Agenda and minutes

LCR Transport Committee - Thursday, 5th November, 2020 2.00 pm

Venue: Remotely. View directions

Contact: Lisa Backstrom 

Media

Items
No. Item

18.

Chairperson's Announcements

Minutes:

            The Chairperson of the Committee, Councillor Liam Robinson welcomed everyone to the second virtual meeting of the Transport Committee.  He referred that the Country was now subject to another National lockdown and hoped that all Members and Officers were safe and well.

 

          Councillor Robinson briefly explained meeting procedure and etiquette. 

 

          Councillor Robinson reported that Councillor John Wiseman was no longer a member of the Transport Committee.  He paid tribute to Councillor Wiseman’s dedication and hard work as a member of the Committee and undertook to write to him on behalf of the Committee, expressing their thanks and best wishes.

 

          Councillor Robinson then extended a warm welcome to Councillor Susan Murphy who had been appointed to serve on the Committee.  He added that Councillor Murphy had previously been a Member of the Transport Committee and that he looked forward to working with her once again.

 

          On behalf of the Committee, Councillor Robinson extended best wishes for a speedy recovery to Councillor Jones’ Wife.

 

          Councillor Robinson also asked the Committee to note that Councillor M O’Mara may be unable to join the meeting due to electrical work being carried out.

 

          The meeting was informed that Councillors Lavelle, J Stockton, Thompson and Willliams were trying to access the meeting, but were experiencing technical difficulties. Democratic Services were providing assistance in order that Members could access the meeting as soon as possible.

 

 

19.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

          Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors J Dodd, A Jones, M O’Mara and H Thompson.

 

          The Committee noted that Councillors M O’Mara and H Thompson were unable to join the meeting due to technical difficulties.

 

 

20.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

            The Senior Democratic Services Officer reported that no declarations interest had been received.

 

21.

Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 295 KB

To consider the minutes of the last meeting of the Transport Committee held on 24 September 2020.

 

Minutes:

            The minutes of the last meeting of the Transport Committee held on 24 September 2020 were received as an accurate record and signed by the Chairperson.

 

22.

Transforming Cities Fund Update pdf icon PDF 126 KB

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

          The Committee considered the report of the Interim Director of Integrated Transport which provided an update on the Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) Programme.

 

          In this respect, Shane Fitzpatrick, the Interim Director of Integrated Transport gave a presentation which highlighted the following:-

 

·                  Background and TCF themes;

·                  Delivery to date;

·                  Progress over the past 12 months;

·                  Planned work;

·                  Investing for the future.

 

          Shane Fitzpatrick informed the Committee that he was also the Lead Officer for the Transforming Cities Fund which was £172.5 million of capital funding for projects over a 5-year period for completion by March 2023.

 

          The presentation detailed progress to date on the following projects:

 

·                  Phase 1 Smart Ticketing Programme;

·                  120km of full fibre network along the Merseyrail system;

·                  Merseyrail battery technology trial;

·                  Runcorn Station Quarter; and

·                  Phase 1 of the Liverpool City Region Cycle (LCR) Network.

 

The presentation also detailed planned work over the next 12 months including:

 

·                  Investment in Ferries;

·                  The purchase of a fleet of hydrogen cell buses;

·                  Access improvements to 5 stations;

·                  Delivery of the LCR Cycle Network in Halton and Wirral;

·                  Upgrade of traffic signal installations;

·                  Commencement of works at the new Headbolt Lane Merseyrail           Station in Kirkby;

·                  Bus corridor improvements on the 10A route; and

·                  Active travel and infrastructure improvements at Lea Green and           Birkenhead Central Stations.

 

Shane Fitzpatrick concluded the presentation and indicated that the TCF programme was supporting the development of a pipeline of major transport schemes to ensure that the LCR was well placed to take full advantage of future Government capital funding during the recovery from the pandemic.

 

The Chairperson, Councillor Liam Robinson thanked Shane Fitzpatrick for his presentation and invited Members of the Committee to ask questions or make comments on the report.

Councillor Robinson highlighted that the LCR was fortunate to have access to funding through the TCF Programme through devolved powers and this was a great example of what devolution could achieve. 

 

Councillor Robinson also paid tribute to the hard work of Shane Fitzpatrick and the Team supporting the programme, whose expertise had enabled continued project delivery during these difficult times.

 

          RESOLVED –

 

(i)              That the report be noted; and

 

(ii)             That Shane Fitzpatrick, Interim Director of Integrated Transport be thanked for his informative presentation.

 

 

23.

Prioritising Hydrogen buses in the Liverpool City Region pdf icon PDF 608 KB

To consider the report of Merseytravel.

