Venue: Council Chamber, Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe CW1 2BJ. View directions
Contact: Cherry Foreman or Sarah Baxter 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.
(Councillor Bailey took the Chair for the start of the meeting).
Apologies for absence were received from Mr G Botham (Network Rail) and Mr R Perry (DfT).
Appointment of Chairman
It was moved and seconded that Mr P Waterman be appointed as Chairman.
That Mr Waterman be appointed as Chairman.
Mr Waterman in the Chair.
Appointment of Vice-Chairman
It was moved and seconded that Councillor B Clarke be appointed as Vice-Chairman.
That Councillor B Clarke be appointed as Vice-Chairman.
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 5 November 2015.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 5 November 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.
Mr Philip Jackson (Vice-Chairman, Cheshire Association of Local Councils (Chalc)) spoke in respect of the opening of the Sandbach to Northwich rail line and asked if the Committee could re-look at this. In particular, the upgrading of the Cheshire Lines so that there is a link between Northwich to Sandbach and then a link back in to Crewe to HS2. Reference was made to the increase in size of Gadbrook Park as a commercial development site and the resulting car parking problems. Mr Jackson suggested that a station at Gadbrook would ease the problems accessing the site.
The corridors around Nantwich were also mentioned with a suggestion that the land on the section of A51 around Nantwich be protected from future development and when monies are available for the road to be widened.
Mr Waterman responded to confirm that research is proposed to take place into the Middlewich Line and the findings will be reported back to the Committee once they are available. Reference was also made to the constraints and the costs.
Mr Ross responded about the A51 road widening and reported that there is a recognition that the impacts of the developments around Nantwich are going to need improvements on the corridor around Nantwich. As part of the Section 106 agreement for the development there is a significant package of funding for the junctions referred to as part of the thinking for the Strategic economic plan going forward. Strategic thinking is to take place on the longer term link between M6 and Chester and how that affects the road network around Nantwich.
Councillor Les Gilbert spoke in respect of the Draft Transport Strategy and referred to the congestion on the relief roads around Congleton and Middlewich. Holmes Chapel sits in the middle of the east/west connectivity, but there is no recognition of this in the Draft Transport Strategy. The main A54 is the main east/west route of choice from Winsford and beyond in the west to Congleton and Macclesfield and beyond in the east. Reference was made to the junctions of the A50 (major north/south route) which are often congested and gridlocked and the pinch points in Holmes Chapel. Councillor Gilbert said that he would like to see improvements in the east/west flow of traffic and some recognition of the east/west connectivity in the Draft Transport Strategy.
Mr Waterman responded to confirm that all pinch points in Cheshire East are being looked at by the Council.
Mr Ross responded about the strategic changes that Councillor Gilbert had identified, which he said do need to be addressed in terms of strategic thinking and analysis and should be referenced within the strategic document. Once the M6 smart motorway is completed and linked into the A556 creating a new strategic route, that a study of the A50 corridor be undertaken.
Mr A Needham spoke in respect of the Basford Project and Northern Powerhouse Rail and the provision for a junction on the HS2 mainline north of Crewe. Reference was ... view the full minutes text for item 23.
To discuss and agree revised Terms of Reference for the Cheshire and Warrington Local Transport Body.
After consideration of the draft Terms of Reference, it was proposed that the Cheshire and Warrington Local Transport Body (CWLTB) should be a Sub-Committee to the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) rather than having an advisory role.
That the Terms of Reference be agreed subject to the following amendment:
Section 3.1 of the Terms of Reference be amended to:
The CWLTB to be a sub-committee of the CWLEP and provide operational oversight to the transport investment programme. The CWLTB has a role in ensuring that transport investments support the growth conversation with Government and the Strategic Economic Plan priorities of the CWLEP. Schemes will be prioritised alongside other transport and non-transport schemes using the CWLEP’s Assurance and Accountability Framework.
Mr P Cox gave some background information about the LEPs and reported that at the CWLEP Board meeting in September it was agreed that the CWLEP Board meetings and its sub-committees should be open to members of the public.
To discuss a draft transport strategy and approve the version to go out to Stakeholder Engagement.
Mr Newton referred to the Cheshire and Warrington Matters: A Transport Strategy to Support the 2017 SEP draft Executive Summary which captures some of the key messages of the draft proposals. Before the summary is circulated to stakeholders, members of the Committee were invited to ask questions, comment and provide amendments, which were as follows:
· Following comments that had been made earlier in the meeting, there should be a full list of proposals within the main document.
