Agenda and draft minutes

Transport Committee - Thursday, 24th September, 2020 2.00 pm

Venue: This meeting will be held remotely

Contact: Lisa Backstrom  0151 330 1079

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Appointment of Chairperson

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Trudy Bedford, Democratic Services Manager opened the meeting and invited nominations for the appointment of Chairperson of the Transport Committee for the municipal year.

 

Councillor Gordon Friel nominated Councillor Liam Robinson as the Chair of the Transport Committee for 2020/21 seconded by Councillor Anthony Lavelle.

 

RESOLVED - That Councillor Liam Robinson be appointed Chairperson of the Transport Committee for 2020/21.

 

2.

Appointment of Vice-Chairperson

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair, Councillor Liam Robinson invited nominations for the appointment of Deputy Chairperson of the Transport Committee for the municipal year.

 

Councillor Liam Robinson nominated Councillor Gordon Friel as the Deputy Chairperson of the Transport Committee for 2020/21 seconded by Councillor Anthony Lavelle.

 

RESOLVED - That Councillor Gordon Friel be appointed Deputy Chairperson of the Transport Committee for 2020/21.

 

3.

Chairperson's Remarks

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairperson, Councillor Liam Robinson informed the committee that Councillor Christopher Rowe and Councillor Tony Pritchard had not been reappointed as members of the Transport Committee for this municipal year and wished to formally place on record his thanks for their contribution over the past year. The Chairperson extended a warm welcome to Councillor Gareth Stockton from Halton Borough Council who had replaced Councillor Rowe.

 

Noting that the past few months had been a challenging time for the Transport Sector, The Chairperson wished to formally place on record the Transport Committee’s thanks to everyone involved in keeping the transport network moving across the City Region over the course of the pandemic.

 

The Chairperson also notified the Committee of the sad passing of two Merseytravel colleagues, James Geraghty?and?Keith ‘Jess’?Jessop who had both worked in Customer Delivery and served the City Region for over 30 years between them. The Chairperson also reflected on the tragic events of the Stonehaven Rail Disaster and invited members to observe a minute’s silence in memory of all of those who have lost their lives over the past few months.

 

4.

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors P Hayes.

 

5.

Declarations of Interest

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were received for the meeting.

 

6.

Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 221 KB

To consider the minutes of the last meeting of the Transport Committee held on 27 February 2020.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED - That the minutes of the last meeting of the Transport Committee held on 27 February 2020, be approved as a correct record.

 

7.

Combined Authority Constitution, Committee Terms of Reference and Membership 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 122 KB

To consider the report of the Monitoring Officer.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Julie Watling, Legal, Democratic Services & Procurement Manager, presented the Combined Authority Constitution, Committee Terms of Reference and Membership 2020/21 report. The report detailed changes made to the Code of Conduct, Committee Terms of Reference and Membership for the municipal year.

 

RESOLVED - That:-

 

(i)             the membership of the Transport Committee for 2020/21 be noted;

 

(ii)            the Transport Committee welcome Councillor G Stockton From Halton Borough Council;

 

(iii)           the Transport Committee placed on record its thanks to former members, Councillors Paul Pritchard and Christopher Rowe for their work on behalf of the Committee and their contribution to taking forward the transport agenda for the City Region;

 

(iv)          the responsibility for functions as set out in Part 3 of the Combined Authority Constitution and, in particular, those responsibilities referred to and delegated to the Transport Committee in Section F, detailed in Appendix One to the report, be noted;

 

(v)            the Meetings Standing Orders set out in Section A of Part 4 of the Constitution of the Combined Authority, in particular, the Remote Meeting Protocol detailed in Appendix Two to the report, be noted;

 

(vi)          the contents of the Code of Conduct for Members as set out in Section A of Part 6 of the Constitution of the Combined Authority detailed in Appendix Three to the report, be noted; and

 

(vii)         appointment to the Lead member roles as outlined in paragraph 3.3 to the report be approved and that details of the appointed members be submitted to the Monitoring Officer, who will provide formal notification of appointments following the meeting.

 

 

8.

Cycle of Meetings, Spokespersons and Appointments to Outside Bodies 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 120 KB

To consider the report of the Monitoring Officer.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Trudy Bedford, Democratic Services Manager, presented the Cycle of Meetings, Spokespersons and Appointments to Outside Bodies 2020/21 report. The report set out a number of business matters for the municipal year including dates and times of the Committee meetings and detailed of the representation required for outside bodies.

