Agenda and minutes

LCR Transport Committee - Thursday, 13th January, 2022 2.00 pm

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

Contact: Lisa Backstrom  07833 047153

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

45.

Chair's Announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair, Councillor Liam Robinson, wished everyone a Happy New Year and welcomed everyone to the meeting.  He talked through the usual housekeeping arrangements and made a number of announcements.

           

Remote attendance

 

Councillors Jeanette Banks, Allan Jones, Steve Foulkes, Ged Philbin, Tommy Rowe and Andrea Wall were participating in the meeting remotely. He highlighted that Councillors who were taking part in the meeting remotely were doing so due to health reasons. Unfortunately the Government had not changed the legislation and therefore, although they would be able to contribute to the discussions taking place in the meeting, they would not be able to vote.

 

New Committee Member

 

The Chair welcomed Councillor Andrea Wall, the new Halton Council representative, following the passing of Harry Howard. This was her first meeting of the LCR Transport Committee.

 

Frank Rogers

 

The Chair congratulated Frank Rogers, the recently retired Chief Executive of the LCR Combined Authority and Director General of Merseytravel on the award of a CBE in the New Year’s Honours List. He commented that it was very much deserved for his years of service to Local Government.

 

Katherine Fairclough

 

The Chair also welcomed to the meeting, the new Combined Authority Chief Executive, Katherine Fairclough.

 

Shane Fitzpatrick

 

The Chair informed the Committee that Shane Fitzpatrick was retiring from the Combined Authority and today was his last working day.  He paid tribute to Shane Fitzpatrick and provided a summary of his career, particularly over the past 20 years, at Merseytravel and the Combined Authority. He listed a number of projects that Shane had been involved with and stated that he had been a key player in Merseytravel, the Combined Authority and the whole devolution journey over the past two decades. The Chair added that Shane was focussed on delivery and was also one of the most prepared and diligent people he had ever worked with.  He indicated that Shane was looking forward to travelling around the British Isles. The Chair concluded by expressing a heartfelt thank you for everything Shane had done over many years wished him all the best for a long and happy retirement.

 

Councillor Ken McGlashan reinforced all that the Chair had said and added that Shane was a wonderful person who would talk through and explain every issue to Members in a logical manner so that it was understandable. He had known Shane for many years and he would be sorely missed.

 

Councillor Gordon Friel, the Vice-Chair echoed the comments that had been made and added that a lot of transformational work had been done around transport under Shane’s tenure.

 

Shane Fitzpatrick responded to the comments and was very appreciative of the kind words. He felt that it had been very fortuitus when he joined the organisation in 2000 as it was in 2001 when the money was been transferred into the Authority through the first Local Transport Plan. It had been a pleasure to work in and support the organisation, particularly over the last 10 years working with Members which had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.

46.

Apology for Absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor Joe Pearson.

47.

Declarations of Interest

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest received.

48.

Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 233 KB

To consider the minutes of the last meeting of the Transport Committee held on 11 November 2021.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 11 November 2021 were agreed as a true and correct record.

49.

Mersey Tunnels Tolls 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 274 KB

To consider the report of Merseytravel.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of Merseytravel which set out that the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) was responsible for determining the level of tolls payable for use of the Mersey Tunnels. The report was intended to assist the LCRCA by allowing the following issues to be explained and discussed by the Transport Committee and for a recommendation to be made to the LCRCA on the level of tolls. The report:

(a)     outlined the legal procedure for revising the level of the tolls;

(b)     summarised the current level of tolls; and

(c)     made proposals for the level of tolls payable in 2022/23.

John Fogarty, Executive Director of Corporate Services, introduced the report and explained that the role of this Committee was to consider all of the evidence around tolls and make a recommendation to the LCRCA. In setting the toll the Authority was guided by the Tunnels Act 2004 which set an authorised ceiling level. The purpose of this was to make sure tolls kept pace with public transport alternatives. The authorised toll level was £2.30 for a Class 1 vehicle which was significantly above the current cash toll of £1.80 and therefore the recommendation was not to move to the full authorised toll in one go but to increase this by 20p to £2.00.

