Contact: Democratic Services team
(A) The Chair announced the attendance of Matt Goggins and his colleagues from the Merseytravel Bus Team and a vote of thanks from the Committee was placed on record for their outstanding achievement in winning the “Partnership of the Year” award at the North of England Transport Awards for their work on the Bus Alliance. The Chair also advised the Committee of the receipt of the award of Combined Authority of the Year and the Vice-Chair advised that the Chair should also be congratulated for his award at the event.
(B) The Chair advised that upon officer advice, the exemption in relation to the “Review of Paper Timetables” report was lifted and that therefore the order of business be varied accordingly to enable this item to be considered as item 8 on the agenda with the remaining items being considered thereafter.
Declarations of Interest
Councillor Foulkes declared a personal interest in item 8 on the agenda relating to paper timetable leaflets as a previous user of the paper supplier in question.
Resolved that the minutes of the last meeting held on 2 November 2017 be approved as a correct record subject to noting:-
(a) the comments of Councillor Howard pointing out of the existence of two Beechwood Stations, one in Runcorn and one in Wirral;
(b) the comments of Councillor Howard requesting that if the increase in services between Liverpool to London trains referred to in paragraph 3.30 of the Long Term Rail Strategy is achieved for the trains to stop at Runcorn;
(c) the comments of Councillor Jones clarifying his suggestion that a possible future train service to Rainford could include an hourly direct service between Wigan and Rainford which did not call at Skelmersdale. And
(d) an amended appendix re: Multi – Operator Ticket Prices from the report submitted to the 5 October 2017 Transport Committeee. .
To consider a report of Merseytravel presenting an overview of the corporate and operational performance of Merseytravel for Quarter 2 and identifying any potential risks to future performance.
The Committee considered a report of the Lead Officer Transport concerning an overview of the corporate operation performance of Merseytravel for Quarter 2 of 2017/18.
Stephen Littler, the Performance Manager, provided an overview of the performance in the quarter and the delivery and performance against corporate KPI’s which he suggested was good. Sarah Johnston, the Head of Finance, commented on the financial content of the report.
Councillor Foulkes expressed thanks for the much improved changes to the format of the report which had improved the ability of Members to digest and more clearly understand the content. There were clearly still major challenges ahead but this was a very helpful report and he commended the officers who had compiled the report. These comments were endorsed by Councillor Abbey.
Councillor Crone asked if Liverpool City Council were involved in meetings with Bus Operators on Bus Priority measures and he also referred to the affordability KPI. He asked given the details for motoring and fast tag, if there was sufficient incentive for the use of public transport and sustainable travel.
The Chair pointed to the initiatives that had reduced the costs of commercial bus journeys including “My Ticket” and the ongoing efforts being made to make public transport an attractive proposition. Matt Goggins, the Head of Bus, explained about the trialling of intelligent traffic signals and the development of Real Time Information so technical solutions were being sought to improve passenger experience. He also said that Liverpool was one of the most impacted areas for congestion and the Key Route Network was being addressed by the Bus Alliance. There were regular monthly with the City Council Highways Team on all shared issues as well as ongoing fortnightly meetings about the City Centre Connectivity proposals. Councillor Crone also asked about proposals for red routes and Matt Goggins said discussions were ongoing with a view to recommendations being made about such routes in 2018,
Councillor Rowlands indicated that he was pleased with the content of the report and he commented that with the reported underspend, the financial picture seemed strong. Councillor Stockton commended the quality of the work involved and said that this was one of the best reports of this nature that he had ever seen. Councillor Friel agreed but he referred to the multi-modal approach to travel where people would travel by car to interchanges and it was evident currently the effects of such journeys on pollution levels and the environment were not fully captured. In the future he would like to see a focus given to this and to assessing the full social impact of travel decisions on all sectors of the community but particularly young people. The Chair agreed that in future years there would be an increasing need to capture the impact of travel on health, air quality and the environment.
Councillor Howard asked that greater thought be given by report writers to using acronyms without explanations of their meaning.
The work of the Mersey/Dee Alliance Group was raised ... view the full minutes text for item 57.
To consider a report of Merseytravel providing a summary of key activities within the Mersey Tunnels.
The Committee considered a report of the Lead Officer Transport concerning a summary of key activities within the Mersey Tunnels.
Gary Evans, the Head of Customer Delivery, provided an overview of the contents of the report with reference to the key projects and other activities currently being undertaken.
Councillor Rowlands asked for clarification on how any excess payments from tolls were now treated and Gary Evans responded that all income was now classified as tolls income and there was no longer the facility to donate any excess funds to charity. The Chair added that due to the recent years of austerity a third of funding had been lost so all revenue was needed to help
sustain balanced spending on transport needs.
