Agenda and minutes

Transport Committee - Thursday, 2nd November, 2017 2.00 pm

Contact: Democratic Services team 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest


Councillor Steve Foulkes declared a non-pecuniary interest in item 4 on the agenda relating to the Long Term Rail Strategy as a member of the Scrutiny Committee of Wirral Borough Council examining one of the potential new Stations referred to in the report.    


Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 276 KB


Resolved that the minutes of the last meeting held on 5 October 2017 be approved as a correct record.


In response to the question raised in the meeting by Councillor Abbey and recorded in Minute 39 with regard to loading times and the use of Walrus Cards, the following answer was noted:-


Bus operators have not reported any problems with boarding times in live

operation due to smart tickets on Walrus. 


Merseytravel undertakes extensive testing with bus operators upon every release of a new smart ticket product involving all tickets currently in live operation. Testing would indicate an average validation time of 2 to 3 seconds for a smart ticket on a Walrus card. There are a number of factors that

determine the time taken to validate a smart ticket:


(a)       the setup of the Electronic Ticket Machine (ETM) – this is probably the       single most important factor in the speed of validation. The operator   must keep the ticket machine updated with new software versions         released by the supplier and ensure that all Merseyside products are          properly configured;


(b)     the configuration of the smart product and how it is encoded on the card

         this will vary from product to product. The only product with a

         known issue is the Merseytravel staff pass – this is slower on average

         on-bus ( 3 to 5 seconds) than other bus products as it needs to also

         work in the rail environment: and


(c)    there is a known problem with the Parkeon ETM (used by Arriva and

        most small operators) where the very first transaction of the day takes

        a long time to validate as the ETM loads in the required software

        modules. Subsequent smart card reads are much quicker as the required

        modules once loaded are available straight away and until the ETM is

        powered down at the end of the day.


In order to determine the cause of any boarding delays related to a smart ticket it would be necessary to report the issue to the bus operator straight away for a check to be made of the ETM involved. The bus operator will need to know the ticket product loaded onto the Walrus card (Arriva Weekly, SaveAway, Solo Weekly, Stagecoach MegaRider, Concessionary, etc.); the bus service involved, the boarding location and time. If an ETM (or group of ETMs in a depot) have a particular problem then the bus operator can investigate with the supplier and resolve any underlying problems.





Updated Long Term Rail Strategy pdf icon PDF 129 KB

To consider a report of Merseytravel concerning an update on the Liverpool City Region Long Term Rail Strategy, formally adopted by the Combined Authority in September 2014.




Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report of Merseytravel concerning the updated Long Term Rail Strategy.


The Head of Rail, Wayne Menzies, provided a summary of the key points addressed in the updated Strategy. It had been conceived when the Strategy was initially adopted in 2014 that it would be subject to regular review and it had been clear that there had been national and local changes which needed to be reflected in the revised document. He then explained the progress so far made in terms of delivery, the challenging funding environment and the importance of the development of Liverpool Central Station.


Councillor Carr said that a major priority for the City Region was the Port of Liverpool and the continuing development of a cohesive approach to freight traffic where Liverpool was very clearly a national hub. As one of the purposes of HS2 was to move freight traffic on to the West Coast Line his question was how much of a priority was this now. Wayne Menzies answered that freight and access to the Port remained a key priority as the new line would release much needed capacity on the existing line. There were some challenges of course but for the City Region this remained a major aspiration and discussions with the Department for Transport on the issue were continuing at a very senior level.  There was also a need to address the capability of the Port itself.


Councillor Abbey commended the report and referred to the issue of passenger capacity limitations on the existing trains as set out in Appendix One. He believed the additional capacity which would be provided by the new rolling stock was extremely positive news which merited greater focus as it would contribute significantly to meeting the anticipated future growth in demand on the network. In addition Councillor Abbey commented on the need for a shorter term solution to strengthen services on the Wrexham/Bidston line so that there could be a link directly into Liverpool.


Wayne Menzies responded that discussions were ongoing with the Department for Transport and Network Rail about developing the infrastructure on the Merseyrail network and so providing more capacity and trains. As passenger numbers continued to grow there was a need to address a range of associated issues such as park and ride. With regard to the Wrexham/Bidston line, the long term proposal was for electrification of the line but in the meantime the use of independent motive power (battery power) was being considered. The Chair added that the Mersey/Dee Alliance continued to monitor progress and lobby with regard to this Line as they wished to see major improvements in its services.                