John Fogarty explained that Members would also be aware that the Combined Authority’s toll structure included a benefit for Liverpool City Region through a local discount scheme for residents made effective through a local fast tag. This would also increase by 20p next year, but it would remain 80p less than the cash toll and some £1.10 less than the maximum chargeable under the current Act. Other classes of vehicles would increase correspondingly.

John Fogarty referred to paragraph 3.14 which included the additional discounts that the Transport Committee had recommended over a number of years in respect of discounts for blue lights services, amongst other things. Those would remain the same for next year. The only change related to a long standing issue around the treatment of larger taxi and private hire vehicles. This could now be addressed as new technology had been adopted on the toll plaza and those larger vehicles would now be considered as Class 1 similar to other taxi and private hire vehicles.

John Fogarty concluded by stating that the increase in tolls would bring in additional revenue to support the wider transport network and support investment in public transport generally. A sum of money had also been earmarked for cross river bus services and in particular the affordability tickets on those services. This was still being worked through with bus operators to conclude the deal out of the proceeds for tunnel tolls next year.

Councillor Paul Hayes advised that he opposed the tunnel toll rises that were being proposed. He had previously opposed rises for those residents who lived outside the City Region and he opposed this double-whammy of toll rises for residents inside and outside of Merseyside as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.

50.

Budget Setting Report 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 259 KB

To consider the report of the Treasurer.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Treasurer which detailed the draft revenue budget and capital programme for Merseytravel for 2022/23. The report also provided details of the prices/fares proposed for 2022/23 for approval. It also allowed Members to determine the revenue grants payable to Merseytravel in respect of general operations and Mersey Tunnels for 2022/23 and make recommendations to the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA).

Sarah Johnston, Assistant Director of Finance, introduced the report advising that the LCRCA had a statutory duty to agree a Levy for 2022/23 prior to 14 February 2022. To assist the LCRCA in its deliberations, the Transport Committee would consider Merseytravel’s financial situation and recommend budget options.

Sarah Johnston added that the budget setting process for 2022/23 needed to be taken into context with the budget for 2021/22. The backdrop for the current financial year was very unique and there had been a great deal of uncertainty arising from the pandemic which saw a collapse in patronage in public transport and fare based revenue. Whilst patronage had improved it still remained below pre-covid levels as was income. So whilst some of the risks stemming from public transport had reduced they had not disappeared and there were some particular risks around bus and rail which had been detailed in Section 7 of the report.

Sarah Johnston advised that 2021/22 had been unique in a number of ways the requirement to rely on reserves to balance the budget was not. It was something that the Combined Authority and Merseytravel had had to do for the last couple of years. Against this backdrop the Authority had an aim to achieve a financially sustainable budget over the medium term without needing recourse to reserves to balance the budget. This had presented a challenge when setting a balanced budget for 2022/23. The approach taken was detailed in paragraphs 3.2 and 3.3 of the report but broadly it had meant that increases to the budget had been limited from the 2021/22 budget, the impact of pay, the changes on special rail grants and to factor in any savings that could be found together with options for generating income. Adopting this approach Finance had worked with all Executive Directors, Heads of Service and Assistant Directors to develop budgets and all Members had been involved in getting to the position where a balanced and affordable budget could be put forward. The budget as proposed was detailed at Tables 1 and 2.

Sarah Johnston highlighted one change in respect of support services. In previous years the total costs of services had been shown such as Finance, Legal, Democratic Services, IT and HR within the Merseytravel budget. However, in practical terms a single seamless service was provided across both the Combined Authority and Merseytravel and to reflect that more accurately the budget had been apportioned between the two organisations for this year.

The report put forward proposals in respect of the fees and charges, detailed in Section 6 of the report. The proposed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.

51.

