Agenda and minutes

LCR Transport Committee - Thursday, 11th November, 2021 2.00 pm

Venue: Authority Chamber - No.1 Mann Island, Liverpool, L3 1BP. View directions

Contact: Lisa Backstrom 

Note: Members of the public are encouraged to view the meeting via the webcast but for anyone who would like to attend in person, please contact Democratic Services on 07833 047153 or email democratic.services@liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk in advance of the meeting. Please note that there is very limited capacity in the Chamber and seating will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. All those attending will be asked to wear a face covering (unless exempt) and are encouraged to take a Lateral Flow Test before attending. You should not attend if you have tested positive for Coronavirus or if you have any symptoms of Coronavirus 

Media

Items
No. Item

30.

Chairperson's Announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairperson, Councillor Liam Robinson welcomed everyone to the meeting which was taking place in the home location at Mann Island.  He talked through the usual housekeeping arrangements.

 

He welcomed Councillors Tony Brough and Allan Jones who were participating in the meeting remotely.

 

Armistice Day

 

The Chairperson stated that it was only right that a two-minute silence be observed to remember the service and sacrifice of all those who had defended our freedom and protected our way of life.

 

The Committee stood in silence.

 

Recent Road Traffic Collision in the Queensway Tunnel

 

The Chairperson recalled that on 17 October 2021 there had been a road traffic collision in the Queensway Tunnel involving two vehicles. Sadly, the driver and passenger of one of the vehicles lost their lives and the driver of the other vehicle was seriously injured. He indicated that the thoughts of the Committee went out to the bereaved families of the two young people and best wishes for the ongoing recovery of the driver of the other vehicle.

 

He also put on record his thanks to all staff who responded to the incident. The Mersey Tunnels Police team were first on scene and their bravery and swift actions made us realise the service we provide in such tragic circumstances.

 

Salisbury Train Crash

 

The Chairperson also referred to the recent Salisbury train crash on 31 October 2021 where a South Western Railway passenger service from London Waterloo to Honiton, collided with the side of the 17:08 hours Great Western Railway passenger service from Portsmouth Harbour to Bristol Temple Meads.

 

He advised that the Combined Authority had raised this tragic accident with Network Rail to understand whether the underlying conditions that led to this accident featured in the City Region’s rail network.

 

 

 

 

31.

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Paul Hayes, Anthony Lavelle, Joe Pearson and Gareth Stockton and John Stockton.

 

 

32.

Declarations of Interest

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest received.

33.

Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 157 KB

To consider the minutes of the last meeting of the Transport Committee held on 16 September 2021.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 16 September 2021 were agreed as a correct record subject to the following amendment:

 

Councillor Liam Robinson asked if reference to the following could be made in the minutes as it was an important point which should have been included:

 

Page 8, 7th paragraph – where Councillor Robinson had made the point about tap-on-tap-off smart ticketing approach he had also mentioned the failure of the operators to appropriately work with Transport for the North’s ‘Smart in the North’ smart ticketing programme.

 

 

34.

City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements

To consider a presentation from the Interim Executive Director for Strategic Commissioning and Delivery.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Liam Robinson reported that there had been some positive news in relation to the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS). The City Region had secured a sum of £710m which was testament to the whole team and the six districts. This settlement was better than the vast majority of other city regions across the country.

 

Paul Buntin, Lead Officer for Transport Development updated the Committee on the CRSTS. In July the Combined Authority (CA) was asked to make a bid for levelling up funds and also to produce a short prospectus in response to Government guidance. The prospectus had to include a mini appraisal of the transport schemes which listed the projects within that programme, and they gave us a low and high scenario funding range to work within. The funding period covered April 2023 to March 2027 and allocations would be determined on the quality of the submission. The allocation that we could expect was a range between £480m-£790m and this range had been secured based on negotiations with the Department for Transport. The CA had to demonstrate 15% local contribution and integrated transport block and highways maintenance had to be consolidated within that fund. The prospectus had to be submitted by the end of August and therefore timescales had been tight.

 

There were a number of risks which included the 15% local contribution, but this was felt to be manageable given some of the projects currently undertaken as a partnership, in particular the rolling stock programme which was local money that could be matched with Central Government funding. It had also been necessary to demonstrate a roadmap for the Local Transport Plan and maximise our local revenues. The funding range of £480m-£790m was welcomed but it also presented a challenge in terms of the ability to develop all of those projects and the resources to deliver them. The timescales to turn around the prospectus had been tight and had been a challenge for the team. It had been necessary to include the Integrated Transport Block and Highways Maintenance which was something that had not been anticipated.

