PRESS ANNOUNCEMENT - 26th November, 2004
Response to publication of the Railways Bill 2004:
An opportunity for appropriate and economical solutions to transport problems
Parry People Movers Ltd (PPM) has responded to the publication of the Railways Bill 2004, following the White Paper "The Future of Rail", which was released in July.
The company, which supplies a range of affordable light rail vehicles with excellent environmental performance thanks to flywheel energy storage, has cautiously welcomed the new Bill, while recognising that if the provisions were to lead to line closures a great opportunity for development and improvement would have been lost.
"Devolution of transport responsibility can only be welcomed," said PPM's Chairman John Parry. "I don't think this is going to lead to line closures - the Community Rail Development Strategy shows clearly how much communities care for their railways and that can't be ignored. Instead, it provides a marvellous opportunity for more appropriate and economical solutions to be implemented."
The proposals allow local transport authorities such as Passenger Transport Executives, Transport for London and devolved administrations to make "sensible decisions between rail, light rail and bus" in order to provide integrated transport in their areas.
"If trains are running empty on little used routes, that's not sensible," observed Mr Parry. "What is sensible is using light rail operation on those routes to drive down costs and gather in increasing numbers of passengers."
PPM technology is highly flexible and can be adapted to serve both urban tramways and local rail lines, where PPM vehicles can operate the service much more efficiently, cleanly and cost-effectively than today's diesel trains. This approach was endorsed by the Strategic Rail Authority's Community Rail Development Strategy, published on 22nd November, which showed that the way forward for local railways is to find radical ways to reduce operating costs and increase their attractiveness to passengers.
A further option is to extend existing branch line services into town centres on tramways. One such application could be in the West Midlands town of Stourbridge, where the three-quarter mile long branch line could be extended into the shopping and business area, making the transport service far more convenient for local people and visitors. It has been calculated that PPM technology could achieve this for the same level of subsidy needed to support the current train service that only reaches the edge of the town centre, while increasing the levels of patronage at least four-fold outside peak hours, at times when trains now run with just a handful of passengers. Operating the existing services with PPM vehicles instead of trains would halve the current subsidy requirement.
PPM also supports the Bill's proposal to transfer railway safety responsibilities to the Office of Rail Regulation from the Health & Safety Commission Executive, which will remove the problems of an inappropriate culture of risk aversion that has been introduced to the oversight of the railways.
- Parry People Movers Ltd (PPM) was founded in 1992 to develop rail transport based on a new innovation: the flywheel energy store. The company is owned by approximately 200 shareholders and is quoted on the OFEX market.
- PPM rail vehicles offer the quality of modern light rail transport without the need for electrical power supply, giving excellent environmental performance and energy efficiency at lower cost than conventional technology. The same technology can be used on railways or urban tramways. PPM vehicles are fully compliant with accessibility regulations.
- The vehicle technology used in PPM vehicles is licensed to the company by JPM Parry & Associates Ltd ( www.parryassociates.com ), a West Midlands engineering company specialising in overseas development, integrated transport, and energy/environmental issues.
- Pre Metro Operations Ltd, a company associated with PPM, is developing innovative operational methods for the provision of public transport by different modes, including the PPM operation at Stourbridge. Pre Metro Operations Ltd is a licensed train operating company.
For further information, please contact:
John Parry MBE
Parry People Movers Ltd
Telephone: +44 (0)1384 569553
Fax: +44 (0)1384 637753