 

RESOLVED -That:-

 

(i)             the dates and times of the Transport Committee meetings for the forthcoming year be noted, and that attendance at the briefing sessions on transport related matters be an approved duty (Appendix One) be agreed;

 

(ii)             the representation and individuals to serve on Outside Bodies for the forthcoming year be determined, noting that these could be subject to change throughout the Municipal Year with the names of the Members to fill any outstanding vacancies following the meeting to be submitted to the Monitoring Officer, from which time such Members shall be deemed to be appointed as the Combined Authority’s representative (Appendix Two);

 

(iii)           spokespersons for each of the Constituent Local Authorities to answer questions at Council Meetings for the forthcoming year (Appendix Two) be appointed;

 

(iv)           the continuing appointment by the Combined Authority of the Chairperson of the Transport Committee, in respect of the Transport for the North (TfN) Partnership Board (Substitute Member), the Rail North Committee Member, as well as, as a member of the European Structural and Investment Fund Committee be noted; and

 

(v)            the appointment of the Chairperson of the Transport Committee as a co-opted member of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, holding the Transport and Air Quality portfolio on behalf of the City Region be noted.

 

9.

Transport Committee Work Programme - 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 306 KB

To consider the Committee’s proposed work programme for 2020/21.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Trudy Bedford, Democratic Services Manager presented the Transport Committee Work Programme – 2020/21. It was explained that the Work Programme was a fluid document and if any urgent issues were to arise, they would be added accordingly.

 

RESOLVED - That the Transport Committee Work Programme 2020/21 be noted.

 

10.

Update on Active Travel Activity in the Liverpool City Region pdf icon PDF 145 KB

To consider the report of the Interim Director of Integrated Transport.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Barbara Wade, LTP Development Manager, presented an update on Active Travel Activity in the Liverpool City Region.

 

It was reported that Central Government had established two tranches of the Emergency Active Travel Fund (EATF) with the first having been developed as an immediate response to help support the provision of ‘pop-up’ active travel measures during the lockdown period. The Committee heard that the Combined Authority were successful in bidding for £1.9 Million funding. Tranche 2 of the Emergency Active Travel Fund permitted the Combined Authority to put in a considerably larger bid and it was anticipated an outcome would be received next month.

 

Alongside the Emergency Active Travel Fund, Central Government had also designed a new Active Travel strategy titled ‘Changing Gear’. The strategy placed significant importance on the meaningful relocation of Highway space for segregated cycle routes and it was reported the Combined Authority had already completed considerable work around this issue.

 

Two routes from the LCR Walking and Cycling Infrastructure Plan, New Brighton – Birkenhead and Runcorn – Daresbury, had been taken forward as Phase Two of the Infrastructure Plan. Consultations with local stakeholders and residents had been undertaken for both routes and comments were in the process of being collated and re-designs would be made accordingly. The second stage of the consultation process would take place at the end of the calendar year. It was reported that the Combined Authority had been working with Liverpool City Council on the Pilot E-Scooter Scheme and the trial would take place next month.

 

Councillor Allan Jones questioned whether the Combined Authority were prepared to have discussions with neighbouring authorities with regards to extending walking and cycling paths through from Merseyside to other areas. He explained that a colleague at St Helens Council was looking to extend the Rainford and Linear Park path into West Lancashire. It was reported that the Combined Authority were in discussions with other Authorities such as West Lancashire and Cheshire West and Chester and would ensure that contacted West Lancashire were contacted.

 

Councillor Pat Cleary welcomed the report and stated that the Birkenhead - New Brighton Scheme had been ground-breaking for Wirral Residents, noting that this scheme enabled cyclists to complete their full journey in safety which was previously identified as a concern.

 

The Chairperson, Councillor Liam Robinson echoed the comments made by Councillor Cleary and added that one of the few positives of the last few months was that increased numbers of people had chosen to walk or cycle over their usual mode of transport. The Chairperson also noted the importance of having two-stage consultations and how this enabled local residents to be at the heart of the vision.

 

RESOLVED - That:-

 

(i)             the contents of this report and particularly, the clear policy steer from central Government on the need for commitment to deliver high quality active travel measures and to reallocate space on the highway network to achieve this, be noted; and

 

(ii)            a further update following the end of financial year in March  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Key Route Network (KRN) - Progress Update pdf icon PDF 241 KB

To consider the report of the Interim Director of Integrated Transport.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Andy Sawyer, Key Route Network Manager, provided the Committee with a progress update on the Key Route Network (KRN).

 

It was reported that an electronic Asset Management tool was being procured and was aimed to be implemented within the next few months. The Combined Authority were also procuring an External Consultant to undertake an independent review of Liverpool City Council’s Outline Business Case to see whether the proposed scheme was operationally and financially viable. The review was expected to be completed before the end of the Calendar Year.

