To: Alasdair Couper-Johnston, Network Rail

From: Transport for South Hampshire

Date: 17 June 2009

Subject: Vision for the future of rail in Urban South Hampshire over the next 30 years

Purpose of Note

Following the meeting held with Network Rail on 01 April, as agreed, this note sets out the contribution of Transport for South Hampshire (TfSH) on possible infrastructure and train service requirements for the future within and beyond the Urban South Hampshire sub-region. It is hoped that these comments will assist Network Rail in developing a longer term Route Utilisation Strategy for the London and the South East area, to cover the next 30 years.

As you are aware TfSH was established in 2007, as a partnership of the three local transport authorities (Southampton City Council, Hampshire County Council and Portsmouth City Council, with support from transport stakeholders), to develop a transport strategy to support the delivery of planned growth within the South Hampshire sub-region. These views are to be discussed further with transport stakeholders represented on TfSH and with executive members of the authorities at the TfSH Joint Committee on 30 June 2009.

1. Summary of priority infrastructure requirements

The key rail infrastructure requirements identified by TfSH for the Urban South Hampshire sub-region can be summarised as:

In the longer term, the following infrastructure requirements have been identified:

The locations of these rail infrastructure proposals are shown on the plan on page 8.

2. Introduction

As well as the obvious well-documented issues of London-bound commuting and freight, this note seeks to draw attention to:

3. Rail Contribution to Growth Agenda

The South East Plan established Urban South Hampshire as a Growth Point, setting targets for around 4,000 new dwellings to be built within urban south Hampshire, (including Southampton and Portsmouth) each year up to 2026. Many of the locations identified for growth are likely to attract traffic onto an already congested strategic and local highway network.

The sub-region has very complex journey to work patterns, with high proportions of trips undertaken by car (78%). 2001 Census figures show that over 18,000 people commute into Winchester to work, with 30% of these commuters coming into Winchester from Southampton and Eastleigh. Furthermore, Southampton and Eastleigh are the largest "out" commuting destinations for the 9,000 or so commuters who work outside of Winchester.

The travel and transport impacts of planned growth will need to be mitigated through a strategy that seeks to:

Firm proposals exist to:

4. Rail Contribution to sub-regional transport

Of the 6.6m rail journeys per year that originate within the sub-region, around 4.2m also finish within the sub-region (64%). Within Urban South Hampshire the modal share of rail for journeys to work has remained around 3.2%. Of the journeys from Southampton to other stations within the South East Region, the top five destinations were Winchester (16%), Eastleigh (12%), Romsey and Fareham (both 6%), and Swanwick (5%). Of the journeys from Portsmouth to other stations in the South East Region, the top five destinations were Havant (12%), Portsmouth Harbour (7%), Southampton and Cosham (both 6%) and Fratton (5%). Similar significant flows of rail commuting into the two cities exist from the urban centres of Winchester (both), Romsey, Eastleigh and Chandlers Ford (into Southampton), and Fareham, Cosham and Havant (into Portsmouth.

Options to accommodate growth may need to examine ways of increasing the mode share of rail to 6% or more. The bulk of these additional journeys would be local ones, starting and finishing in or just outside the Urban South Hampshire sub-region. The two cities will experience considerable growth in employment looking to 2026.

The TfSH approach to promoting greater use of rail for local journeys would comprise:

5. Key rail Issues within Urban South Hampshire

Track Capacity

- There are few pathways left on the two-track sections of SWML (from Worting Junction to Shawford, from Eastleigh to St. Denys and from Northam Junction to Southampton Central) to cater for future growth in passenger and freight services. Single track sections on the Botley line limit scope for running additional services on this route.

Train Capacity

- Peak hour overcrowding and shortages of seats are an issue on commuter routes to and from London on services to and from Bournemouth/ Weymouth. For local commuting into Winchester, seat availability on some services arriving around 8am is reduced by high levels of London-bound commuters. Passenger growth on Cardiff-Portsmouth line services and Cross Country services will require lengthening of rolling stock in the near future. Hourly stopping service pattern on Netley line limits attractiveness of rail for commuting into the two cities by residents living along this route

Conflicting Interests - London/ Freight/ Local

- Complex mixes of stopping patterns and freight on busiest sections of the south Hampshire rail network with few passing loops means that few additional pathways can be added without compromising punctuality and performance. Over medium to long term planned growth of freight from port and commuter numbers into London when combined with growth in use of rail for local commuting will require more capacity to be provided to address the worst bottlenecks.

Potential for local use / impact on road congestion

- Within areas such as South Hampshire, journey to work patterns are complex. Rail is already well used for local commuting into the main employment centres of Southampton, Portsmouth, Winchester and Eastleigh. Approximately 64% of rail journeys emanating within South Hampshire are between South Hampshire stations. With much future employment growth set to be located within these urban centres, there is potential for rail to play a useful function. Congestion and journey time reliability on the strategic road network (M3, M27) is set to worsen, and rail could contribute more than at present to alleviating congestion problems. This would have capacity implications on some of the busiest parts of the Hampshire rail network. This could be helped by opening new stations, re-doubling track, re-routing some services and increasing frequencies of services between the two cities (perhaps a high frequency train-tram transit type service), which could offer more attractive alternatives to the car than conventional bus services.

