Venue: Authority Chamber - No.1 Mann Island, Liverpool, L3 1BP. View directions
Contact: Charles Yankiah
Webcast: View the webcast
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Nathalie Nicholas, Ged Philbin and Jerry Williams.
Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.
To consider the draft minutes of the last meeting of the Transport Committee held on 13th June 2019.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the last meeting of the Transport Committee held on 13th June 2019, be approved as a correct record.
Minute No. 7 – Cycle of Meetings and Appointments to Outside Bodies and Lead Members 2019/20
The Chair, Councillor Robinson invited the Committee to nominate opposition members to the outstanding positions on the Outside Bodies.
Resolved that the Transport Committee appoints the following opposition members to the appropriate Outside Bodies: -
· The Beatles Story Board (Observer) – Councillor Frances Wynn
· Mersey Ferries (Observer) – Councillor Christopher Rowe
· Travelsafe Board – Councillor Allan Jones
· Opposition Spokesperson – Councillor John Dodd
Presentation - Transport for Wales
To receive a presentation from Mr Lee Robinson, The Development Director for North Wales, Transport for Wales.
The Committee received a presentation from Lee Robinson, the Development Director for North Wales in relation to Transport for Wales.
Members raised the following: –
Councillor Steve Foulkes enquired about ways to improve the working relationship between the City Region and Transport for Wales (TfW) and whether there was any money available from the £40m identified to improve stations between Bidston and Wrexham e.g. Heswall and Upton which were in poor condition.
Lee Robinson informed the Committee that a steering group had already been established working on cross border connectivity with a view to setting a vision for the work that will be identified in the outline business case which is already in progress. Some of the money will be invested in stations, following a recent audit that was conducted by an external party on all stations showing improvements to lighting, cycle storage, CCTV, branding and painting etc.
Councillor Ken McGlashan enquired about the vision and mechanism that would be used to work more closely together with the newly established business unit in Wrexham and the City Region and whether or not consideration would be given to working with the City Region and its train suppliers to have similar trains across the border given the issues experienced by Transport for Wales with its supplier.
Lee Robinson stated that there was well-established relationships already at senior and operational level and he was happy with the communication and dialogue at the moment and would be happy to share procurement channels in relation to the rolling stock.
Councillor John Stockton enquired about the Halton Curve services and how it would be marketed in the future to encourage travel across the region and also how it would link with the John Lennon Airport.
Lee Robinson stated that he had already met with the rail partnership officer and discussed a detailed plan to market the link and that meetings have already taken place with the airport and discussions were underway in relation to ticketing, pricing and flights.
Councillor John Wiseman stated that Newton Le Willows was a key location for growth within the St Helens area and for the journey between Manchester and Llandudno and wanted to know if there were any further plans to improve the service.
Lee Robinson stated that there are no additional plans other than what has been referred to in the presentation and is limited by the network currently. TfW are aware of the issues to increase the connectivity services and to make it more efficient right through to Manchester airport.
Councillor Nina Killen commented that it was positive and encouraging to hear about the increase in Sunday services and enquired about whether it was across the whole network, or just the links between Wales and City Region and if any consideration had been given to peak seasons e.g. Christmas.
Lee Robinson informed the Committee that it was across the whole network and TfW was aware of seasonal issues having responded to Chester Races and the Christmas season ... view the full minutes text for item 17.
To consider an update on key bus issues relating to the first quarter of 2019/2020.
The Committee considered a report from Matt Goggins, Head of Bus relating to an update on key issues in the first quarter of 2019/20 between April to June 2019.
Matt Goggins highlighted the following: -
· The target initially set was to grow by 10% over 4 years, but the target had been exceeded within 2 years and a new target had been set at 20%.
· Patronage has been built up with a 9% growth in fare paying patronage.
· Adult patronage for the first time has increased and is driving growth.
Bus Passenger Survey
· The overall satisfaction was at 91%.
· Joint highest of any metropolitan area in satisfaction.
· There has been a 5% increase with satisfaction relating to value for money.
· There has been an increase in satisfaction relating to “waiting facilities”.
· Good levels of satisfaction relating to personal safety and security through practical measures and communicating those messages to passengers.
The Bus Alliance
· Completed procurement for 5 green bus core routes, across four districts to improve reliability and punctuality of the network.
· 100% Bus Alliance operator buses are now fitted with contactless technology, soon to be 100% of all buses across the City Region.
· Completed independent evaluation relating to the “Better by Bus” campaign, with over 40% of people being aware of the campaign. It has been changing perceptions and influencing behaviours through key messages being communicated.