 

An approved transport pipeline was in place so as a partnership this work had been ongoing for the past 18 months. A number of projects had already been identified such as green bus routes.. It was proposed that some projects could be accelerated with the levelling-up funding to maximise this work.

 

The Liverpool City Region had secured £710m of funding from the STS and £40m for the Levelling-Up fund. The authority therefore had £750m to deliver the transport pipeline. There was still an element of over programming which would need to progress to the next funding envelope. However, it was good to note that the Liverpool City Region had been the only Combined Authority to receive levelling up funding. The next step would be to put together a programme-wide business case to unlock the funding following which it would be necessary to look at resource allocation.

 

Paul Buntin summarised the big  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.

35.

Covid Response and Recovery

To consider a presentation from the Assistant Director for Customer Delivery.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a presentation from Gary Evans, Assistant Director for Customer Delivery on the transport related response and impact as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

There had been a lot of national Government changes since March 2020 with a range of restrictions being put in place and then lifted at various stages. September 2020 had been particularly challenging from a transport perspective when children returned to school.

 

In respect of governance this had been covered by the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 which structure ranged from COBRA nationally to Local Resilience Forums (LRF) on a local level and these broadly followed the Police boundaries. However, it had been complicated further in this area as the Combined Authority boundaries crossed over two Local Resilience Forums (Cheshire and Merseyside). The Transport Cell sat within that structure and the cell had been set up by colleagues on the Merseyside LRF who were operating at a multi-agency level around the response to the pandemic.

 

There had been challenges on the transport network. Although the authority had exercised for such a global pandemic within the LRF structures no-one could have foreseen the impact of what happened in March 2020. It moved with such fluidity and speed it was a real challenge to manage within it. Officers had worked long and hard to implement restrictions often within a 24-hour period. Specific challenges had included the safety of customers and staff which was paramount, but transport had been designed to carry lots of people in small spaces and that brought an interesting challenge in itself. Social distancing and capacity issues was one of the greatest challenges. Also, people tended to react in different ways and therefore human behaviour was a relevance as some were blasé and others were really scared, and it was necessary to take into account all of those views and how that translated into service delivery. It was also important to understand the impacts on the longer terms trends as the world of transport had changed significantly and it had been necessary to react to that.

 

In respect of active travel there had been a range of funding made available from central government but locally it was utilising the opportunity the pandemic brought us to accelerate some of the programmes such as pop-up cycle lanes and reallocation of road space and some local authority partners had brought in initiatives. There had been an increase in people taking up walking and cycling as a mode of transport partly due to the capacity restrictions on public transport. As the pandemic developed, particularly around the reopening of retail and hospitality sectors, the reallocation of road space could be seen e.g. the closure of Castle Street in Liverpool and the repurposing to aid economic recovery.

 

On the bus network the three main Companies had worked closely together and at different times throughout the pandemic different capacity levels and demand could be seen. At times it had been really challenging trying to carry 80% of passengers with only  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.

36.

The Transport aspects of the Corporate Plan pdf icon PDF 267 KB

To consider the report of Merseytravel.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of Merseytravel which set out the transport deliverables required from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Corporate Plan which would be considered and monitored by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and/or the Transport Committee of the Combined Authority.

 

In this respect, John Fogarty, Executive Director for Corporate Services informed the Committee that the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority approved the Corporate Plan on 23 July 2021.  The information within the Corporate Plan which defined what to do and why we do it and allowed that information to be cascaded through a multifunctional and large organisation that had many facets, of which transport was one. The devolved powers that the City Region Mayor had was not restricted to transport and this plan sought to make sure that all those different facets were moving in the right direction. 

 

The purpose of the Combined Authority was to improve the lives of the £1.6m people that it served, but also in the transport context the millions of people who were within the region’s travel to work area. Again, it was about a fairer, cleaner and stronger City Region but equally one where no-one was left behind. It also reflected the vibrancy of the City Region and how well connected it was. The Combined Authority had responsibility for areas such as regeneration, housing, spatial planning, culture, employment and skills and the plan also referred to ambition such as the LCR connectivity project, ultra-high speed broadband links and tidal energy ambitions together with the overarching ambitions around net zero. Transport played a massive part in all of those, but it could not be achieved in isolation. The Corporate Plan had been developed in collaboration with local authority partners and by political leaders and was informed by the Mayor’s manifesto.