Access to Stations/ Parking/ Integration

- Some stations are well served by local bus services, with good levels of integration (Winchester). Transport for South Hampshire would support improvement of bus-rail interchange at stations such as Woolston, Fareham, Cosham and Portsmouth and Southsea. Car parks at many stations are full by 9am, which can limit scope to increase off-peak rail use. If more commuters can be persuaded to lift share or walk, cycle or use the bus to reach the station, this could free up spaces for off-peak use. Car park extensions are another option, which could be made available for use off-peak only.

- Cycle usage to access rail stations has steadily increased in response to investment by the transport authorities in extra secure cycle parking capacity at stations, and in developing urban cycle networks. A continued programme of provision of additional secure cycle parking is needed at stations, to keep up with anticipated future demand. Network Rail would need to identify and allocate appropriate land at stations for cycle parking expansion. Further, if South West Trains is successful in its bid to the DfT and Cycling England to become one of the official Train Operating partners to work with the Cycle Rail Integration Taskforce (CRIT) on a £3m Bike & Rail programme, then the TfSH authorities will look to work closely with South West Trains on progressing a number of improvements to cycle facilities at stations. If unsuccessful, then the need to improve facilities will remain, and funding will need to be identified from other sources.

- The TfSH authorities and partner Borough Councils have been actively working with train operating companies to develop station travel plans. In South Hampshire, station travel plans have been developed for Eastleigh, Romsey and Chandlers Ford. This approach seeks to improve access to the station for existing rail users and attract more passengers to use rail services. The success of these station travel plans will be closely monitored, with a view to developing more travel plans in partnership with train operating companies.

- The DfT led Access for All programme of station improvements is supported, which is helping to deliver new lifts or ramps at a number of stations within the sub-region, including Fareham and Fratton. In the longer term the TfSH authorities would aspire to ensuring that all stations have access to all platforms for the mobility impaired.

6. Strategic rail issues that extend beyond the South Hampshire sub-region

a) Services accessing International Gateways

Deep sea container traffic originating from the Port of Southampton is the main generator of rail freight movements to/from South Hampshire. The modal share of rail for forwarding deep sea container traffic from the Port of Southampton has declined in recent years, related to the increasing popularity of 9'6" containers. The TfSH authorities hope that the completion of the SMART gauge enhancement project in 2011 will allow the modal share of rail for deep sea containers from the Port of Southampton to increase, and take some pressure off the strategic highway network. Once delivered in 2011, the forecasts identify growth of six to eight trains per day in each direction to and from the Port by 2014/15. The Port have expressed aspirations to achieve a 40% modal split of deep-sea containers by rail.

The TfSH authorities support the Strategic Freight Network proposal to provide a diversionary gauge enhanced freight corridor via Laverstock and Andover to also provide additional capacity for extra freight train paths that will result from port growth plans to accommodate more deep-sea container traffic. The steps towards a seven-day railway identified in the SWML Route Plan will require provision of this W10 cleared diversionary route as a pre-requisite. There is a need to seek funding to enable Network Rail to commence programming and delivery of this work.

Further to proposals for the provision of a looping and recessing facility for up direction freight trains at Basingstoke by 2014, as indicated by the SWML Route Plan 2009, it may be necessary to investigate the case for new passing loops and / or four tracks on the double track sections from Worting Junction to Shawford, from Eastleigh to St Denys and from Northam Junction to Southampton Central.

Southampton International Airport plans to expand passenger numbers significantly over the next 10-15 years. Currently the station is not served by east-west rail services (Southampton-Brighton; Victoria to Southampton; and Portsmouth to Cardiff services), who need to change at Southampton Central. Diversion of some (or all) of these train services to call at the Southampton Airport Parkway would help widen the hinterland of the airport and attract more passengers from Wiltshire, Portsmouth, Havant and West Sussex who may be deterred currently from using rail by the need to change trains.

The TfSH authorities support the recent addition of Fratton to the rail freight network and hopes that this intermodal facility will make a contribution to the transfer of freight traffic arriving at the Port of Portsmouth onto rail for onward transit.

The TfSH authorities support the Airtrack proposal to introduce rail services from Woking to Heathrow Airport, as this is likely to make rail a more attractive option for journeys from South Hampshire to the airport.

b) Longer Distance Services

· Portsmouth is currently excluded from the Cross Country network, requiring passengers to change trains to access these important services

· Services on the Portsmouth-Cardiff corridor still suffer from overcrowding at busy times (Friday evenings and weekends), which will need to be addressed.

· Whilst punctuality of SWT services is generally good, Cross Country services suffer delays due to congestion around Birmingham.

