Agenda and minutes

Cheshire and Warrington Local Transport Body
Wednesday, 4th March, 2015 10.30 am

Venue: Chester Town Hall-Northgate Street, Chester, CH1 2HJ. View directions

Contact: Cherry Foreman or Sarah Baxter  Democratic Services Officers

Items
No. Item

26.

Welcome, Introductions and Apologies for Absence

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

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor D Brown.

27.

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.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

28.

Minutes of Previous meeting pdf icon PDF 43 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 6 November 2014 and to consider any matters arising.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 6 November 2015 be approved as a correct record.

29.

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.

 

Minutes:

Philip Jackson (ChALC) was concerned at media rumours about the use of tube stock to replace pacer units; it was confirmed that operators could not use old rolling stock.

 

Councillor P Hoyland (Cycling Champion for Cheshire East) raised the issue of better integration for cyclists using the wider transport network and the need for a more balanced focus on all modes of transport not just car and rail. It was confirmed that under the new Infrastructure Act the Secretary of State had a statutory duty to consider cycling and how it integrated into the overall framework but that as yet no funding had been allocated to do so.

 

(Councillor M Jones arrived and took the Chair for the reminder of the meeting.)

 

30.

Cheshire and Warrington Transport Strategy pdf icon PDF 274 KB

To consider a report on the Cheshire Warrington and Transport Strategy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to this strategy.  The first phase of the work on the strategy had demonstrated that enhanced transport investment was central to realising the ambition to secure a £15bn annual increase in the economy, or 134,000 jobs; Cheshire and Warrington had the opportunities, priorities, skills and diversifications to succeed but the current transport networks were a constraint.

 

The phased programme aimed to unlock existing pinch points, provide enhanced connectivity to local cities and international gateways and to promote schemes to maximise the opportunities associated with HS2, HS3 and cross-boundary connectivity.

 

Phase 2 of the programme, to be delivered in consultation with partner authorities and the delivery agencies, was outlined.  Schemes for Phase 2 were being assessed, the process of which would end in August, and this fitted in with the budget allocation work for the DfT which was due to start at that time.

 

RESOLVED

 

1.    That approval be given to the Cheshire and Warrington Transport Strategy Phase 1 final report.

 

2.    That it be noted that Phase 2 of the work will enable completion of the Transport Strategy and that a further report be considered at the next meeting.

31.

Update on Transport for the North pdf icon PDF 145 KB

To receive a written update in respect of Transport for the North.

Minutes:

Transport for the North (TfN) had been formed in response to the Government’s commitment to rebalance the economy and create a northern powerhouse of jobs, investment and prosperity as part of its long term plan.  A key part of the vision was to deliver a world class integrated transport network for the north that reduced journey times, increased capacity and connectivity and enabled growth.

 

The Interim Report on the Northern Transport Strategy was due to be published shortly and eight work streams focussed on pan-northern connectivity and capacity as well as a programme of major transformational transport interventions.  The governance arrangements for the ongoing development of the strategy were unclear but it was understood they would evolve following the launch of the Interim Report.

 

The CWLTB particularly wished to stress the importance of the strategy to an area wider than the immediate corridor of the lead organisations; as a gateway to the north it was important that the CWLTB were members of the Partnership Board and Leaders Reference Group.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the CWLTB notes the Transport for the North and Northern Transport Strategy developments and

i)     Makes the case to Government and representatives of TfN that Cheshire & Warrington is represented as a key economic geography of the Northern Powerhouse.

ii)    Promotes the Cheshire and Warrington Transport Strategy and the importance of continued investment in the sub regional local and national transport networks as part of the achieving a Northern Powerhouse.

iii)   That TfN be invited to make a presentation to the next meeting of the CWLTB.

32.

Cross Boundary Working on Strategic Transport pdf icon PDF 37 KB

To consider a report on Cross Boundary Working on Strategic Transport.

Minutes:

It was proposed that the CWLTB, on behalf of the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), take the lead on cross boundary working on strategic transport issues and future investment priorities to ensure consistency with the emerging Transport Strategy and Strategic Economic Plan.

 

Significant levels of cross boundary commuting took place on a daily basis and it was noted that a number of formal and informal arrangements currently existed between the constituent authorities and neighbouring areas, and good working relationships already existed with national transport bodies.  These were very important and would be built upon still further under the proposals now being considered.

 

Improving connectivity between Cheshire and Warrington and the surrounding economic travel to work areas was crucial in order for the LEP area to maximise its performance locally and for the region as a whole.  The CWLTB requested that it receive regular updates on progress including that of rural broadband, cross border links with Wales

 

RESOLVED

 

1.    That the importance of cross boundary travel to support the regional and sub-regional economy be noted.

 

2.    That the four areas of cross boundary working be agreed as

i)     High Growth City – with Stoke and Staffordshire

ii)    Atlantic Gateway – with North Wales and the Mersey Dee Alliance

iii)   Atlantic Gateway – with Greater Manchester and Merseyside

iv)   Manchester Airport and Science Corridor – with Greater Manchester

and they be used to form the basis of reports on each areas strategic transport issues and priorities.

 

3.    That there be regular updates on cross boundary developments including the roll out of rural broadband, and cross boundary links with Wales.

33.

Rail North Update pdf icon PDF 45 KB

To receive a written update from Rail North.

