Agenda and minutes

Cheshire and Warrington Local Transport Body
Monday, 16th December, 2013 3.30 pm

Venue: Fred Flint Room, Westfields, Middlewich Road, Sandbach CW11 1HZ. View directions

Contact: Cherry Foreman or Sarah Baxter  Democratic Services Officers

No. Item


Welcome, Introductions and Apologies for Absence

The Chairman will open the meeting and welcome attendees to the meeting of the Local Transport Body.


Apologies for absence were received from Richard Eccles (Northern Rail) and

Ruth Moynihan (Highways Agency).  It was noted that both attendees were retiring and it was agreed to invite to future meetings Jo Kaye from Network Rail and Bruce Parker from the Highways Agency.



Declarations of Interest

To provide an opportunity for Members and Officers to declare any disclosable pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests in any item on the agenda.


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of Previous meeting pdf icon PDF 47 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 8 October 2014 and to consider any matters arising.



The minutes of the meeting held on 8 October 2013 were approved as a correct record.


Public Speaking Time/Open Session

A period of 15 minutes is allocated for members of the public to address the meeting on any matter relevant to the work of the body in question.  Individual members of the public may speak for up to 5 minutes but the Chairman or person presiding will decide how the period of time allocated for public speaking will be apportioned where there are a number of speakers.



Peter Hall, representing South East Cheshire Cycle Action Group gave a short presentation to the Local Transport Body setting out the case for investing in the cycling network to provide cycling with a higher profile.  He felt that further measures to encourage more cycling needed to be provided in all new housing developments.  Councillor M Jones noted that policies would be brought forward for cycling and pedestrian connections as part of the Local Plan.  Andrew Ross indicated the importance of the Local Growth Fund and noted that the LEP could make funding available for appropriate cycling schemes.


Andrew Needham, representing CPRE also spoke to members of the Local Transport Body and noted that CPRE supported the case for HS2 but was also aware about the concerns raised in respect of the proposals.  It was hoped that there would be clarity on the potential location of any new station serving Crewe.  In addition there was some concern about the impact on local journeys.


He also requested more clarity about the Crewe High Growth City proposals and the specific area covered by this proposal.  Councillor M Jones highlighted the importance of spreading job creation over a broader geographic area.  Andrew Ross commented on how the proposition supported the potential for development on brownfield land and retaining separate towns, which should result in less development pressure on the open countryside.


Local Transport Body HS2 Consultation Response pdf icon PDF 82 KB

To consider the draft response to the current HS2 Consultation on the Phase 2 extension proposals and in particular the section from the West Midlands to Manchester and Wigan that passes through Cheshire and Warrington.



Councillor Mrs L Dirir outlined that Warrington Borough Council were not happy with the current version of the response and that the representations made by Warrington Borough Council had been omitted.  It was requested that an additional meeting be set up to work through the outstanding issues.  Councillor Mrs L Dirir noted that Warrington Borough Council fully supported the principle of HS2 but needed clarification relating to the spur in order to be able to sell the wider benefits of the scheme.  The Council was still awaiting confirmation from HS2 on agreements relating to the future level of service from Warrington Bank Quay.


Councillor H Manley noted that Cheshire West and Chester Council welcomed the report and that North East Wales Local Authorities were also supportive of the paper along with the wider benefits associated with further electrification.  Councillor H Manley appreciated the issues raised by Warrington Borough Council and he stated that localised issues also existed in West Cheshire but there was a need to sell the wider benefits.


Councillor Mrs L Dirir asked for clarification if the matter would be voted on and minuted.  This was confirmed.  It was also confirmed that the constituent Local Authorities were able to submit there own responses to this exercise.


Pete Waterman considered that Warrington Borough Council needed to understand the HS2 process and that the level of detail that far ahead was not yet known.


Councillor M Jones was keen to work with Warrington Borough Council to try and resolve their concerns.


It was agreed to vote on whether to include comments on the spur.  Councillor Mrs L Dirir voted for this, Councillors D Brown and H Manley and Pete Waterman voted against.


It was minuted that Warrington Borough Council would write directly to HS2 concerning their position relating to this vote.