· The TfSH authorities would support investment to tackle this bottleneck and reinstatement of double-track between Leamington Spa and Coventry used by Cross Country and freight trains and also support proposals to implement East West Rail that would provide an alternative route for Cross Country services and freight trains north of Oxford to use to gain access to the West Coast Main Line.

c) Commuter flows into London

7. Potential Rail Interventions within the sub-region

The attached plan on page 8 shows the key locations of planned growth, investment and regeneration activity within the South Hampshire sub-region and the potential rail interventions and interaction between proposed bus, park and ride and Bus Rapid Transit services and the rail network that could support this growth.

Priority Interventions:

(i) Southampton Airport Parkway station and track improvements

- Upgrade of station to provide four platform faces, and four tracks towards Eastleigh would enable East-West train services to be diverted via the Botley line to call at Parkway (see below), supporting the growth of Southampton Airport as a key transport hub widely accessible by non-car modes. This would greatly increase the potential for local and regional journeys to be made by rail.

(ii) Eastleigh chord and Botley line redoubling

- would allow rail to offer an attractive alternative to the car for access to the Airport from the east and commuter journeys into Southampton city centre and Eastleigh Riverside for existing residents and those expected to populate the planned SDAs. This would help to relieve congestion on the strategic highway network.

(iii) Station Travel Plans / Park & Ride etc

- station travel plans should be considered as a mechanism for managing and improving access and accessibility to stations by all modes, where there is a shortage of off-peak car parking that can act to stifle demand for rail travel. Stations that may be appropriate would be Winchester, Southampton Airport Parkway and Fareham.

(iv) Interaction with bus

- scope exists to integrate bus services with rail better than at present, to enable buses to act more as feeder services for rail (dependent on development of smartcard and ticketing technologies). Locations where specific interchange improvements can be made include Fareham, Southampton Central, Woolston and Portsmouth and Southsea.

(v) New Stations

- There may be a business case for a new Park and Rail station at Farlington (between Hilsea and Bedhampton) and at Paulsgrove (serving planned development at Port Solent) to encourage fewer car journeys into Portsmouth city centre. A business case may also be made for a new station at Knowle to encourage fewer car journeys to/ from the SDA at North Fareham which adjoins the line north of Funtley. Another possible site for a new station would be at West Totton.

(vi) Station Enhancements

- in the short term, the TfSH authorities, working with our rail industry partners will look to submit bids to the National Stations Improvement Programme (NSIP) and Access for All funding streams to improve the quality of station facilities at stations that fall below the standards that rail passengers would normally expect. The TfSH authorities welcome the recent NSIP funding commitment of £1.4m to enhance Southampton Central station, and the work currently underway as part of Access for All to install lifts at Fareham and Fratton stations. The quality of station facilities at Portsmouth Harbour station is not befitting of its' importance as an major transport interchange for rail, bus and ferry services. This should be considered as a candidate for NSIP funding as a matter of priority.

Longer Term Interventions:

(vii) Establish major development quarters / Transport Development Areas around Southampton Central, Portsmouth & Southsea and Portsmouth Harbour stations

- This would incorporate the stations at the core of an intensified development area, highly accessible by all non-car modes. Reconstruction of some existing buildings may be required to maximize the opportunities for development. This could include some properties currently owned and managed by rail interests.

(viii) Interaction with BRT

- The planned South East Hampshire Bus Rapid Transit (building on bus-rail integration measures set out in (iv) such as smartcard ticketing) will act as a feeder service for rail via a new transport interchange at Fareham station, and potentially also at Cosham, Havant and Portsmouth. This will help to increase public transport usage for journeys to and from the new SDA at North Fareham when this is developed from 2016, as well as from Tipner and other developments in this part of the sub-region.

(ix) Route Capacity enhancements freight diversionary route & Southampton to Winchester

- Increasing demand for both passenger and freight services will require the delivery of the Strategic Freight Network proposal for a W10/W12 cleared diversionary route via Laverstock Junction and Andover for freight services and additional track capacity between Southampton and Winchester (and further north to Worting Junction). In addition to the proposed freight loop on the Up line at Basingstoke, consideration should be given to the provision of additional passing loops and / or four track sections of line on existing two track sections north of Shawford, from Eastleigh to St Denys and from Northam Junction to Southampton Central.

(x) Netley line reconfigured to operate as rail transit route

- Diversion of East-West train services via Botley line would enable a higher frequency rail transit service to be provided between Portsmouth and Southampton. Network Rail may wish to investigate the route as a candidate for Tram Train potential, involving the provision of additional local stations. Previous studies into a Solent Metro envisaged trams making use of the Netley line and leaving the rail corridor at Woolston to cross the Itchen Bridge into Southampton city centre through on-street running.

(xi) Waterside Line

- Develop a business case for re-introduction of passenger services on the Totton - Marchwood - Hythe freight only line, with new station at Hythe and re-opened station at Marchwood (if patronage forecasts support this). The TfSH authorities welcome the recent publication of Connecting Communities: Expanding Access to the Rail Network by ATOC and are encouraged to see that they have identified the Hythe branch re-opening for passenger use as the top priority with the strongest benefit-cost ratio.