Quarterly Bus Update pdf icon PDF 334 KB

To consider the report of the Assistant Director for Bus.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report the Assistant Director for Bus which provided an update to Members of the Transport Committee on key bus issues relating to the third quarter of 2021/22. Specifically, the report sought to provide an update on the milestones of the Bus Alliance, report progress on the assessment into Bus Reform, Hybus Trial Project and Green Bus Routes Programme, along with an overview of how the Bus Team continued to work with bus operators to support the maintenance of a safe and reliable bus network whilst dealing with the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Laura Needham, Bus Strategy Programme Manager, presented the report and highlighted the following:-

·       Current patronage levels on the network averaged around 80%. Covid sickness rates across garages was 12-16% and face covering compliance was around about 88%;

·       The Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) had been submitted to Government on 31 October 2021 with a total ask of £667.4m over three years. It set out 10 potential projects which would transform the bus services across the city region and would ensure that bus played a real part in the recovery from Covid;

·       Work with the Bus Alliance continued to deliver an improved bus service and they were heavily involved in the development of the BSIP;

·       Work that had been undertaken with relevant constituent Local Authority partners to agree the measures proposed for the Liverpool to St Helens bus route as part of the ‘Green Bus Routes’ programme;

·       A separate report would be brought to the Combined Authority meeting on 21 January 2022 to approve the funding for the Prescot Bus Station and bus borders;

·       Considerable progress had been made on the LCR ‘Hybus’ trial project, particularly with regard to the lease and payment schedules with operators;.

·       The contract for the manufacture of the new fleet had been won by Alexander Dennis and the procurement of the fuel contract would be led by Arriva, although the Combined Authority remained heavily involved in supporting it;

·       Draft designs were complete for the interior of the bus and the final purchase order would be made by 31 January 2022. In addition a draft business case for the DfT Zebra scheme had been submitted and if successful, the bid would increase the number of buses in the project from 20 up to 43 in addition to funding for the hydrogen fuel and depot upgrade;

·       In Quarter 3 work streams had continued to progress individual elements of the Bus Reform business case and a series of market engagement sessions with operators had taken place. Stakeholder sessions had commenced in preparation for the Combined Authority meeting on 4 March where the business case would be considered;

·       The Customer Information Team had been working on a new Liverpool Area Map and installation of frames at Belle Vale Interchange and the display of both Liverpool Area Maps and the Belle Vale Interchange Map had commenced. Following this, development work on the Area Map for Wirral was next; and

·       A fleet  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51.

52.

Mersey Ferries Pier Head Terminal pdf icon PDF 139 KB

To consider the report of Merseytravel.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of Merseytravel which advised Members on the public consultation exercise recently undertaken in respect of the renaming of the Mersey Ferries Pier Head Terminal and sought endorsement of the next steps associated with this renaming process

John Fogarty, Executive Director of Corporate Services, introduced the report by stating that following the sad loss of Gerry Marsden in 2021, an individual who was synonymous with the City Region, it was proposed to re-name the Pier Head Ferry Terminal as a lasting tribute in recognition of Gerry’s association with the ferry across the Mersey.  

The proposal to re-name Pier Head Ferry Terminal to the ‘Liverpool Gerry Marsden Ferry Terminal’ was considered by Merseytravel in July 2021.  A public consultation exercise was undertaken and following consideration of the results it was agreed to continue with the re-naming proposal.  The Marsden Family have welcomed this proposal and were consulted throughout the process.

The Committee were requested to endorse the decision of Merseytravel in this respect.

The Chair invited questions and comments from the Committee.

The Vice-Chair, Councillor Gordon Friel commented that he could not imagine it being called anything else and it was a wonderful tribute to a man that we should all be very proud of.

 Councillor Jerry Williams stated that the influence that Gerry Marsden and his music had throughout the Liverpool City Region and internationally was huge. Gerry Marsden’s music was iconic and pledged his full support for the recommendation.

Councillors Ken McGlashan and Allan Jones echoed the sentiments and  agreed with the proposal. 

RESOLVED – That:

(i)      the contents of the report be noted; and

(ii)     the decision by Merseytravel in respect of the renaming of the Mersey Ferries Pier Head Terminal to “The Liverpool Gerry Marsden Ferry Terminal” be noted and endorsed.

 

53.

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 Monday, 10 January 2022 (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.

54.

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 10 January 2022 (the Monday before the meeting)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No petitions or statements were submitted for this meeting.

55.

Any Other Urgent Business Approved by the Chair

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no urgent items of business.