Before the main document is published the 3 Local Authorities are to work together on the timetabling and sequencing of the schemes.
· More strengthening on pinch points – they should be added to the Priority List with more information on the numbers and locations and a priority list then compiled.
· There needs to be assurance that the Board is looking at the connectivity and delivering on the pinch points and provides absolute clarity that this relates to the local economic partnership. It should demonstrate that it is a vision on the now consulted on proposal for a Hub Station in Crewe – that growth and infrastructure for this sub-region underpins all.
· Whether the SEP Transport and Connectivity Objectives from the development of HS2 Hub Station at Crewe should be listed as the final point (point 6 – page 20) in the list of SEP Transport and Connectivity Objectives. As it is a trigger point and all the advantages that come from that growth, it should be listed as a priority.
· Taking into account comments from the speakers at the meeting, Schemes Under Development and Other Priorities – Crewe to Stoke line capacity improvement is absolutely key for the regional benefit of HS2 and what this will deliver. It should, therefore, be listed as a priority.
· A bigger map detailing pinch points and where everything fits in should be added to the consultation pack.
· HS2 Connectivity should be a priority for development. Not to miss an opportunity to include Warrington. Ensure people can move around and use HS2 and use it effectively to build on businesses and job opportunities.
· North Crewe Link Road – HS2 whether it stays on the main west coast line or it has a new route, whatever happens the road and canal infrastructure needs upgrading. All of the mid-Cheshire towns would benefit as well as opening it up to Warrington.
· Weaver towns development should be included in the list of priorities.
The pro-active way the Holmes Chapel residents are looking at ways of overcoming the traffic problems and solutions for Holmes Chapel should be referenced in the strategy document.
· It should be made clear that this is a strategic document. There needs to be a strategic plan for the A50 and A54 corridor and ensure that the traffic models don’t become a sub-standard solution.
Mr Newton mentioned that some comments received so far suggest that the draft Transport Strategy doesn’t fully articulate the strategy’s role in underpinning economic growth.
That the comments and amendments be noted.
To receive oral updates on the following:
• Rail Plan
• Crewe Hub
• Golborne Link
Mr Newton provided a Rail Plan Update as follows:
· A working group has been set up, chaired by Mr C Seward from Cheshire West and Chester Council and includes Local Authority representatives from Warrington, Stoke, North Wales, Staffordshire and Shropshire. The group is looking to pull together a rail plan and rail prospectus. An update and draft prospectus will be provided at the next CWLTB meeting.
· A list of requirements across the entire network area is being developed including consideration of what is required by the network to support the growth. Consideration is also being given to passenger services and what that means in terms of network constraints and key pinch points. The group is working closely with Network Rail and with a Rail North Sub-Group to help identify passenger requirements.
· The work will seek to influence The Wales and West study being undertaken by Transport for the North.
Mr Ross provided a Crewe Hub Update – Rail Infrastructure, as follows:
Network Rail are working with HS2 on the rail infrastructure and has reached a critical juncture in the project coming up with the final options and solutions for the DfT and Secretary of State to consider. The ask has always been that a solution is required that future proofs the potential for up to seven trains an hour on HS2 and enables growth in the local regional rail network as well.
A big challenge in achieving the Hub is what happens between 2027-2033 (when HS2 arrives at Crewe and before the tunnel under Crewe through HS2 services is open). There could be a squeeze on network capacity and the CWLTB should aim to influence Government thinking to ensure Crewe gets the services it needs in 2027, in particular to Manchester. Once the tunnel is open, this will open up a lot more possibilities in the post 2033 world. The options are now being refined and the solutions that can meet the requirements are being considered. Ultimately this depends on the Secretary of State supporting the decision that delivers that.
The base information is coming together and the decision, even though it might not come out this year, will certainly be in time for a decision next year.
Mr S Hunter clarified that the Golborne Link refers to the Section of HS2 which would start at where the Manchester spur comes off the main HS2 Phase 2B Line and provide a connection across the west coast main line in the region of Golborne, which is in between Warrington Bank Quay and Wigan North Western Stations on the West coast main line.
An update was then provided as follows:
· As proposed by the Government the two main purposes are to provide that connection back to the West Coast main line and originally to also act as a location for a rolling stock depot at Golborne where rolling stock would be stored and then transferred to Manchester .
· The Golborne Link is still in the ... view the full minutes text for item 26.