Councillor Howard also commended the report but he referred to the indication of a possible new Station at Beechwood and said that there were two Beechwood areas in the City Region, one in Runcorn and one in Birkenhead so indications in reports needed to be more precise about where was being referred to. He also asked it to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.


High Speed 2: Crewe Hub Consultation Response pdf icon PDF 118 KB

To consider a report of Merseytravel concerning the Merseytravel/Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s response to the Government's recent High Speed 2 Crewe Hub Consultation exercise.




Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report of Merseytravel concerning the Merseytravel/Liverpool City Region Combined Authority response to the recent High Speed 2 Crewe Hub Consultation exercise of the Government.


Tom Carbery, the Rail Development Advisor, presented the report and outlined its key points around the proposal for an HS2 Hub at Crewe and the robust response provided to the Government expressing concern at the suggestion of splitting both Liverpool HS2 services, the potential hindering of the growth of freight traffic and the potential that the provision of HS2 services to Liverpool via a new direct line would provide for journey times and capacity on the West Coast Main Line (WCML).         


Councillor Crone commented that the robust response was justified by the concem that the City Region could be disadvantaged by the current proposals but he also asked if capacity could be increased on the West Coast Main Line by conventional means without the need for HS2.  Tom Carbery responded that there were numerous previous studies that had looked at alternatives but  conclusively demonstrated that there was no better way of freeing capacity on the WCML than by the building of HS2.  The biggest problem for trains in the UK was the relatively scarce amount of track being required to service many trains traveling at a variety of speeds and a large uplift in investment to provide added capacity was very much needed. The ideal solution would be HS2 linked in to the Northern Powerhouse Rail plans.


Councillor Thomas referred to the growing strength of the visitor economy in the City Region and so how important it was to continued growth to recognise that equality was about ensuring the needs of all people were considered. She said that the “purple pound” provided by disabled people and their families represented a significant economic input to the region and to its transport network so there were clear benefits to making the network fully accessible as well as implications if it did not do so. She referred to the report and to the paragraph related to equality and diversity implications and she suggested that there clearly would be equality implications arising from this and other major projects and reports should reflect this accordingly.


Tom Carbery accepted this point and said that access would be a key thread as this Project moved forward and that it would be fully reflected in future reports. The Chair also indicated that the wording for this aspect of meeting reports was under review by Directors.       .          


Councillor Carr referred to the reference in the report to freight traffic not being hindered and he asked how this might be manifested. Tom Carbery explained how this was about choice between passenger and freight services  and that the Crewe Hub could provide further passenger services to other parts at the expense of freight services in to Liverpool. Therefore it was important to lobby and show the evidence to demonstrate the importance of freight.


It was then added by Councillor Carr that freight  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.


Public Question Time

Members of the public will be given the opportunity to ask questions which

have been submitted in accordance with Meetings Standing Orders No. 11.


A period of 30 minutes will be allocated for this item and copies of valid questions will be circulated at the meeting.


Members of the public who wish to submit questions are asked to contact

Democratic Services by either:


Telephone: 0151 330 1086

In writing: Democratic Services, Merseytravel, No.1 Mann Island, PO Box 1976, Liverpool, L69 3HN


A pro-forma will be supplied which, for this meeting must be returned by

5.00pm on 27th October 2017. In this respect, return details are set out in the pro-forma.




The Chair advised that a number of public questions had been received all relating to the omission of horse riding from the Liverpool City Region Road Safety Strategy 2017 – 20 but that as this Strategy had been considered and approved directly by the LCR Combined Authority at its meeting on 14 July 2017, it had therefore been determined appropriate to re-direct such questions to the meeting of the Combined Authority to be held on 17 November 2017 and to advise the questioners of this referral accordingly.


Petitions and Statements

Members of the public will be given the opportunity to submit a single

petition or statement in accordance with Meetings Standing Orders No. 11.


Members of the Public who wish to submit a single petition or statement

are asked to contact Democratic Services by either:


Telephone: 0151 330 1086

In writing: Democratic Services, Merseytravel, No.1 Mann Island, PO Box 1976, Liverpool, L69 3HN


All petitions and statements for this meeting should be submitted to

Merseytravel, using the contact details above, by 12noon on 1 November 2017.


The Committee were advised that no petitions or statements had been received.


Any Other Urgent Business Approved by the Chair


The Chair placed on record the best wishes of the Committee to the Director of Corporate Development, Liz Chandler, for a speedy recovery following her recent operation.