Venue: The Council Chamber -Town Hall, Sankey Street, Warrington WA1 1UH. View directions
Contact: Cherry Foreman Democratic Services Officers
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 Councillor H Mundry.
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.
To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 9th July 2015 and to consider any matters arising.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 9 July 2015 be 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.
No members of the public wished to speak.
Cross Boundary Connectivity
To receive a presentation and short briefing note from Rebecca Maxwell, North Wales Ambition Board.
Rebecca Maxwell of the North Wales Ambition Board gave a presentation on their connectivity and infrastructure priorities. The Ambition Board was comprised of representatives from all six of the Welsh Local Authorities, the North Wales Business Council, FE/HE representatives, the Welsh Government and the Mersey Dee Alliance, with the objective of developing a region that was outward looking, with a diverse and high value economy that provided a range of quality employment opportunities for its people.
At present the economy in North Wales was considered to be under performing; it was, however, also inextricably linked with the North West of England with an opportunity to exploit its proximity to the Northern Powerhouse Developments. The presentation detailed a high level strategy, to support employment site provision and improve accessibility for both businesses and the workforce, and the outline of an infrastructure for growth building on the present 1m cross border commutes monthly.
In considering potential barriers, such as the transport network, consideration was given to the part played by road and rail and to investment opportunities and overall connectivity; the difficulties of competing priorities were recognised by all concerned. For all regions success in gaining funding relied on being part of a competitive process and the importance of gaining private funding was also stressed but, in an environment of differing funding models and regional and national networks, it was recognised that the development of areas such as Crewe, Warrington and Runcorn needed to come first so that in the future those centres could then be linked with locations further afield.
For road networks the issue of devolution was another aspect although it was noted there were regular cross border talks between the Welsh government and the DfT. The CWLTB was, however, happy to support the North Wales Ambition Board in it ambitions and statement of case with further dialogue between potential partners being encouraged.
That the presentation be noted.
To receive an update report from Stephen Hunter (attached).
Steven Hunter (Transport for Warrington Service Manager) gave an update on the progress of Transport for the North (TfN) since the launch of the Northern Transport Strategy in March.
He reported that confirmation had been received from the Chancellor on the governance structure of TfN, details of which were in the report, and that work on the main work streams, shown below, was progressing well towards the completion of a full Northern Transport Strategy by March 2016:
· Northern Powerhouse Rail (Sheffield City Region)
· Strategic Roads Network (DfT Strategic Roads Directorate)
· Freight (Liverpool City Region)
· International Connectivity (North East City Region)
· Integrated and Smart Travel (Greater Manchester/Leeds City Regions)
· Local Strategic Connectivity (Leeds City Region)
· Strategic Economic Case (Manchester City Region)
· Stakeholder Engagement and Communications (Manchester City Region)
In addition Cheshire and Warrington were working towards the development of a Sub-Regional Transport Strategy. In discussing the local pan northern priorities (pg 47 of the report) a question was raised concerning the costs given for 360 Degree High Speed Rail Connectivity and it was confirmed this would be investigated further. Concern was expressed that existing problems outside the TfN area needed to be factored into the planning process to include a strategic overview of the wider network, including such issues as the limited rail capacity at Warrington, and the lack of a rail link to the Port at Liverpool; it was agreed that these points needed to be fed into the discussions before the March 2016 and they were added into the recommendations.
The CWLTB noted that:
1. Cheshire and Warrington, Cumbria and Lancashire, Tees Valley and North Yorkshire are now full members of Transport for the North and are fully represented on the TfN Partnership Board and Executive Board. This is alongside the Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Hull and Newcastle City Regions who submitted the Interim Northern Transport Strategy in March 2015.
2. Cheshire and Warrington are now represented on the Transport for the North Partnership Board by Cllr Terry O’Neill, Leader of Warrington Borough Council and Christine Gaskell, Chair of the Cheshire and Warrington LEP and the Executive Board by Professor Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive of Warrington Borough Council.
3. TfN governance arrangements are continuing to evolve and formalise with greater clarity on roles and responsibilities.
4. That David Brown, currently Chief Executive of Merseytravel has been appointed as TfN Chief Executive with effect from 9 November 2015.
5. The recruitment process for an Independent Chair of TfN is underway, with the appointment expected to be confirmed in late November 2015.
6. TfN is making good progress towards the submission of a Northern Transport Strategy to Government by March 2016 and has recently submitted an Autumn Report updating Government on this progress.
7. In October 2015 the Government had announced that an amendment would be proposed to the Cities and Local Devolution Bill which would allow TfN to become a statutory Sub-National Transport Body and, subject to this being approved by Parliament, it could happen by 2017.