A question was asked by Councillor Carr about costs arising from the delay to the rewiring project. Shane Fitzpatrick, the Senior Head of Service Operations, explained how the delays were mainly due to asbestos issues and the matter was in the process of being resolved and a financial settlement would be sought as part of the process. The new lighting system would help to reduce costs.
Resolved that the content of the report be noted.
To consider a report of Merseytravel providing a summary of key activities within the Mersey Ferries.
The Committee considered a report of Merseytravel concerning an update on the Mersey Ferries and its key activities.
Gary Evans, the Head of Customer Delivery, provided an overview of the contents of the report from an operational and performance perspective and an update on the various component workstreams in the Ferries Strategy including essential investment in the Landing Stages, particularly at Seacombe and Woodside.
Councillor Crone enquired about the possibility of a future Landing Stage at Festival Gardens. The response of Gary Evans was that while this was not envisaged in the Strategy as a direct future investment project, the organisation would be open to discussing its feasibility in the event that an approach in respect of such a development emanated from another party.
Councillor McGlashan said the report comprehensively indicated that the Ferries vessels were maturing towards the end of their working lives and it was clear that as such a major visitor attraction, everything possible had to be done to retain them for future generations.
Thanks were due to Gary Evans and the Ferries team for developing proposals for the future said Councillor Abbey and he asked if there was any idea of closure costs in the event that the service was not preserved as such information would help when the decisions were made about the future. Gary Evans replied that any feasibility study of the way to progress in the future would need to be fully evidence-based and should include all of the potential costs associated with de-commissioning the Ferries and the Landing Stages.
Councillor Williams referred to the enormous historical and heritage associations of the Mersey Ferries and he asked that Wirral History and Heritage Association be used if possible to check and provide accurate information when heritage issues were being considered. This was accepted by Gary Evans.
Resolved that the contents of the report be noted.
To consider a report of Merseytravel providing an update on Smarter Ticketing.
The Committee considered a report of the Lead Officer Transport concerning the current development of the Liverpool City Region Smart Ticketing Platform.
Gary Ennis, the Head of IT, provided an overview of the key points in the report in terms of what had been delivered and what was planned for delivery.
Councillor Abbey expressed concern about the seeming lack of resource for the IT Department to meet its expanding requirements. A lot of what the organisation was seeking to deliver relied on having the appropriate IT platforms. He referred to the sale of Solo day tickets from Paypoint stores and Merseytravel Centres and he suggested that this was a very positive piece of news that should be promoted very strongly. Gary Ennis replied though that this had been deliberately set as a “soft launch” as it was new approach to ticket sales that had not happened elsewhere so it was considered important to first of all build confidence that it was working successfully and if that happened it could then be marketed with full confidence.
With regard to the resource issue for IT, Liz Chandler, the Director of Corporate Development, explained how this was being carefully examined at present by Directors with a view to finding the best way to resolve the issue. It was being treated as an absolute priority. Councillor Abbey accepted these explanations but urged the finding of a resource solution and the move towards a multi-modal approach to ticketing. Liz Chandler agreed that this was a fair challenge from Councillor Abbey The development of a Walrus Portal was a priority but it had to be noted that there was no “top slicing” on the Merseytravel Ticketing Scheme so it was a challenge to make the numbers work. However the right ticketing would be developed to generate more use of public transport.
Councillor Crone queried the announcement of the Mayor recently of a review of the Walrus branding as he had believed this was a well-established brand. The Chair explained the rationale behind this approach which was to seek to re-position the whole network in the City Region in the next few years given the major changes that were impending and the possibility of creating a new and collective identity for transport across the various modes of travel.
Councillor Carr asked about the development of a ticketing brand for the North and the use of Apps. Liz Chandler replied that this was being assessed alongside the other work on Ticketing. Councillor Friel asked about equality and diversity implications and the possibility of Members to challenge more on how reports set out such implications. He asked that the impact assessments on protected characteristics should be available for Members to see. Liz Chandler accepted there should be challenge on this and she said that she would look at the issues associated with transparency and equality impact assessments. Councillor McGlashan suggested that another approach would be for a Member with concerns in this area to discuss them directly with report ... view the full minutes text for item 60.
Review of Merseytravel Paper Timetables and Information Outlets
To consider a report of Merseytravel concerning proposals to carry out a pilot scheme across St Helens involving the withdrawal of paper based bus and rail timetables leaflets for a 3 month period from January 2018
The Committee considered a report of Merseytravel concerning proposals to carry out a pilot scheme across St Helens involving the withdrawal of paper based bus and rail timetables leaflets for a three month period from January 2018.
Liz Chandler, the Director of Corporate Development, explained the background to the review, the proposed pilot removal in St. Helens and the back up measures that would be put in place to aid the transition.
The Chair recapped on the severe loss of budget in recent years and that this informed the need to make difficult choices such as this. He said that behaviour did change over time but stressed that paper copies would still be available on request from the Travel Centre in St Helens. Members of the public would be helped to get used to using Apps and he said that RTI would soon show actual timings rather than just the expected times in timetables. The Pilot would seek to assess all the issues and enable an informed, evidence based decision to be made in the future.
