The adoption of innovative energy efficient forms of technology to Railways and Tramways, for example the Parry People Mover (PPML) system, which is a hybrid of LPG propulsion with flywheel kinetic energy storage, have a distinct environmental advantage over other transport modes. Pre Metro Operations Limited is committed to build on these strengths and ensure that the management of environmental issues is an integral part of its business strategy.
Pre Metro Operations Limited will monitor its business and operations so as to reduce any environmental impacts of its licensed activities to a reasonably practicable and economically viable level.
The Company will:
- Comply with all UK and EC environmental legislation
- As far as reasonably practicable strive to use products and processes which minimise negative impacts upon the environment
- Create environmental awareness amongst staff by providing suitable information, instruction and training
- Aim to continue to improve environmental performance through the testing and introduction of new technology
- Take action to reduce our consumption of natural resources such as energy and water.
- Work closely with other organisations on reducing any environmental impact.
- Monitor and report upon the effects of the company’s policies and operations through a co-ordinated Environmental Management Reporting system.
Environmental Policy Objectives
The principle activities of the company are the development and provision of public passenger transport operations and related services. The current development activity relates to the provision of services utilising energy efficient transport vehicles including Parry People Mover Railcars.
Operations are established to minimise the impact of licensed activities upon the environment.
The Stourbridge Branch Line Operations & Future Developments
- The Company currently meets all known or planned legal requirements in respect of Environmental legislation. However, an objective is to continue to design, test and trial innovative forms of transport technology so that there continues to be environmental improvements associated with the Company’s licensed activities. The Company therefore expects to continue research in partnership with other organisations to achieve that objective.
- The Company is committed to Railcar operations at Stourbridge to demonstrate that the eco-friendly PPM technology is suitable for use by the public in a real life situation. It will ascertain whether tramway philosophy and operating practices can be applied to selective parts of the National Rail Network. It will allow the vehicle and the technology developed in the West Midlands to be “Showcased” in an actual rail situation thereby facilitating evaluation and comparison with other transport modes.
- The key features of the Stourbridge operation is the use of an innovative flywheel kinetic energy storage system in a passenger carrying mode as well as the incorporation of certain design improvements which were deemed necessary following on from the previous research programmes. These improvements include a combination of a hydrostatic transmission system with the flywheel energy storage system, the demonstration of techniques to produce ‘high’ and ‘low’ floor light tram designs and the use of ‘off the shelf’ low cost, locally produced motor industry/bus components in a railway vehicle. The vehicles incorporate a fully regenerative braking system that significantly reduces energy consumption.
- This level of innovation is significant within the transport sector, which remains heavily reliant on traditionally manufactured heavy vehicles. It brings a new product range to the market place in both the UK and Worldwide. It demonstrates the affordability of rail-based systems as a realistic and viable alternative to private transport in most towns and cities within the UK. The project therefore makes a significant contribution to Transport and Climate Change agendas as well as providing a platform for the development and sustainability of manufacturing industry.
- The Stourbridge operations meet other criteria relating to improvements in fuel and vehicle technology and on environmental improvements as set out below:
The vehicles operating offer a significantly reduced level of exhaust emissions and therefore make a contribution to the reduction in ‘green house gases’ and assist in meeting targets for improving air quality. The cleaner emissions assist in alleviating health problems associated with the use of fossil fuel derivatives. Operations therefore meet objectives that encourage the use of more environmentally friendly fuels.
Continuing operations will assist the development of vehicles without the need for expensive, extensive and visually intrusive overhead wires thus offering the potential of greatly enhancing the urban environment. The associated reduction in initial Capital costs will therefore show that the cost of rail based solutions for solving traffic congestion problems can be brought into line with costs of proposed bus based solutions.
- The reduction in Capital and ongoing Revenue costs has the longer term potential for a reduction in the level of subsidies for services that adopt this technology – as it continues to be proven in a commercial environment. This then allows for the redirection and redistribution of the existing level of subsidy or the provision of more services or a saving in overall expenditure.
- Continuing operations have the potential to influence modal shift from the private car to rail based systems and therefore reduce road traffic congestion and the disbenefits associated with such congestion. This therefore assists relevant Authorities meet road traffic targets set under existing legislation.
- The Company continues to demonstrate the environmentally friendly aspects of an innovative transport mode at Stourbridge. The operations are monitored and comparisons made with other technologies or drawn from other transport modes. Monitoring will be directed towards the following activities:
Performance: In terms of energy consumption and maintenance costs. Key performance criteria are recorded to provide the necessary information to facilitate comparison with other modes and to establish a bank of technical data for potential future users or purchasers. This data allows ‘whole life’ costs to be more accurately established. The anticipated performance criteria established via the operation of previous lighter prototypes lead to targets for this project of energy consumption costs and light maintenance costs significantly below those of competing vehicles or energy sources;
Modal shift: The development of a high quality rail based public transport system at a much lower cost and lower environmental impact than either of conventional heavy rail or light rail/tramway systems offers considerable benefits and the opportunity to influence significantly the required modal shift from private to public transport.
- The Company has introduced ‘Standards’ as part of its Safety Management System [SMS] and such ‘Standards’ form part of the staff-training syllabus. The SMS requires staff to be cognisant of the environmentally aspects of the company’s activities and for them to provide the appropriate level of information to the passengers. An understanding of the technology, the ability to improve it and the means to report and communicate upon environmental issues forms a fundamental part of the Company’s philosophy.
- The Company is working in partnership with others to provide a high quality public transport activity. An objective is to integrate the licensed activities more fully into the transport arrangements within the community in which they will be operating thereby reducing dependency upon more environmentally damaging forms of transport.Management & Monitoring Arrangements and Systems:
- The Company has instituted a straightforward and simple management structure in order to ensure that operations are undertaken in an effective and efficient manner. This has allowed all relevant safety, environmental, personnel and management policies to be integrated. These activities are managed on a day-to-day basis by an appointed Operations Supervisor with full responsibility to deal with the requirements of the services (Staff job descriptions reflect the emphasis the company places upon its environmental responsibilities).
- Reporting – Day-to-day operational activities result in a report to the Board every four weeks, which details and comments upon all relevant activities. This report deals with specific events (if they have arisen) such as environmental prosecutions, enforcement orders and new environmental objectives. The above detail is summarised on an annual basis into a form suitable for submission, if required, to London Midland [LM] or Regulatory bodies.
- Performance – In terms of energy consumption and maintenance costs – is monitored and reported upon as part of this process outlined above. Key performance criteria are recorded to provide the necessary information to facilitate comparison with other modes and to establish a bank of technical data for potential future use. This data allows ‘whole life’ costs to be more accurately established and thereby play an important role in the development and introduction of any new Company activities.
- Review – The Company is committed to an annual review of this Environmental Policy and of the Occupational Standards that form part of its approved Safety Management System.