A second vote on the recommendation was also carried three votes to one (with Councillor Mrs L Dirir voting against the recommendation) for the draft response to be submitted to the LEP for approval.


It was noted for the record that neither the Department for Transport or Network Rail participated in this vote.




That the recommendations as outlined in the report be agreed.


Rail Devolution Update


Andrew Ross outlined the background to the rail devolution proposals.  The plans for a fully developed body had been withheld and Rail North and the Department for Transport would continue dialogue to establish a framework on how best to take this forward through anew Partnership arrangement.  Correspondence and meetings with the lead authorities promoting Rail North were planned and would hopefully identify how Cheshire and Warrington would be engaged in this process going forward.  This clarification was expected early in the new year.


Richard Perry noted that Ministers remain supportive of devolution but due to the size and scale of this proposal, and the associated risks, it was considered better to do this through a partnership approach, this meant that the current proposals were no longer on the table.


Councillor M Jones noted that Cheshire and Warrington needed assurances that they would be included in any further consultation.  Richard Perry agreed to take the views back to the Department of Transport.


First Draft Strategic Economic Plan - Transport Chapter pdf icon PDF 52 KB

To consider the first draft Transport Chapter for inclusion in the December submission of the Strategic Economic Plan. 

Additional documents:


Andrew Ross highlighted that this document remained a first draft and that further detailed work on what would become the final document would be undertaken in early 2014.


Aidan Manley stressed that this was more than a bidding document.  It set out the future growth agenda for Cheshire and Warrington.  The importance of the future relationship between the LEP and the Local Authorities to drive this forward was highlighted and that Transport was one of the platforms to drive the growth agenda.


It was agreed not to hold a formal vote on the submission of the draft document and that a vote would be held on the final draft prior to its submission in March 2014 at the next meeting of the Local Transport Body.


Update Reports

To receive oral updates in respect of: -


·         Highways Agency – Ruth Moynihan

·         Department for Transport – Richard Perry

·         Network Rail – Richard Eccles


Steven Lee of the Highways Agency confirmed that Ruth Moynihan would be retiring with effect from 24 December 2013.  Her replacement was Bruce Parker and it was agreed that Bruce should be invited to replace Ruth in an advisory capacity to support the Cheshire and Warrington Local Transport Body.


It was noted that the Highways Agency Route Based Strategies were submitted on 6 December.  They included reference to the C&W SEP as part of the evidence base, it was noted that further information would be shared in due course.


Richard Perry from the Department of Transportoutlined a number of minor changes arising from the Autumn Statement.  He also confirmed that Cheshire West & Chester Council had been successful with a pinch point bid for Sutton Weaver Swing Bridge but a bid from Warrington Borough Council had been unsuccessful.  He would share further feedback directly with Cheshire West & Chester Council and Warrington Borough Council.


The Department for Transport also announced the creation of a rail electrification task force to review potential new schemes including the Crewe to Chester and Chester to Warrington lines.  In addition the Department had published its annual statistics which provided useful summaries and trend data.


The Department for Transport and Department for Communities and Local Government had published proposals relating to town centres, including consultation on parking and related issues as well as a consultation being held on National road and rail networks.


Jo Kaye from Network Rail noted that the Office of the Rail Regulator would shortly publish its Delivery Plan for the period 2014 to 2019.


There was ongoing liaison with HS2.  Network Rail was also working to set up and establish terms of reference for the rail electrification task force.  It was suggested that this will be discussed in more detail at a future LTB meeting.


Any Other Appropriate Business


Chris Hindle reported that the Cheshire West & Chester Local Plan would be presented to a special meeting of the Full Council on 19 December to seek approval that this be submitted for Examination during 2014.


Aidan Manley noted that the Department of Transport were keen to have conversations with LEP regions to understand cross-cutting themes and issues.  Councillor H Manley noted that this needed to extend into North East Wales as well as Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire and Shropshire.


Aidan Manley noted the ongoing work relating to the Halton Curve.  It was agreed that this topic would be the subject of a briefing at the next meeting.


Date of Next Meeting

To confirm the date of the next meeting. 


It was agreed that the date of the next meeting would take place at the end of February/early March and would be held in Winsford.