· The City Centre Bus Re-routing project was underway and there has been about 825 comments submitted via the web portal.
· The introduction of the second of the St Helens bus network reviews has been completed in April 2019.
Bus Reform Business Case
Currently analysing the data submitted by bus operators to support the Business Case relating to the Bus Services Act 2017 devolution deal. The data relates to revenue and commercial costs provided by the bus operators who have been co-operating.
· Ticket machine upgrade was not just about ticketing machines being installed, but it was also about real time tracking to improve reliability and punctuality and improve the accuracy of arrival times of the buses, this has been well received.
· New contracts embedded in Wirral relating to change of operators which has gone smoothly.
· Customer information improvements relating to information being displayed together with rail connectivity information has seen improvements.
Members raised the following concerns –
To consider an overview of financial, corporate and operational performance of Merseytravel for Quarter 4 (January to March) 2018/19.
The Committee considered a report from Jason Roberts and Sarah Johnston relating to Quarter 4 of the Merseytravel Corporate Plan, Performance and Financial Monitoring Report 2018/19.
Sarah Johnston, Head of Finance took members through the Financial Monitoring Report.
Councillor Steve Foulkes, Lead Member for Finance and Organisational Development informed the Committee of the significant pressures from last year still remains, no resolutions for specific rail grants, main reason for overspend due to slippage on rolling stock and the capital slippage on Mersey tunnel. Very tight and difficult budget to deliver, it has been very well presented and thanked Sarah and her team for the work done.
Members raised the following concerns relating to –
· Merseyrail concessions; and
· Risk relating to the reserves.
John Fogarty informed the Committee that there was currently no mechanism in place to pass the reduction to Merseyrail, so it comes off Merseytravel “bottom” line, as a result the budget has made some reserves available to offset that concern. He also stated that Merseyrail were the owners of the network, platforms, signalling, depot construction of which Merseytravel has no control over the costs, but there is a risk attached as identified in the report.
The Chair Councillor Robinson informed the Committee that discussions were ongoing with operators relating to funding concessionary travel.
Jason Roberts explained the Corporate Plan and Performance report relating to the key performance indicators and the three key transport priorities.
Councillor Howard enquired about ticket barriers.
Jason Roberts informed the Committee that as part of the programme to install barriers at key locations across the whole transport network, it was the view that because of the staffing and boarding arrangements at the Mersey Ferries and in relation to ticket checks by staff, it was deemed that there was no requirement to install automatic ticket barriers at the Mersey Ferries locations.
RESOLVED that the Transport Committee notes the contents of the report and requests further information as appropriate.
To consider the key impacts of the Liverpool City Region (LCR) Cycling and Walking to Work Fund (CWWF) programme and to highlight the key issues identified for consideration in any future funding for programmes.
The Committee considered a report from John Smith, the Programme Development Officer that highlighted the key issues identified for consideration in any future funding programmes for the cycling and walking to work funding programme.
Members enquired about the following: -
· The need to recognise the big barriers are road traffic and the dangers by taking the tough measures for cyclists to get from A to B safely.
· How can the £40,000 for Walrus cards encourage walking and cycling for the programme.
· There seems to be a lack of co-ordination and communication between the 21 projects with just the £1m, how will it be co-ordinated effectively.
· Climate emergency being declared across the City Region so the projects to support cycling and walking is great to reduce the carbon footprint and improve healthy lifestyles and get value for money.
· There are references to the obvious health benefits to walking and cycling, but is any research being done related to the long term benefits.
· Need to be speaking to all the groups and needs to be integrated into what is on offer around the City Region.
· Encouraging people to get into alternative modes of transport, to reduce pollutants in the air, e.g. electric bikes and scooters etc. which could contribute to the wider impact.
· It is so much easier to get a bike on a train and on some routes it is easier to take a bus, but on other routes where you can use a bus to get around, but need to take a bus to get there, it is difficult to get bikes on the buses, it is something that could be looked into.
John Smith informed the Committee that the DfT have stated that the criteria for using the funding was specifically to cycling and walking. People have incorporated walking and cycling into their daily travel to get to their buses and trains and not driving to those sites as previously happened. In relation to the 21 projects, there are crossovers, so it is really about 8-9 main projects. However, it is noted that there is a lack of resource in the City Region and with our neighbouring partners in terms of a dedicated officer, but the evaluation highlights about the lack of central co-ordination which could assist future funding. The Liverpool City Region is involved in a project with Sustrans called Bike Life, which will address some of the issues raised relating to health benefits and a paper will be going to the Combined Authority be published in early March 2020, Government will soon be publishing a paper relating to Prevention Strategy which provides a link between preventable diseases and how it can be reduced and cycling and walking.