 

Minutes:

          The Committee considered the report of Merseytravel which provided an update on the current status of both the Merseytravel Hydrogen Bus Project (HyBus Trial) and Green Bus Routes, a package of bus prioritisation measures and improvements which aimed to transform bus travel in the Liverpool City Region.

 

          Matt Goggins, the Assistant Director for Bus informed the Committee that these two projects were included within the TCF Programme and were closely aligned and co-dependent in order to maximise the benefits of each project at the same time.

 

          Matt Goggins explained that the Liverpool City Region’s ‘Climate Emergency’ declaration and the ‘Vision for Bus’ had focussed the need to invest in bus priority infrastructure to provide a punctual and reliable bus network, serviced by a high-spec zero emission bus fleet.  The key components of this vision and their delivery were seen as key priorities, namely to grow bus patronage and reduce dependence on the private car.

 

          The Chairperson, Councillor Liam Robinson invited questions and/or comments from Members of the Committee.

 

          Councillor Gordon Friel referred to the ‘Green Routes’ and asked if information could be included in future reports for the benefit of members of the public relating to:

 

·       The number of minutes to be saved on journeys;

·       delivery times for the 53 route;

·       Reference to Sefton within the TCF programme; and

·       The key things relating to equalities within this project.

 

Matt Goggins responded and explained that this report was purely an

overview of the project and provided assurance that more detail would be included as the project developed.  He added that there would be a significant amount of community engagement, particularly at the design phase in advance of considered by the Combined Authority.

 

          In relation to target minutes, Matt Goggins indicated that it would depend on the interventions, but the target was to halve journey times.

 

          Matt Goggins stated that the trial was focussed on 10A route with a view to developing a further 4 corridors, based on the same model.  He stressed the importance of getting the model right to provide the best opportunity to access additional funding from Central Government.

 

On the matter of equality, Matt Goggins expected that a number of significant equality issues would be improved, and this would be included in future reports as appropriate. 

 

          Councillor Steve Foulkes commented that he could see the synergy with the previous report and referred to the Wirral Waters and Birkenhead Central Station projects.  He asked why Wirral wasn’t included in the 5 corridors and were there any barriers preventing this?  Councillor Foulkes added that he was keen to act as an advocate and remove any barriers precluding Wirral from the project.

 

          Matt Goggins responded to Councillor Foulkes and stated that there were no barriers to including Wirral in any future schemes.  The prioritisation of the first 5 routes focussed on a combination of factors including, how the route was used, the availability of other modes of transport, congestion, air quality and patronage. He added that he would also like  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.

24.

Mersey Ferries Update Report November 2020 pdf icon PDF 308 KB

To consider the report of Merseytravel.

 

Minutes:

          The Committee considered the report of Merseytravel which provided a summary of key activities within Mersey Ferries, including an update on progress of the long-term Mersey Ferries Strategy.

 

          Gary Evans, Assistant Director for Customer Delivery explained that the report was an operational update over past 6 months,  He added that the impact of covid-19 had been challenging with the decline in income through leisure activities, but since mid-May, the ferries had focussed on providing a vital commuter service.

 

          Gary Evans indicated that major refurbishment work at Seacombe Ferry Terminal was due to commence in 2021.  He also reported that work with Eureka Mersey which had been delayed due to the pandemic, would also be commencing in early 2021.

 

          The Chairperson, Councillor Liam Robinson invited Members of the Committee to raise questions, and/or comments.

 

Councillor Gordon Friel commented on the equality and diversity implications within the report.  He added that although the report was for noting, he was pleased that there was work going on in the background in relation to accessibility for the ferries and this would be of interest to the public. Councillor Friel felt that Customer Delivery should be proud of the work being on accessibility to ferries, trains and stations and thanked Gary Evans for including it within the report.

 

          Councillor Robinson, echoed Councillor Friel’s thanks. He commented that it had been a challenging time for the Ferry Service, but they had continued to play a vital part and link across the river.  He asked if the Committees thanks could be passed onto the all the Ferries Team for their hard work in challenging circumstances.

 

          RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

 

 

 

25.

Multi Operator Ticketing Scheme - Product and Pricing Update and Proposals pdf icon PDF 316 KB

To consider the report of Merseytravel.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

          The Committee considered the report of Merseytravel which sought approval for the ticketing recommendations relating to specific scheme arrangements, product and price changes for all Merseytravel multi operator and multi modal pre-paid tickets for 2021.