 

The Corporate Plan was delivered and enforced through a solid performance management framework and underpinned by a Medium Term Financial Plan and also the work programme of Portfolio Holders of which Councillor Robinson was the Portfolio Holder for transport. John Fogarty referred to the slide which set out the Transport Portfolio deliverables such as electric vehicle charging points, highways infrastructure and the appendix to report gave an update on all of those.

 

Councillor Liam Robinson thanked John Fogarty and all of the team for bringing the report forward. It was important to show how we fitted into the wider organisation and what it delivered. It also demonstrated how the Metro Mayor’s manifesto and pledges made in his election campaign were then pulled through into practical delivery, not from a political point of view, but how the pledges made to the public could get incorporated by the organisation and delivered and this report showed that.

 

Councillor Jeanette Banks thanked John Fogarty for his presentation. She noted that there were a large number of projects which was good but she would like to see more detail and next steps if possible because it would be good to be able to fit these into local  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.

37.

Developing the next statutory local transport plan (LTP) First Stage: Agreeing and Engaging Stakeholders on a Draft Vision for Transport pdf icon PDF 242 KB

To consider the report of the Executive Director for Policy, Strategy and Government Relations.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Executive Director of Policy, Strategy and Government Relations which provided an update on the process for developing a new Local Transport Plan (LTP) for the Liverpool City Region.

 

Huw Jenkins, Lead for Transport Policy, gave a presentation on the growing importance of up-to-date LTPs from the Department for Transport’s perspective, and in parallel as a means of delivering the decarbonisation of transport.

 

Huw Jenkins also referred to Appendix Two to the report which detailed a draft “issues, challenges and vision” document as a first stage in the development of the new plan. This was intended as a basis of further engagement with stakeholders.  Delegated authority was sought to allow the draft document to be refined and for a structured on-line consultation response form to be developed to gauge perspectives on the issues raised.

 

Huw Jenkins advised that regular updates would be presented to Members of the Transport Committee on this issue to maintain full oversight of, and input into the developing LTP.

 

Huw Jenkins stated that it was a statutory requirement to produce a transport plan which sat with the Combined Authority as it was the Transport Authority for the Liverpool City Region. An LTP was a series of transport policies and programmes which were very often linked to how the funding would be delivered, the metrics used to monitor progress and guiding how transport would be delivered across the City Region. There were, for historic reasons, two LTPs covering the City Region at present - one for Merseyside and a separate plan for Halton. However, they were now over a decade old and predated the Combined Authority and it was felt that this was the right time to consolidate and review those statutory plans.

 

LTPs had become a little dormant over the last decade. Government took a lighter touch approach and there had been no rigid guidelines. However, what was now being seen was a much clearer indication that up to date LTPs were needed and linked into the transport settlement. They needed to set how local areas would set out their ambitions to deliver net zero carbon and which came out of the Decarbonisation Plan.

 

There was a very clear statement in the Metro Mayor’s manifesto in relation to taking forward the ambitions for a ‘London-style transport system’ and the LTP also had links into and were referenced in two sections in the Corporate Plan. The development process for the plan was a structured process and it was about understanding what transport needed to do. It was not a series of schemes for arbitrary reasons, but it needed to respond to all transport needs. The LTP set out how transport linked to our bigger ambitions and policies e.g. being net zero carbon by 2040 and that would be taken through a Climate Action Plan coming to the Combined Authority later this month. It would also consider the scenarios of what a post-Covid world might look like, where the gaps were etc.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.

38.

Liverpool City Region Road Safety Strategy pdf icon PDF 212 KB

To consider the report of the Executive Director for Policy, Strategy and Government Relations.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Executive Director for Policy, Strategy and Government Relations which set out the new Road Safety Strategy for the Liverpool City Region for comment, ahead of its approval by the Combined Authority.

 

Suzanne Cain, Transport Policy Co-ordinator advised that the aim was to support the Government’s Road Safety Statement of 2019 which set out an aspiration for a shift to a vision zero approach to road safety where avoidable road deaths and injuries should be reduced to an absolute minimum. The strategy had been developed in consultation with a range of stakeholders but it had been Merseyside Police who had had a significant input into the drafting of the document and it was the Safer Roads Unit who had undertaken a lot of the data analysis. The new Road Safety Strategy was built on the safe systems approach which recognised the need for shared responsibility of reducing risk on the roads. It recognised that people would make mistakes but also it was about making sure that there was a greater allowance for human error and that planning and designing neighbourhoods, roads and transport systems for all road users was the starting point when designing networks and transport systems.

