HC Deb 15 February 1989 vol 147 c210W
Mr. Bermingham

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will outline the reasons for discontinuance of use of the London area model at the Transport and Road Research Laboratory; what are his responses to the report on sensitivity tests on the model; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

The Department commissioned an audit by consultants. The results were received last spring.

These identified deficiencies with the London area model (LAM) including its representation of road and rail capacity levels, inadequate representation of peak demands, and an inability to reproduce travel patterns experienced in recent years—particularly the growth in travel demand which has taken place since travelcards were introduced.

It was decided to withdraw the model from further use. I will be placing a copy of the consultant's audit report in the Library.

The transport and road research laboratory's experimental London area model (LAM) was designed to assist in the analysis of strategic policy options. The London Planning Advisory Committee (LPAC) commissioned consultants to test four transport options using the model.

The base scenario portrayed in the report by LPAC's consultants did not represent current Government policies. The conclusions drawn were not a realistic assessment of the likely outcome. The base against which other policies are compared is ill-founded. The options described in the LPAC scenarios have included the impact of selective road improvements, stricter parking controls, selective radial rail improvements and new RER style railways. None was suitable for testing using LAM.

The sensitivity testing work was commissioned by LPAC. The Department received a copy of the report in late January. It is for LPAC to publish the results if they so wish.