Minutes:

Andy Coates of AECOM gave a presentation updating Members on the position regarding the Northern and TransPennine re-franchising programme which had reached a critical stage following publication of the invitation to tender by the Secretary of State for Transport on 27 February 2015.  He reported that Rail North was continuing to work closely with the DfT to devolve more responsibility for specifying and managing rail services in the North of England and the update included the salient points for each of the franchises, the timetable for the re-franchising process, planned improvements in the services, confirmation of the governance arrangements and the Rail North Communications Plan.

 

With reference to the governance arrangements the Cheshire and Warrington Authorities had, in September 2014, formally agreed to become members of both Rail North Ltd (RNL), and also of the Association of Rail North Partner Authorities; the latter to be known as ‘the Association’.   The Association was to be governed by a Leaders Committee with each Authority being represented by a nominated elected member.   As part of the governance arrangements the North of England had been divided into eleven Sub-Groups including Cheshire and Potteries; each of which was required to appoint an elected member as a Director of the Board of RNL.  For the Cheshire and Potteries Sub-Group it was proposed that the nominated representative of the CWLTB be Councillor David Brown; as the nominated representative he would be appointed as a Director of the Board of RNL. 

 

The Chairman reported that he did not wish to be the nominated representative in view of the potential constraint or conflict of interest that might arise with regard to plans for HS2 and he considered the CWLTB would have a stronger position if he was not personally involved.  It was noted that Councillor Brown was currently the Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council and was the Strategic Outcomes Portfolio Holder, with responsibility for rail, and that he therefore had a good understanding of the agenda; the members of the CWLTB gave unanimous approval to him being their nominated representative. 

 

 

RESOLVED

 

1.    That the publication of the Northern and TransPennine ITT documentation on 27 February 2015, and the presentation, be received and noted.

 

2.    That endorsement be given to the appointment of Councillor David Brown, as the nominated representative of the CWLTB, and to his appointment as a Director of the Board of Rail North Ltd on behalf of the Cheshire and Potteries Sub-Group.

 

3.    That the emerging communications plans, including business engagement, be noted.

 

 

34.

New Delivery Vehicle and SMART Motorways

To receive a presentation from Highways on New Delivery Vehicle and SMART Motorways.

Minutes:

Bruce Parker of the Highways Agency gave a presentation on the new delivery agency to be known as Highways England.  His presentation included the strategic vision for the next 25 years including traffic forecasts and the investment plan, the new governance framework, and route strategies nationally and for the CWLTB area. 

 

The development of a Smart Motorway for the M6 J16-19 was proposed with a completion date of Autumn 2017 and the presentation included an outline of how this would be progressed.

 

RESOLVED

 

1.    That the presentation be noted and a copy be circulated to members of the CWLTB.

 

2.    That approval be given for Andrew Ross to write to the Secretary of State to endorse the proposals on behalf of the CWLTB.

35.

Mersey Gateway Crossing - Consultation on Toll Orders

To receive a verbal update in respect of the Mersey Gateway Crossing – Consultation on Toll Orders.

Minutes:

David Boyer updated the Committee on this matter with particular reference to consultation on the Toll Order. He reported that the way in which the toll charges were to be collected had changed and it was now proposed there be local pay points, or that the payment be made on-line as for the Dartford Crossing toll. 

 

Whilst appreciating the cost efficiencies of this collection method the CWLTB did not think it suitable for an area where there was a large elderly population; concern was also expressed at the adverse effect it could have on the economy of the wider area; it was also suggested that stakeholders should be involved in the consultation. 

 

Councillor Linda Dirir agreed to be the CWLTBs lead on responding to the consultation and to forward on the views that had been expressed. 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the update be noted and that approval be given for Councillor Linda Dirir to feed back the responses now made to the road toll consultation.

 

 

36.

Local Partnership's Transport Delivery Excellence Project - Programme and Project Management

To receive a verbal update on Local Partnership’s Transport Delivery Excellence Project – Programme and Project Management.

Minutes:

Aiden Manley reported that the CWLEP had performed very successfully and was seen as one of the top five in the country.  A number of investment decisions now needed to be made, and plans for how best to monitor the projects with the involvement of the CWLTB.

 

The Chairman supported the work of the LEP, and welcomed the funding it had received, and asked for a detailed report to be presented at the next meeting.  .

 

RESOLVED

 

That the report be noted and a further report considered at the next meeting of the Committee.

37.

HS2

To receive a verbal update on HS2.

Minutes:

It was reported that the Secretary of State was due to make an announcement on safeguarding consultations later in 2015.  If HS2 Phase 2 included the Crewe Hub the intention was to accelerate work on it so as to bring its benefits to the NW as quickly as possible.  The routes and stations would be announced in 2016 under the new Government. 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the report be noted.

38.

Update Reports

To receive oral updates in respect of: -

 

·         Highways Agency –Bruce Parker

·         Department for Transport – Richard Perry

·         Network Rail – Jo Kaye

 

 

 

Minutes:

Highways Agency: work on a number of pinch-point schemes was nearing completion.  The A55/A483 scheme was behind schedule but due to be completed by mid-May.

 

DfT: additional Growth Deal funding had been made available for schemes in Crewe.  Additional investment decisions, including the results of the Maintenance Challenge competition, would be confirmed prior to the commencement of the pre-election purdah period.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the updates be noted.

39.

Date of Next Meeting

To confirm the date of the next meeting.

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That the next meeting be held at a venue in Cheshire East, on a date to be agreed, and circulated at a later date.