Major Highway Schemes Update
To receive oral updates on the following major highway schemes:
• Congleton Link Road
• Middlewich eastern Bypass
• Warrington Western Link
Mr A Ross provided the following update:
Congleton Link Road
The outcome is awaited from the public inquiry process which has taken place recently. The scheme is out to tender. It is expected that a contractor will be selected for the scheme in the new year.
Middlewich Eastern Bypass
There is already a successful bid to Government and programme entry has been received. Preparations are in place for the planning application for the scheme and plans are moving forward with the detailed land negotiations with the four major land owners.
Warrington Western Link
Mr Steven Hunter provided an update as follows:
· Details on the location of the scheme - around 3km link road connecting the A56 Chester Road to the South West of Warrington across the A57 Sankey Way on the western side of Warrington.
· The key objectives of the scheme are to provide an additional highway passing over the Manchester Ship Canal in an attempt to relieve traffic congestion at the bridge foot crossings of the River Mersey and to provide substantial network resilience. A substantial Warrington water front area of land for development is to be opened up.
· Two consultations have been completed and a business case for funding is to be submitted to the Executive Board on 13th November and then to the Government by 22nd December 2017. An outcome is expected by Spring 2018.
That the Major Highways Schemes be noted.
To receive oral updates on TfN work including the Strategic Transport Plan and the West and Wales Strategic Development Corridor study.
MrHunter provided an update on the Key Decisions from the Transport for the North Partnership Board meeting that was held on 14th September 2017 and drew attention to:
Strategic Transport Plan
The draft Strategic Transport Plan will be published late 2017 and will then be followed by a thirteen-week public consultation, with the final plan due for publication next Summer.
Northern Powerhouse Rail (formerly known as HS3)
The core west-east spine of the Strategic Transport Plan is the Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) network. It is believed that this can be delivered through a mix of upgrades of existing lines, the use of the committed HS2 network and some new infrastructure.
Work to outline the preferred NPR network is ongoing and the Strategic Outline Business Case will be submitted the next year. The emerging vision of the network is as follows:
· A new line between Liverpool and the HS2 Manchester Spur via Warrington Capacity at Piccadilly for about 8 through services per hour
· A new Trans Pennine rail line that connects Manchester and Leeds via Bradford
· Significant upgrades along the corridor of the existing Hope Valley from Sheffield to Manchester line via Stockport
· Leeds to Sheffield delivered through HS2 Phase 2b and upgrading the route from Sheffield
· Leeds to Newcastle via HS2 junction at Garforth and upgrades to the East Coast Mainline
· Significant upgrades to existing line for Leeds to Hull (via Selby) and Sheffield to Hull (via Doncaster)
The NPR network could be delivered in phases, building upon committed and planned investment, matching outputs to the ambition of a network which can support the transformation of the northern economy.
An immediate priority for the TfN Partnership Board is ensuring that Northern Powerhouse Rail is fully integrated into the planning of Phase 2B of HS2, to ensure both maximum value for money and that NPR can be developed without delay..
The Board is calling on the Secretary of State for Transport to ensure that the following six vital touchpoints are included in the HS2 Phase 2B Hybrid Bill:
1. Provision for a junction between HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail east of Leeds at Garforth to create capacity for NPR services from Leeds to York and beyond. This would enable faster Leeds – York – Darlington – Durham – Newcastle services, and release capacity for more local and commuter services east of Leeds.
2. A connection south of Leeds at Stourton between the HS2 Eastern Leg and existing line into Leeds, enabling NPR trains to run from Sheffield to Leeds and on to York and the North East, thus connecting Leeds from north and south.
3. A connection north of Sheffield at Clayton, enabling trains to run through Sheffield and rejoin the HS2 line to Leeds.
4. Provision for a junction between HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail on the HS2 Manchester Airport spur south-west of the airport, allowing construction of a new line to serve Liverpool-Manchester Airport-Manchester.
5. Provision for a junction on the HS2 mainline north of Crewe, allowing ... view the full minutes text for item 28.
Date of Next Meeting
To confirm the date of the next meeting.
It was confirmed that the next meeting should be hosted by Cheshire West and Chester on a date to be confirmed.
Any Other Business
Mr P Cox referred to the recent funding allocations as follows:
· Middlewich By Pass – latest round of funding – one of only two schemes the government has funded
· Warrington East Phase 3 - £4 million
· Macclesfield Movement Strategy - £3.5 million
· Open Highways – Gateways - Warrington £3.36 million
· A556 Gadbrook Business Park junction upgrade - £2.1 million
· North West Crewe Access - £5 million
It was agreed that a presentation from the Crewe Hub Team should be arranged for a future meeting.