Councillor Wolfson said that the planned rollout of customer digital training roadshows was to be welcomed while Councillor Nicholas was pleased with the thorough analysis of equality and diversity implications and said she wished to see this more often in reports. She also said that good communications was key to making this change work.
The Vice-Chair, Councillor Friel identified socio-economic, environmental and financial factors as matters that needed to be understood when making such changes. Liz Chandler said all these factors were being addressed in the Pilot as the intention was to gradually reduce the use of paper, change behaviour and reduce costs without affecting access to information for passengers. Waste had a significant economic impact so it needed to be reduced but digital exclusion was understood and steps would be taken to continue to support those who did not receive their information digitally.
Councillor Jones supported this approach to reduce costs and waste but was further encouraged by the idea of still having paper copies available on request. The Chair said this would happen and he was clear that staff at travel centres would have an important role to play in not just providing leaflets but also in giving digital advice that would help the changes work in the longer term.
Councillor Crone asked if there was a relationship between timetable information and patronage and about the availability of information on telephones. Liz Chandler answered that there was no data on the patronage effect of leaflets but real time information would be helpful in future and information would be made available in various ways and passengers would be encouraged and helped to find out how to discover what they needed to know for themselves.
(a) the contents of the report be noted;
(b) the intention to withdraw all paper leaflets distributed to 27 (25%) existing outlets across Merseyside and peripheral boundaries by the 15 January 2018 be noted; and
(c) the ... view the full minutes text for item 61.
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 Monday 4 December 2017.
In this respect, return details are set out in the pro-forma.
The Committee were advised that one question had been received for this item from Mr Geoffrey Poole.
Mr Poole was invited to address his question, which was as follows, to the Chair:-
‘I refer to the callous and complacent decision to reroute the 82 bus and cut off the people of Speke, Aigburth, Garston and Dingle from the majority of the City Centre.
I would like to ask the Chair why the residents of these areas have solely taken the burden of the supposed congestion in Hanover Street and why no help or information has been provided to alleviate the considerable inconvenience. The single suggestion of taking two buses would have made more sense had a free transfer been offered as in London or if the route had been made circular through Liverpool One allowing passengers to ride through. Also is the chair aware that these areas of South Liverpool on the outward journey have always had the inconvenience of the longest walk from Lime Street to a bus stop now currently made even work by the removal of that stop due to the work on Lime Street.’
Mr Poole addressed the Committee on the issue and the Chair responded that since the 1980s, bus services had been provided by private bus companies who were able to make decisions on routes and services such as this one without full consultation with passengers. However there had been recent engagement with the Operators on this particular issue and the Chair indicated that he was hopeful as a result of those discussions that a compromise solution would be reached and that some of the 82 services would return to their original route in the near future.
Mr Poole asked a supplementary question regarding whether or not there was any data indicating that the route changes to the 82 service had produced any impact on congestion in the City Centre as anecdotally he believed that significant numbers of commuters had used their cars to travel into the City Centre because of the impact of this route change. The Chair indicated that an answer would be provided in writing to Mr Poole on this supplementary question as soon as possible.
Resolved that: the question and response be noted and a written response be provided to the questioner within 10 working days of the meeting.
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 5pm on Monday 4December 2017 (day before the meeting)
The Committee were advised that no petitions or statements had been received.
Any Other Urgent Business Approved by the Chair
(A) Public Sector Pay Cap
Motion by the Chair, Councillor Liam Robison, seconded by Councillor
This Committee has always supported the notion that local government and public sector workers are an invaluable asset to the communities that they serve. Indeed Merseytravel Staff play a vital role on our local transport network.
It is therefore a matter of concern to this Committee that the basic pay of local government workers has fallen by 21% in real terms since 2010. The majority of local government workers live locally within the communities that they serve. Low pay causes real hardship within those communities. As a result of the Government’s policy of forced pay restraint, local government pay is now the lowest in the public sector. The Committee notes that the current national local government pay negotiations for this year have recently reached a crucial stage.
The Committee also notes the drastic, unfair and unnecessary ongoing cuts to local government funding, due to this Merseytravel is unable to act unilaterally, so calls on the Government to provide additional funding to fund a decent and fair pay rise for local government workers.
This Committee therefore resolves to:-
(i) call immediately on the Local Government Association to make urgent representations to the Government to fund a fair and just pay award for local government workers and notify us of their action in this regard;
(ii) write to the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer to seek additional funding to fund a fair and just pay award for local government workers; and,
(iii) inform local trade union representatives of the Committee’s actions as outlined above.
The Motion was put, carried and it was Resolved Accordingly.
(B) Season’s Greetings
The Best Wishes of the Committee to all staff for a peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Year were placed on record.