 

Safe systems were built around five core themes or pillars which were at the heart of the strategy. The first was safe speeds exemplified, but not limited to, the move to 20mph zones. Where it was appropriate the speed limit should be built around the geography of the residential make up of an area to make sure that speeds were safe for the people who lived there. The safe street meant that roads were designed to reduce the risk of collision and to mitigate the severity of injury. It was noted that a lot of the roads in the area were old and narrow and it was therefore not possible to redesign every single road but when building a new housing estate it was about making sure that the risk of collision was minimised and making sure that they were as safe as possible.

 

The safe vehicles pillar looked at vehicles which presented the greatest risk on the roads and looking at the data analysis a lot of road safety collisions were people driving for work and it was necessary to look at where those accidents were happening. Safe behaviour related to shared responsibility and it was about tackling risky behaviours which were attributable to road danger and trying to minimise avoidable deaths to make sure people recognised that it was up to them to use road safety as well as roads being designed safely in the first place. Suzanne Cain also referred to the post-crash response which included working with the emergency services to provide the best possible response to those incidents in order to minimise the after-effects and costs involved with people being killed or seriously injured.

 

In delivering the strategy there would be a step change in the approach to safer roads with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.

39.

Rail Update pdf icon PDF 15 KB

To consider the report of the Assistant Director for Rail.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Assistant Director for Rail which provided an update on a number of workstreams being delivered by the Rail Division. The report summarised the work currently being undertaken within the Rail Division highlighting the projects being taken forward by the Combined Authority to improve the railway as well as the continued operation of the railway.

 

In this respect updates were provided in turn by David Jones, Rail Development Manager, Phil Saunders, Rail Contract and Concession Manager and Mal Drury-Rose, Assistant Director for Rail.

 

David Jones updated the Committee on rail project and updated on the following:-

 

Liverpool Central - Liverpool Central was a key element within the long term rail strategy. All Merseyrail trains called at Liverpool Central which was at capacity and it was expected that numbers would return in the future as people came back to the rail network. The extensions of the network would bring more people to the station and the city centre which was one of the key reasons why it was necessary to do something about the station.

 

The GRIP3 design was currently underway and that took into account the basic option selection and what was happening with AUGUR, the development site alongside Liverpool Central as they owned much of the land, and we were in discussion with the Department for Transport regarding the GRIP4 funding which would be the single option development.

 

Headbolt Lane – This was an extension of the Kirkby line to a new station just beyond Headbolt Lane. It used battery technology which was the first time this had been used in the country. It was proposed that the works would be substantially complete by March 2023 with the new service coming in in May 2023 at the timetable change. Work was being undertaken with Network Rail and Knowsley to deliver that project.

 

Baltic/St James New Station – This was a new station to the south of Liverpool at the old St James station, but it was unlikely that the new station would be called St James as everyone confused it with James Street. A process was currently being undertaken to identify a more acceptable name for the station. The GRIP3 work was completed and GRIP4 work would commence early in the New Year with a possible delivery date of around 2025 and therefore we would look to use some of the transport settlement money to fund that.

 

Access Improvement – The key issue was that there were 21 stations in the City Region which were not step-free and it generally cost around £5m to make a station fully accessible. Currently money was available from the City Region and from Access for All funds to deliver five stations by March 2023 – these were Hunts Cross, St Michaels, Hillside and Birkenhead Park on the Merseyrail network and Broad Green on the Northern Rail network. The Merseyrail ones were expected to be completed in mid-2022 and the Northern Rail one slightly later, not as a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.

40.

Multi-Operator and Multi-Modal Ticketing Scheme - Product and Pricing Update and Proposals pdf icon PDF 322 KB

To consider the report of Merseytravel.

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of Merseytravel which sought approval of the ticketing recommendations relating to specific scheme arrangements, product and price changes for all Merseytravel multi-operator and multi-modal pre-paid tickets for 2022. 