 

In relation to the Highway Infrastructure Asset Management Plan, the Combined Authority were seeking additional funding to develop a data collection system to include information such as street lighting and drainage. It was reported that a Central Winter Services contract was being procured for all six Local Authorities to deliver a consistent approach to Winter Services across the City Region. Alongside this, the Combined Authority had also appointed a consultant to develop the South Liverpool Global Gateway Outline Business Case which was expected to be completed within 12 months.

 

Councillor John Stockton questioned how effective the electronic Asset Management tool would be, whether there was a back-up system and the total cost. It was explained that ELGIN already had a publicly facing system and the new system would include a set of bespoke modules that had been designed specifically for the six districts and the Combined Authority. The new system would enable the districts to plan more efficiently with information being sent out live to Satellite Navigation Systems. In terms of a back-up system, the software providers had quoted statistics of a 99% uptime and had a team of technicians if the system were to fail. Over the total three-year period the cost was expected to be in the region of £750,000. It was noted that detailed development, implementation and training for Local Authorities would be included in the total cost. 

 

The Chairperson welcomed the report and noted that great progress had been made. The Chair stated that the Winter Services Contract was a great example of how all six districts across the City Region were able to work together and looked forward to receiving future updates.

 

RESOLVED - That the contents of the report be noted.

 

12.

Transport Select Committee Call for Evidence: Reforming Public Transport After the Pandemic pdf icon PDF 119 KB

To consider the report of the Assistant Director for Policy and Strategic

Commissioning.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Suzanne Cain, Transport Policy Coordinator, presented a report on the Transport Select Committee Call for Evidence: Reforming Public Transport After the Pandemic.

 

The Committee heard that the report presented the draft written submission to the Transport Select Committee and the deadline for submissions was close of play on 24 September 2020. Suzanne Cain, Transport Policy Coordinator, welcomed comments on the written submission from the Transport Committee. 

 

Councillor Steve Foulkes queried whether as part of the submission it could be requested that Central Government commission an independent piece of work to advise on the transmission of Covid-19 on public transport. It was highlighted that there had been no research of this nature carried out to date and the results would be extremely useful to aid future decision making. The request was acknowledged and it was suggested that Paragraph 17 on page 104 could be moved to come immediately after Paragraph 5 and additional wording be included to read; “We also call on the Government to undertake detailed research into the transmission of Covid-19 on public transport so we can more fully understand the potential risk of infection on trains and buses. We understand the need to observe social distancing where possible and that viruses can contaminate surfaces in closed spaces, but it is not known how that translates into new infections. This will allow more positive messaging on the general safety of public transport and helping us in building back better based on actual scientific evidence”.

 

Councillor Steve Foulkes stated he was happy with the wording and supported it being added to the submission.

 

The Chairperson fully endorsed the proposed wording as suggested by Suzanne Cain and Councillor Foulkes and welcomed the submission to the Transport Select Committee.

 

RESOLVED - That:-

 

(i)             the Transport Committee endorse the draft written evidence submission to the Transport Select Committee Call for Evidence as appended to this report, with the following amendment:-

 

Paragraph 17 on page 104  be moved to follow immediately after               Paragraph 5 and the additional wording below be included to read; “We also call on the Government to undertake detailed research into the transmission of Covid-19 on public transport so we can more fully understand the potential risk of infection on trains and buses. We understand the need to observe social distancing where possible and that viruses can contaminate surfaces in closed spaces, but it is not known how that translates into new infections. This will allow more positive messaging on the general safety of public transport and helping us in building back better based on actual scientific evidence”; and

 

(ii)            delegated authority be granted to the Assistant Director of Policy and Strategic Commissioning, in conjunction with the Chairperson of the Transport Committee, to agree the final response for submission on behalf of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority before close of play on 24 September 2020.

 

13.

Half Year Bus Update pdf icon PDF 219 KB

To consider the report of Merseytravel.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matt Goggins, Assistant Director for Bus, presented the Half Year Bus Update report provided information on key bus issues relating to the first and second quarters of 2020/21.

 

It was reported that the Combined Authority had been working closely with Bus Operators on a collective response to the challenges posed by Covid-19. The Committee heard that additional measures taken on public transport included social distancing, capacity reductions, enhanced cleaning and mandatory face coverings.

 

Matt Goggins outlined some of the key statistics around Covid-19 and the bus network:

-        the total numbers of buses on the network was 110%

-        patronage levels were at 60%

-        80 dedicated ‘S’ buses for schools to relieve pressure on the rest of the network

-        Only 2-3% of buses running late, a 15% improvement on normal punctuality

It was reported that the ‘Bus Passenger Survey’ results had shown that overall passenger satisfaction had increased to 92% which was the highest of all the English Metropolitan areas. The Committee heard that the Bus Alliance had submitted their Outline Business Case to improve bus journeys through the Green Bus Routes Programme through an initial investment to the St Helens – Liverpool corridors. Furthermore, the ‘Hybus’ trial was progressing and consultants had joined the project to advise the team as they looked to place an order for 20 hydrogen powered buses later in the financial year. It was reported that some of the funding required for The Bus Reform Project was not made available by the Combined Authority and therefore the Bus Team had completed re-programming with the funding available. The Committee were informed they would receive further updates in due course.

