win in March 2009 an early order for 120 new coaches for the London-Lea Valley-Stansted-Cambridge line.
  • This success is part of a wider objective, to secure extra route capacity on the Liverpool Street-West Anglia lines for inner and outer suburban trains, including additional tracks to achieve a better service pattern.
  • Progress is now being achieved with a Third track by 2019, in the Upper Lee Valley, for better local services. A longer goal is 4-tracking to support other service improvements including Stansted Airport.
  • WARG's website is: http://www.westangliaroutes.org.uk/
  • The West Anglia Route Group is a alliance of local authorities and other representatives along the railway between London and Cambridge, including observers from the Department of Transport. It is part of the London Stansted Cambridge Consortium.
  • WARG works with Network Rail, the train operating company (Abellio Greater Anglia), Transport for London, Stansted Airport, and an observer from the Department of Transport.
  • Jonathan Roberts is the transport adviser to the Group, since WARG was founded in 2006.
  • Activities include briefing to Government Departments, front-benchers, local MPs and the Greater London Assembly. There is regular liaison with other official bodies.

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Monitoring of political decisions on Britain's railways - Rail Freight Group *

  • Jonathan Roberts provides the 'Westminster Column' for the Rail Freight Group newsletter.
  • Recent editions are set out here, previous editions are available on the RFG website, in the newsletter link:
  • RFG Newsletter 105 - May 2014 – pages 17-18 - Planning Special – Is the Draft National Networks National Policy Statement fit for purpose?
  • RFG Newsletter 104 - February 2014, page 16 - Network Rail reclassification, TEN-T regulation update, Rail investment questions
  • RFG Newsletter 103 - December 2013, page 16 - Rail freight access within the rail network and at ports

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