Passenger Focus – new chair appointed

12.00 | 17 December 2014 | | 2 comments

Jeff Halliwell will take up the position of chair at Passenger Focus in February 2015.

Passenger Focus is the independent public body set up by the Government to represent the interests of rail, bus and tram passengers. Subject to Parliamentary approval, its remit will broaden next year to also represent the interests of users of the strategic road network.

Jeff Halliwell holds a number of non-executive roles across different sectors and is also vice-chair of governors at the University of Bedfordshire.

He will take up his new post as chair of Passenger Focus from 9 February following a short handover from the existing chair, Colin Foxall, whose term is coming to an end after nearly 10 years of service in the role.

Patrick McLoughlin, transport secretary, said: “Passenger Focus has a hugely important role in making sure passengers have a strong voice in the development of our infrastructure.

“Jeff Halliwell will lead Passenger Focus forward during a period that will hopefully see an increasing focus on the needs of transport users.”

Jeff Halliwell said: “Passenger Focus has developed an excellent reputation in representing the interest of transport users. It has achieved credibility with stakeholders through the use of thorough, evidence-based research, and I’m looking forward very much to supporting its important work.





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    I am very pleased to hear that PF will use “thorough, evidence-based research” and the quote from Duncan suggests that PF does have some understanding of the depth of analysis required. The problem is that we keep hearing that “evidence-based research” will be used, only to find the quality of evidence is often poor at best.

    What would be really useful is if PF were to insist that all road safety interventions were deployed within scientific trials where-ever possible. Remember that it is probably cheaper to run scientific trials in the first place, than to pay analysts to estimate what did what afterwards. By running the first ever scientific trials, PF could live up to our shared goal of using “thorough, evidence-based research”. I wish Mr Halliwell all the best in his new role.

    Dave Finney, Slough
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    “Its remit will broaden next year to also represent the interests of users of the strategic road network”.

    This section in the document covering their remit might be of interest.

    Example-improving safety

    The way safety is monitored across the network shows the way that cooperation is
    central to effective oversight. At the most basic level, the number of people killed or
    seriously injured on the network will be tracked by the SHC and the monitor. A minimalist approach to monitoring would simply look to see whether this figure went up or down. However a more developed system allows for a more sophisticated understanding
    of what is driving safety, as well as more accountability for the results.

    The SHC will do its own work in analysing accidents across its network and will use
    this to drive decision-making on safety improvements and evaluate the effectiveness of its actions.

    The monitor will use both raw data and the analysis and evaluation carried out by the SHC to assess performance on safety. Safety performance is subject to a degree of natural variation, so this analysis is required to separate one-off factors from long-term performance.

    Perceptions of safety will be one of the considerations which the watchdog is likely to take into account in its work on user satisfaction. The monitor will draw together this range of information to provide its judgement on the overall performance of the SHC both against the safety requirements set out in the Road Investment Strategy and in compiling and analysing this data. This information in turn can be used by the SHC to prioritise its short-term programme of safety improvements, and in the longer term can reshape investment priorities in the next Road Investment Strategy in order to improve safety.

    Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon
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