 

Councillor Frances Wynn expressed concerns over anti-social behaviour on the bus network and non-compliance with face coverings, especially amongst younger age groups. It was reported that face coverings were mandatory for any individuals aged 11 and above unless they had medical exemptions. There were relatively low levels of compliance when the rule was first introduced and a series of actions were taken to improve this, involving Police Operations and stronger messaging. As a result of these measures compliance had improved, with the Liverpool City Region having one of the highest compliance levels within the UK. Since Schools had returned there were again lower levels of compliance, however, the Combined Authority had written to local Headteachers and restarted Police Operations on the network.  It was hoped these measures would improve compliance.

 

A Motion was moved by Councillor Gordon Friel and seconded by Councillor John Wiseman.

 

            That:-

 

           This committee notes the hard work and efforts of all staff across the Liverpool City Region’s Transport Network throughout the COVID 19 Pandemic.

 

This has encompassed efforts including the introduction of social distancing requirements, the requirement of passengers to wear face coverings, the Rethink Travel Campaign and many more elements. This committee believes that clear and consistent government advice and guidance is a keyway of addressing the pandemic and reducing the spread of infection.

 

As a key part  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Financial Performance Report pdf icon PDF 266 KB

To consider the report of Merseytravel.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Sarah Johnston, Assistant Director for Finance, presented the Financial Performance Report which provided an update on Merseytravel’s revenue and capital performance. It was explained that due to the pandemic and the slight hiatus in Transport Committee meetings the report encompassed both the outturn position of 2019/2020 and the revenue and capital position in the First Quarter 2020/2021.

 

The first section of the report detailed the 2019/2020 financial position, noting that the revenue outturn for the year was £114.95m and after application of approved grants there was a small surplus of £1.7m which was transferred to reserves. It was reported that a significant proportion of the reserves were transferred to The Beatles Story profit and loss reserve and the remainder had been transferred to specific reserves to deal with the impact of Covid-19.

 

The second section of the report depicted the Quarter 1 Performance 2020/21 with members noting the unusual position that an overspend was recorded against profile budget for the First Quarter. It was explained that although a negative variance of £111,000 could appear modest, the figure masked some of the more significant overspends against some of the key frontline services. A re-budgeting exercise was taking place to manage the issue as well as capital spend which was reported to be lower than usual.

 

The final section of the report detailed the financial reserves position for Merseytravel and the key financial risks the organisations faced, with members noting that the operating environment for Merseytravel would be challenging over the next 12 months.

 

Councillor Steve Foulkes, Lead Member of Finance, noted that the organisation was in a difficult situation with a predicted overspend but wished to advise the Committee that before they began a strategic look at the budget headings, they were fully supportive of an approach to Government for more financial support. Councillor Foulkes wished to formally place on record the Transport Committee’s thanks to all those involved in keeping the Combined Authority operating over the course of the pandemic.

 

The Chairperson echoed comments made by Councillor Steve Foulkes and thanked officers for the comprehensive report, noting that the full financial impact of Covid-19 was still unclear, and it would be extremely important to monitor the impact going forward.

 

RESOLVED - That the contents of the report be noted.

 

15.

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:

Email: democratic.services@liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk

Telephone: 0151 330 1086

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 21 September 2020. In this respect, return details are set out in the pro-forma.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The committee received two questions from Mr Peter Jackson as follows:

 

Question 1

What is the current update on contactless ticketing and smart ticketing for Merseyrail?

 

The Chairperson, Councillor Liam Robinson, gave a short response affirming Merseyrail had completed considerable work around smart and contactless ticketing and explained a detailed, formal written response would be provided within 10 working days.

 

Question 2

Why isn't the Bus Hub opening as soon as it is complete?

 

The Chairperson responded by stating that the key reason behind the delay was due to operational snagging and explained a detailed, formal written response would be provided within 10 working days.

 

The Chair thanked Mr Peter Jackson for submitting his questions.

 

16.

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:

Email: democratic.services@liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk

Telephone: 0151 330 1086

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 to

Merseytravel, using the contact details above, by 5.00pm on 21 September 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no petitions or statements received.

 

17.

Any Other Urgent Business Approved by the Chair

Additional documents:

Minutes: