Agenda and minutes

Budget Meeting, Merseytravel Committee - Thursday, 2nd February, 2017 2.00 pm

Venue: Authority Chamber, Merseytravel Offices, No. 1 Mann Island, Liverpool, L3 1BP

Contact: Michelle Keating, 0151 330 1086 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest received.




Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 89 KB


Resolved that the minutes of the last Merseytravel Committee held on 5 January 2017 be approved as a correct record.




TransPennine Express Presentation

To receive a presentation from Leo Goodwin, Managing Director of Transpennine Express regarding the TransPennine Express Franchise






The Committee were informed that Leo Goodwin, Managing Director of Transpennine Express, had unfortunately had to tender his apologies for the meeting.


Arrangements had been made for Mr Goodwin to attend the next meeting on 2 March 2017 and the Committee looked forward to welcoming him and receiving an update on the TransPennine Express franchise.




Mersey Tunnel Tolls 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 207 KB

To consider a report of the Lead Officer for Transport concerning the Mersey Tunnel Tolls for 2017/18



Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report of the Lead Officer for Transport regarding the Mersey Tunnel Tolls for 2017/18.


Councillor Abbey thanked the Officers and Committee Members for the work that had been undertaken in order for the tolls to remain unchanged. It was acknowledged that tunnel users would like to see further reductions but there was a need to ensure a balanced budget was in place. He further commended the continuation of the Fast Tag discount, which would hopefully encourage more tunnel users to take advantage of the service.


Councillor Foulkes echoed Councillor Abbey’s comments. The Mersey Tunnels were vital links across the River Mersey and valued by residents of the Liverpool City Region; particularly at this current time with the closure of the Wirral Loop Line. The tolls were vital to maintaining these assets and it was important that the public were made aware of this. He was pleased to see that the Member-led innovations introduced last year, such as free travel for emergency service liveried vehicles and free travel for all users on Christmas Day were able to be maintained for the forthcoming year. Recent feedback he had received indicated that the Christmas Day initiative was appreciated.


With regard to the Fast Tag, Councillor Williams commended the service. A large percentage of Wirral tunnel users had one and it was a great money saving tool.


Councillor McGlashan also commended the Fast Tag; it was a service that all tunnel users could benefit from and allowed for a cheap way of crossing the river. With regard to the Wirral Loop Line closure, he congratulated the work of the team at Mersey Tunnels as the time taken to travel through either tunnel had only seen a maximum 14 second increase, which was significantly less than originally anticipated.


Councillor Robinson endorsed all comments made. The toll setting was a key part of the budget process and had not been taken in isolation; a number of difficult decisions had needed to be made for the forthcoming year. No funding was received from Central Government for the Mersey Tunnels and a toll was deemed fairer than funding from Council Tax. As mentioned, it was pleasing to see that the toll was to remain unchanged and the discounts introduced last year were able to be maintained. More importantly, however, was the maintaining of the Fast Tag discount. The majority of tunnel users were now Fast Tag users and the service would continue to be promoted as the best value way of travelling through the tunnel.


Resolved that:-


(a)          the contents of the report be noted;


(b)          the level of “authorised tolls” for the Mersey Tunnels, as determined by the County of Merseyside Act 1980 (as amended by the Mersey Tunnels Act 2004) with details on calculation methods explained in section 3 of the report, be noted; and


(c)          the implementation of the schedule of tolls, contained in Table 1 of 2.1 (c) of the report, with effect from Saturday 1 April 2017; in effect  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.


Budget Setting Report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 295 KB

To consider a report of the Treasurer concerning the draft 2017/18 revenue budget and capital programme for Merseytravel.



Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report of the Treasurer regarding Merseytravel’s draft revenue budget and capital programme for 2017/18, details of proposed price/fare increases for 2017/18 and the grants payable to Merseytravel in respect of general operations and Mersey Tunnels for 2017/18.


Councillor Foulkes commended the officers involved in producing this budget. Although balances had been used, the difficulty was delivery and sustainability over the forthcoming year and this would be monitored closely. There would be implications, as a result of this budget and future years’ budgets but the organisation would strive to do the best possible with the resources available. The District Councils were currently experiencing unprecedented cuts and any savings made by Merseytravel were welcomed.


Councillor Friel agreed that these were challenging times but commended Merseytravel’s commitment to ensure that negative implications for any of the Public Sector Equality Duty’s protected characteristics were mitigated wherever possible, as detailed in section 11 of the report. He further referred to the high ambitions for the Rolling Stock project, which he did agree with, but stressed the importance of the need to be smarter and more intelligent in order to get the most out of the available resources.


Officers were thanked by Councillor Robinson for the significant work undertaken to produce a robust and deliverable budget. None of the decisions had been easy but Merseytravel would still strive to deliver the best transport network, in line with the District Council’s plans and minimise the stress on them as much as possible.


Resolved that:-


(a)          the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority be requested to approve the operating grants for both public transport and Mersey Tunnels’ operating activities, as detailed in section 4 of the report;


(b)          the fare/price increases detailed in the report be approved and the financial implications of these increases be included in the draft budget for 2017/18; and


(c)          the Capital Programme for 2017/18, as detailed in section 4 of the report, be approved.