         

          Gary Evans, Assistant Director for Customer Delivery explained that prices were set annually but this year had been significantly impacted by the pandemic.  He highlighted that as a result of the Covid-19 Bus Services Support Grant (CBSSG), it unlikely that Trio and Saveaway products would be increased until that grant came to an end.   The only price increases that would be implemented related to Railpass products. The increase usually came into effect on 2 January each year, but it was likely to be some point in quarter 1 of 2021, therefore the customer would benefit from 2020 prices for a longer period.

 

          The Chairperson, Councillor Liam Robinson commented that it was the sensible and right thing to do, to freeze prices.

 

          RESOLVED – That the annual price recommendations for the Merseytravel Multi-Operator Ticketing Scheme products, to be fully implemented in the first quarter of 2021 (or August 2021 for School Term products) for Trio, Railpass and Saveaway tickets as outlined in Appendix 1 of the report, be approved.

 

 

 

26.

Merseytravel Q2 Financial Performance Report pdf icon PDF 250 KB

To consider the report of Merseytravel.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

          The Committee considered the report of Merseytravel which detailed:-

 

(1)        the organisation’s financial performance for the period through to 30 September 2020; and

 

(2)       the proposed revisions to the 2020/21 budget aimed at ensuring that the organisation can continue to operate a balanced budget.

 

          Sarah Johnston, Assistant Director for Finance explained that financial performance to the end of quarter two had been impacted by the Covid-19

pandemic.

 

          Sarah Johnston highlighted that in balancing the budget for this year, there had been an increased use of reserves.  However, an application had been made to the Government’s Sale, Fees and Charges reimbursement scheme to recover certain income in respect of eligible spend.  As there had been no indication of the outcome of this application, this income had not been factored in at this point.  If the claim was successful, the use of reserves would be reduced accordingly.

 

          The Chairperson, Councillor Liam Robinson, invited questions and/or comments from Members of the Committee.

 

          Councillor Steve Foulkes commented that Assistant Director for Finance had given a full account of the current financial position and since the report was written the City Region had moved into Tier 3 restrictions followed by a national lockdown. Councillor Foulkes added that even under the current circumstances, a balanced budget had been achieved and setting the budget for next year would be a challenge.  He took the opportunity to thank Sarah Johnston and her Team for their hard work in collating the information in a readable form and commended the report and its recommendations.

 

          Councillor Robinson, echoed Councillor Foulkes’ comments and understood how hard the Team were working to ensure the best outcome under extremely difficult circumstances with a keen eye on the years ahead. He added that he hoped that the Government would make good on their offer of funding to ‘Build Back Better’ and that the transport system was vital to the recovery. 

 

          Councillor Robinson also stated that the Government was requesting and guiding the Authority to maintain payments to bus companies at pre-pandemic levels, both supported payments for subsidised routes and concessionary travel.  Whilst it was accepted that the Bus industry required financial assistance to ensure that the network was maintained to allow essential journeys to be made. He added that those additional funds should be made available to the City Region Combined Authority to allow more devolved decision making, providing better value for the taxpayer and flexibility for the delivery of a better transport network. 

 

          RESOLVED –

 

(i)              That the report be noted; and

 

(ii)             That it be noted that, to the extent that the organisation is successful in securing reimbursement for forgone income from the government’s sales fees and charges scheme, the actual additional application of reserves required to balance the budget will be reduced accordingly.

 

 

27.

Responding to the Department for Transport's Consultation on Pavement Parking pdf icon PDF 212 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Policy and Strategic Commissioning and the Interim Director of Integrated Transport.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

          The Committee considered the report of the Director of Policy and Strategic Commissioning and the Interim Director of Integrated Transport which set out a draft response to the consultation launched on 31 August 2020 by the Department for Transport (DfT) on means to control the problems associated with inconsiderate pavement parking.

 

          Huw Jenkins, Lead Policy Officer for Transport explained that the principles and broad thrust of the draft response was attached at the Appendix to the report.

 

          Huw Jenkins commented that this consultation formed part of a suite of measures to support a green, post-COVID recovery by encouraging more people to choose active travel.  He added that that the new policy and funding frameworks that supported a very significant shift to walking and cycling was presented to the last meeting of the Transport Committee in September 2020

 

          Huw Jenkins highlighted that this consultation was following a review by the DfT regarding inconsiderate pavement parking.  He indicated that a third of people with a visual impairment and almost half of wheelchair users did not want to go out as a result of anti-social pavement parking.

 

          Huw Jenkins stated that options available were detailed at section 3.5 of the report.  Following consultation with the City Region Highway Authorities, the recommended approach was ‘option 2’. This was considered to be the most practical solution and consistent with devolution principles, in allowing local authorities to tailor their solutions in response to local need and circumstances.

 

          The Chairperson, Councillor Liam Robinson was in support of ‘option 2’, particularly given that large parts of the City Region comprised of terraced streets with no off-street parking.