8. TfN ... view the full minutes text for item 15.
Sub-Regional Transport Strategy
To receive a presentation from Leighton Cardwell, Jacobs.
Leighton Cardwell (Jacobs) gave a presentation on the Sub Regional Transport Strategy, building on the work presented to the CWLTB at its previous meeting. The aim was to transform the economy from £20b to £50b in 2040 by a combination of unlocking additional jobs and increasing productivity from transport and skills; the four key spatial priorities for growth being the Atlantic Gateway, the Science Corridor, the High Growth City and Energy Cluster; the presentation addressed the strategic connectivity required and how to finance it.
Transformational schemes located in Cheshire and Warrington, of critical importance to the north and given top priority, were the HS2 Hub Crewe and freight relocation; M6 widening J16-22 and junction improvements; HS2 trans north hub Warrington; electrification and journey time improvements; M62 widening J8-12; Western rail access to Manchester airport and the M56 Smart Motorway.
In addition other pan-northern schemes had been prioritised and would complement the joint networks such as the CLC and the mid Cheshire line upgrade, electrification and metro style service; the M53 Smart Motorway, rail improvements to the Liverpool/Chester, Crewe/Macclesfield/Derby, Chester/Crewe lines; SEMMS2/Airport access and the Warrington East and Metrolink extension.
Delivery timescales and funding estimates were given. The next steps would be to finalise the supporting schemes and measures to best complement the network and unlock viable growth locations involving LEP and local delivery, the continued engagement of TfN to deliver key schemes and for there to be a continued collective input into RIS2 and NR North of England Planning Process.
That the update be noted.
To receive a report from Andy Coates (attached).
Consideration was given to this report giving an update on the work of Rail North and the DfT on the re-franchising programme for Northern and TransPennine Rail Services, and on devolving more responsibility for managing rail services in the North of England.
Particular attention was drawn to the appointments of David Hogarth as Rail North Director, to Andrew Ross as the representative of the Cheshire and Potteries Regional Sub-Group on the Rail North Steering Group, and to the partnership agreement between Rail North and the Department of Transport.
1. That the CWLTB notes the Rail North developments and continuing activities and that all bids for Northern and TransPennine are currently being evaluated with an expected announcement of the preferred bidders in early December.
2. That it be noted the governance arrangements are continuing to evolve and formalise with greater clarity on roles and responsibilities.
To receive oral updates from the following in respect of works planned affecting Cheshire and Warrington:
· Department for Transport – Richard Perry
· Highways England – Mike Sinnott
· Network Rail – Graham Botham/Andy Bliss
Richard Perry (DfT) reported that the Government Spending Review would report on 26 November 2015; a number of resource reduction scenarios had been tested across Government Departments and separate discussions were continuing on capital budgets.
Amendments to the Devolution and Cities Bill would clarify the powers and roles of the proposed Sub-Regional Transport Bodies and discussions were continuing with Cheshire and Warrington concerning the Devolution Deal; others were expected to be confirmed by the spending Review with a third tranche being announced in early 2016.
Stakeholder workshops had been held for the Buses Bill which was expected to be published by late 2015/early 2016. The Bill would cover both franchising and strengthened partnership models for which a more integrated approach to delivering local bus services was being sought; further announcements were expected before the end of the year.
A new Infrastructure Commission, chaired by Lord Adonis, had been created and was currently operating in shadow form. The Chancellor had asked it to look at northern transport connectivity infrastructure for the 2016 budget.
Bruce Parker (Highways England) outlined the progress on the RIS1 projects which were now 10% complete.
Preparations for RIS2 would begin in 2016 and included strategic evidence gathering, dialogue with the LEP, Local Authorities and North Wales. It was likely that RIS2 would be confirmed by 2018/19 and be focussed on delivering economic growth.
He reported that the HE Capital Programme was protected and in the future it would be linked to revenue raised from vehicle excise duties.
The Sub Regional Transport Strategy provided good evidence to support the process and recognised that the M56 Smart Motorway would be a key priority and combine technology and capacity improvements to lesson accidents.
A paper was circulated which included air quality mitigation measures associated with recent schemes.
Graham Botham (Network Rail) reported that the Hendy Review of affordability and deliverability was nearing completion; the results would be available in the near future and give some clarity for future funding plans.
Options for the next phase of the Crewe Hub were being considered and choices developed for the next funding round.
West Coast Capacity Plus was in preparation.
Improvements to the viaduct at Holmes Chapel were scheduled for February 2016 and it was suggested that a presentation be given to a future meeting of the CWLTB on viaducts.
Date of Next Meeting
To confirm the date of the next meeting.
It was confirmed that the next meeting would be hosted by Cheshire West and Chester on a date to be confirmed.