The Chair, Councillor Robinson stated that work is currently being done in the City Region to address the co-ordination issues and the resources is a small part of it, as there are other budget requirements, but 55km walking infrastructure being designed and delivered is a big step that can be ... view the full minutes text for item 20.
To consider a report of the Head of Rail seeking endorsement from the Transport Committee to the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority response to HM Government’s consultation on proposed route refinements, as part of the planned High Speed 2 network.
The Committee considered a report from Tom Carbery seeking the Committee’s endorsement in response to the HM Government’s consultation on the proposed route refinements.
Tom Carbery highlighted the following: -
· Consultation involves 11 proposed design refinements;
· 2 new junctions in the High Legh are in Cheshire which could have future connections to Liverpool;
· Better outcome for HS2 services between London and Liverpool is also highlighted but is only possible if the new speed line between the proposed junctions and Liverpool City Centre is built;
· Being developed by Transport for the North and Northern Powerhouse Rail;
· Significant benefits to the economy including possibly 24,000 new jobs in the City Region;
· Additional 11,000 new homes to facilitate the growth in the economy;
· £3.6m visitor increase to the City Region;
· Look at what can be done to continue the direct services to Runcorn from London
Members enquired about the following: -
· agree with the report and the response relating to the Government consultation;
· some concern regarding the new Prime Minister’s views on reviewing HS2; and
· potential second rail way age but underwritten by freight with investment.
Tom Carbery stated that as a City Region not much is being done to get freight onto rail, discussions are held relating to the potential sites. But it is all about the journey times and delivery, it is meant to be more efficient and carbon free in terms of emissions, but there are discussions at the moment ongoing to ensure those issues are taken on board.
The Chair, Councillor Robinson stated that it was a good report and response to the Government consultation, but the Committee should not lose sight of the length of time it has taken to get the HS2 into the route and the fact that the Liverpool junction has been included and that discussions continue with Government.
RESOLVED that the Transport Committee endorses the content of the report and the consultation response
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 1079
In writing: Democratic Services, LCR Combined Authority, 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 15th July 2019. In this respect, return details are set out in the pro-forma.
The Committee received two questions from Mr Brace and two questions from Mr Wennell as follows: -
In the absence of Mr Brace, the following two questions were circulated to the Committee.
On Friday 12th July 2019, I planned to travel by
train to collect documents from the building that the Transport
Committee is being held in and the
Merseyside Police HQ. However, the Wirral Line trains were all cancelled for a number of hours and
passengers were directed over the tannoy to the front of the station to get a rail
replacement bus. After waiting outside the station for about half
an hour a rail replacement bus (provided by Arriva) hadn't arrived and on asking the station staff, they
told me only a request had been made for a bus but they had not
been told when one would arrive. On my return journey approximately
two hours later, the network was running again and there was a rail
replacement bus outside the station.
Thank you for your answer to my question to a previous meeting of the Transport Committee about vandalism of bus stops/shelters.
During the period of waiting for a rail replacement bus outlined in question 1, we both
eventually gave up waiting after about half an hour and walked up
to the main road to get a bus to Liverpool instead. However, the
nearest bus shelter had no timetable information in it.
The Chair thanked Mr Brace for submitting his questions and informed the Committee that a formal response would be provided within 10 working days.
On most trains they have at least 1 toilet on board. Yes, I know a lot of the trains that leave Liverpool are long distance and can take 1 - 2 hours to reach its final destination. On Merseyrail, most of the routes are short with journey times between 15 - 30 minutes but Hunts Cross - Southport takes 64 minutes & Liverpool Lime Street - Chester via Birkenhead takes 45 - 50 minutes. With these journey times of more than 30 minutes, why are there no toilet facilities on board?
Everyday the Metro paper is out on board the buses, now some of these are left loose for you to pick up a copy. But on some buses ... view the full minutes text for item 22.
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 1079
In writing: Democratic Services, LCR Combined Authority, No.1 Mann Island, PO Box 1976, Liverpool, L69 3HN
All petitions and statements for this meeting should be submitted by 5.00pm on Monday 15th July 2019.
No petitions or statements were submitted for this meeting.
To note the Transport Committee’s Work Programme for 2019/20.
The Committee notes the updates relating to the Work Programme for 2019/20.
Any Other Urgent Business Approved by the Chair
There was no urgent business.