 

          The Chairperson invited questions and/or comments from Members of the Committee.

 

          Councillor Gordon Friel suggested that the recommendations should include reference to ‘option 2’ as the preferred approach.

 

          Councillor Patrick McKinley also supported the approach.  He added that the Government should take parking provision into consideration when assessing the density of housing development, rather than making the issue worse.

 

          Huw Jenkins responded and agreed with Councillor McKinley’s comments, stating the design of new development was fundamental.  The challenge was to balance provision with incentives to move away from car use as part of a wider mix of measures.

 

          The Chairperson, Councillor Liam Robinson indicated that the final draft of the response would be circulated to Members of the Committee for comments prior to formal submission by the deadline.

 

          RESOLVED –

 

 

(i)              That the issues raised in this report in respect of the Government’s proposals to manage the problems of pavement parking in the context of its wider priorities to greatly increase levels of walking and cycling, and to create an accessible environment for all road users, be noted;

 

(ii)             that the direction of the consultation response in support of  

‘option 2’, as set out within the Appendix to this report, be

agreed; and

 

(iii)           that delegated authority be granted to the Director of Policy & Strategic Commissioning, in conjunction with the Director of Integrated Transport and the Chairperson of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.

28.

Responding to Greater Manchester's Clean Air Plan pdf icon PDF 204 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Policy and Strategic Commissioning.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

          The Committee considered the report of the Interim Director of Integrated Transport which provided information on a consultation by the ten Greater Manchester Local Authorities in respect of plans to declare a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority area.

 

          Huw Jenkins, Lead Policy Officer for Transport explained that the report proposed the development of a response to the consultation, given the

cross-boundary and wider strategic implications for the Liverpool City Region.  He added that response would also include consideration of the risk of non-compliant traffic diverting through bordering areas of Liverpool City Region, especially into St Helens.  In addition, there would also be implications if commercial vehicle fleets or depots were redistributed across the region, and older, non-compliant vehicle fleets were cascaded to adjoining Local Authority areas, in effect, moving problems elsewhere.

 

          Huw Jenkins also indicated that in view of the timing of the consultation process, delegated authority was sought to allow the development and submission of a response. The response would be drafted in full consultation with the Chairperson and Members of the Transport Committee, to provide the opportunity for members to be engaged in the development of the response.

 

          The Chairperson, Councillor Liam Robinson indicated that the final version of the draft response would be circulated to Members of the Transport Committee for comment prior to submission by the deadline.

 

          The Chairperson invited questions and/or comments from Members of the Committee.

 

          Councillor John Stockton commented that given that air had no geographical boundaries, asked how closely we were working with other Authorities, like Cheshire and North Wales, even across the Country to co-ordinate a response to our own clean air priorities.

 

          Huw Jenkins indicated that the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) was already working with a range of Local Authorities and other organisations looking at clean air proposals.  He added that colleagues at Greater Manchester had been proactive in engaging with the LCRCA over the past 18 months.

 

          Councillor Gordon Friel mentioned the allowance for vehicles to convert to LPG fuel.  He also referred to charging for hackney carriage and private hire vehicles and asked how the distinction would be made when a private hire vehicle was not operating as such.

 

          Huw Jenkins commented that he was not an expert of the different types of fuels but was aware that certain types of engine that fell below the standard, would incur a charge to enter the zone.  In response to the issue of private hire vehicles, he indicated that the charging and enforcement process would be via automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) but he did not know how or if the Greater Manchester Combined Authority would be able to the make the distinction between a private hire vehicle in operation or when it was being used as a private vehicle.

 

          The Chairperson, Councillor Liam Robinson strongly supported the principle of clean air zones, but in responding, point out the potential negative impact/un-intended consequences on the Liverpool City Region and its constituent Authorities.

 

 

          RESOLVED-  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.

29.

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 2nd November 2020 (the Monday before the meeting). In this respect, return details are set out in the pro-forma.

 

 

Minutes:

There were no public questions received.

 

30.

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 2nd November 2020 (the Monday before the meeting)

Minutes:

There were no petitions or statements received.

 

31.

Any Other Urgent Business Approved by the Chair

Minutes:

          There were no urgent items of business.

 

32.

Chairperson's closing remarks

Minutes:

The Chairperson, Councillor Liam Robinson referred to the second national lockdown and the difficulties ahead for the City Region and its communities.  He paid tribute to all staff and frontline transport workers who would be maintaining the essential network for key workers.

 

Councillor Robinson concluded the meeting and hoped that Officers, Members and all watching remained safe and well over the weeks and months ahead.