 

Gary Evans, Assistant Director for Customer Delivery advised that part of the annual price setting process was to set the prices for the multi-operator and multi-modal ticketing suite which consisted of Trio, Solo, Saveaway and Rail Pass tickets. The same process was followed last year and generally would involve picking up the RPI levels as at July each year and also take a range of other factors into play. That same process had been adopted this year. Some key points to highlight was that for the bus and multi-modal products – Solo, Trio and Saveaway – there had been no price increase last year due to Covid and the use of funding which had been received from Central Government. Therefore, the last increase had been in 2019 which was something to be mindful of.

 

In setting the rates the 3.8% was obviously the rate of inflation as at July 2021 but since that date lots of organisations had faced increasing costs across a range of different settings. Increased costs had been seen in energy and that would have a significant impact for businesses as there was no price cap for energy. There had also been significant increases in fuel costs which would impact the bus services.

 

In bringing a recommendation forward it had been challenging but there was a need to set a balance. The danger of not increasing prices annually was that you would reach a position where that would not be sustainable. The recommendation was for a 2% increase across ticket prices (Trio, Solo and Saveaway) apart from the Rail Pass product where the recommendation was that this would follow the National position, which was unknown as yet, up to a limit of 3.8% which was the rate of inflation. Nationally they usually followed the rate of inflation plus 1%, but the highest increase here would be 3.8%. There would be no ticket increases above the rate of inflation in this area which was the key message to get across. Ticket prices would usually be rounded to the nearest 10p and the child price would be half the fare of the adult price. 

 

Councillor Gordon Friel felt that the report had been realistic. Ideally the authority would like to keep prices the same as he was aware what was happening in respect of the cost of living. He felt that the recommendation in the report was sound.

 

Councillor Nathalie Nicholas stated that ideally she would not like to see any increase in terms of tickets as the cost of living was going up significantly across the country. For many frontline staff bills were going up and for larger families sometimes it would be cheaper to take a taxi than to go by bus. She recognised the fact that it was not possible to go  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.

41.

Financial Performance Report - 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021 pdf icon PDF 343 KB

To consider the report of Merseytravel.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of Merseytravel which provided details of Merseytravel’s financial performance for the period through to 30 September 2021. 

 

Sarah Johnston , Assistant Director, Finance highlighted the following key points:-

 

·         The first part of the report dealt with revenue performance and it was noted that there was an underspend of £6m on operational expenditure. The reasons for this were detailed however the two main areas were in respect of concessionary travel payments and rolling stock. Concession payments had been lower because operators were paid based on mileage. However, this was subject to a reconciliation process and would be likely to increase such that it was not expected that such a significant underspend would be seen at the end of the year. Rolling stock would be fully funded by way of reserves and that would lead to a reprofiling of expenditure.

 

·         The next part of the report was around capital and it was noted that a sum of £63.6m had been spent against a budget of £149m. Further details on variances and scheme costs were set out in the report.

 

·         The final part of the report related to the projected use of reserves and financial risk. This part of the report had been drafted on the assumption that spend would be in line with the budget and on that basis, it was assumed that £6.8m would be applied to Merseytravel reserves. Given where we are now the probability was that there would be a lower use of reserves as some of the risks identified through the budget setting process had reduced or changed. Members should note that at paragraph 3.8 there was a detailed explanation around risk and therefore whilst it was noted that it was possible to live within the budget in the current year there were risks that might manifest in the following year and it would be necessary to bear that in mind for the next budget setting process. 

 

Councillor Steve Foulkes noted that this budget had been set in a period when there had been a great deal of uncertainty around Covid and in terms of being able to predict the unpredictable it was felt that a good job had been done to come in with a balanced budget at the end of the year with some to be put into reserves. He felt that there would be a challenge next year and that was what had been intimated in the report. Members were kept well informed and fully aware of the risks in the future.

 

RESOLVED - that the contents of the report be noted.

 

 

42.

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 8 November 2021 (the Monday before the meeting). In this respect, return details are set out in the pro-forma.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No public questions had been received.

43.

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 8 November 2021 (the Monday before the meeting)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No petitions or statements were submitted for this meeting.

44.

Chairperson's closing remarks

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairperson, Councillor Liam Robinson announced that Shauna Healey from Democratic Services was attending her last meeting of the Transport Committee prior to her departure from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.  He thanked her for all her hard work over the years and he wished her all the best for her new role in the Fire Authority.  The Committee gave a round of applause.

 

The Chairperson thanked everyone for their attendance and declared the meeting closed.