Venue: Authority Chamber, Merseytravel Offices, No. 1 Mann Island, Liverpool, L3 1BP
Contact: Michelle Keating, 0151 330 1086
Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest received.
To consider the minutes of the meeting on 1 December 2016 and the Extraordinary meeting on 16 December 2016.
Resolved that the minutes of the Ordinary meeting held on 1 December 2016 and the Extraordinary meeting held on 16 December 2016 be approved as correct records.
The Chair informed the Committee of the success of Merseyrail’s Cursor Inspector Mike Phillips, who won Frontline Employee of the Year at the North of England Transport Awards on 7 December 2016, for his experience, professional and friendly manner and also for his life saving actions at a rail station earlier in the year.
Councillor McGlashan, who also attended the awards, praised Mr Philiips for his humble nature; he was a wonderful advocate for the organisation.
The Committee congratulated Mr Phillips. His actions exemplified the strength and dedication of Merseytravel staff and he was given a round of applause.
To consider a report of the Monitoring Officer concerning the membership of the Merseytravel Committee
The Committee considered a report of the Monitoring Officer regarding the resignation of Councillor Joan Lilly, the subsequent vacancy on the Performance and Review Working Group and the co-option of Councillor Gillian Flatley.
(a) Councillor Joan Lilly’s resignation be noted, she be thanked for her efforts during her time on the Merseytravel Committee and congratulated for her promotion to Knowsley Council’s Cabinet;
(b) Councillor Gillian Flatley’s co-option be noted and she be welcomed to the Merseytravel Committee; and
(c) Councillor Gillian Flatley be appointed to the Performance and Review Working Group.
To receive a presentation concerning the Bus Alliance
The Committee received a presentation from Merseytravel’s Senior Head of Service Operations regarding progress of the Bus Alliance.
Councillor Abbey felt that the establishment of the Alliance was not always given the recognition it deserved. It was a huge accomplishment and credit was given to the Merseytravel Officers involved and to both Arriva and Stagecoach. The Committee had driven this initiative forward and the politicians should also be commended. The Alliance had potentially huge benefits for the people of the Liverpool City Region and could possibly be replicated in other areas following Central Government’s interest in the model.
Councillor Robinson reciprocated the credit to Councillor Abbey for his part in the development of the Alliance as the Committee’s Lead Member for Bus.
Clarification was sought and received by Councillor Friel that passengers using the rail replacement services during the on-going Wirral Loop Line closures would not contribute to the Alliance’s objective of 10% fare paying passenger growth. It was reported that an estimated 9% growth had already been experienced with a quarter of the financial year still remaining.
With further reference to the Wirral Loop Line, Councillor Friel commended the Transport Co-ordination Centre that had been established for the works; an excellent job had been done to date by the agencies involved and it was hoped that this would continue.
Councillor Carr referred to the Wider Partnership Membership mentioned in the presentation and suggested the inclusion of a bus driver representative to provide a frontline perspective. It was advised that this was discussed in the inaugural meeting of the Stakeholder Board and agreed that a union representative, likely from Unite, would be invited.
Councillor Carr further enquired about whether the bus operators would be contributing to the promotion and marketing of the Alliance and was informed that there was a joint marketing budget for this activity, funded by Merseytravel, Arriva and Stagecoach.
Councillor Shields thanked the Senior Head of Service Operations for his presentation, which extensively detailed the progress to date and the future direction of the Alliance. He applauded the extensive work that had been done, which had not always been easy, but the leadership from Merseytravel had been exemplary and he thanked the Lead Member for Bus and all officers involved.
In response to a question from Councillor Robinson regarding the inclusion of audio and visual route information on the on bus CCTV screens, it was explained that audio information was being considered by the bus operators and the provision of visual route information was part of the Alliance development for 2017/2018. The displaying of additional information on these screens had already been achieved, with the CCTV screens on the rail replacement buses referred to earlier being used to show information about the on-going Loop Line works. The introduction of maps would be considered and could be linked to the readily available bus stop information.
The Lead Officer for Transport specifically commended Merseytravel’s Director of Corporate Development for her work in establishing the Bus Alliance. Her work was ... view the full minutes text for item 49.
To consider a report of Merseytravel concerning the launch of the new Adult Day Solo ticket and the annual pricing strategy for the Solo product family
The Committee considered a report of Merseytravel regarding the launch of the new Adult Day Solo ticket and the annual pricing strategy for the Solo product family.
Councillor Stockton commended the officers involved for the significant amount of work undertaken relating to the Solo tickets.
(a) the introduction of an Adult Day Solo ticket with effect from 31 January 2017, at the price of £4.70 be approved; and
(b) a price freeze for all other existing Solo products until 31 March 2017, to allow for further pricing discussions and approvals to take place for the new Solo single geographic area structure be approved.
Wirral Slab Track Renewal
The Committee received a verbal update from the Lead Officer for Transport regarding the service provision being provided during the Wirral Slab Track Renewals, which commenced on 3 January 2017.
The replacement service to and from Birkenhead North and Birkenhead Central had been well provisioned from the first train on the morning of 3 January 2017. Journey times were averaging 10 to 20 minutes, which was comfortably within the time limits set. To provide context the journey would take 8 to 10 minutes on the train.
The Mersey Tunnels had been relatively quiet, with the number of journeys down 25% on the first day of the closure when compared to a ‘normal’ Tuesday; however this figure continued to drop over the course of the week. The following week was expected to be busier at the tunnels and on the rail replacements services due to people retuning to work and school after the Christmas and New Year period.
All media outlets were present at Birkenhead North and Birkenhead Central on the first day and public perception had been positive overall, with passengers knowing about the closure and the alternative arrangements well in advance and being happy with the replacement services. The passengers were having a good bus experience; all the rail replacement vehicles were brand new and fitted with CCTV, Wi-Fi and USB ports.
The Transport Co-ordination Centre was also performing well and overall it was a pleasing start to the first phase of the works. There was, however, no room for complacency and a more significant challenge was expected in the coming week when the number of people travelling would increase.
Councillor Foulkes commended the advance planning; the risks had been mitigated as much as possible and thanks were given to all involved. He had received positive feedback from work colleagues who had been affected by the works.
Councillor Williams echoed Councillor Foulkes’ comments regarding the planning and specifically applauded the significant amount of information that had been provided to passengers beforehand.
The passengers were commended by Councillor Nicholas for taking note of the advanced notification and amending their travel plans. She also referred to the good relatability of the promotional material, which linked the opening of the Loop Line to other memorable events that happened in the same year.
Councillor Rasmussen commented that all media coverage since the closure had been positive. This success was due to the Communications Strategy and she praised all involved.
The Lead Officer for Transport commended Merseytravel’s Director of Corporate Development and the Communications Team. It was imperative that this success continued and the strong interface between communications, engagement and delivery would be key.
It was highlighted by Councillor McGlashan that this work, and also the work in the other areas considered by the Committee at this meeting, demonstrated that Merseytravel put the customer at the forefront and strived to make improvements for the travelling public.
(a) the verbal update be noted; and
(b) further updates be received as the Wirral ... view the full minutes text for item 51.