Agenda and minutes

Cheshire and Warrington Local Transport Body
Friday, 21st September, 2018 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe CW1 2BJ. View directions

Contact: 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 Pete Waterman (LTB Chairman), Andrew Ross (Cheshire East), Lisa Harris (Cheshire West and Chester), Richard Ellis Hobbs (Network Rail), Andrea Haynes (Network Rail) and Johnathan Spruce (Transport for the North).     


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 65 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 22 June 2018 and to consider any matters arising.


The minutes of the meeting held on 22 June 2018 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.



A51 South of Nantwich – Newcastle Rd/Ellwood Way/London Road

Phillip Jackson had spoken on behalf of Stapeley Parish Council regarding the above, at the Local Transport Body’s meeting in April 2018.  He reported that, as at today’s date he had yet to receive a promised response to the questions he had raised.   


It was reported that the developer was being pursued in relation to the matters raised and that action was unlikely to be taken to rectify the adverse camber at the junction as the data did not support an upgrade. 


Middlewich Rail Line 

Andrew Needham referred to the campaign to reopen the Middlewich Rail Line and spoke on the present position.  He also sought clarification on matters relating to HS2 mitigation works (included embankments heights), details of which remained confidential. 


Consideration was being given as to how Northern Powerhouse Rail link would utilise and interact with the mechanics and infrastructure associated with HS2, which was the reason for the legislative delay in parliament.  It was confirmed that the relevant partners would continue to lobby for world class mitigation measures to be put in place.      


Action for the A51

Matthew Waterhouse of the Action for the A51 Group Steering Committee queried the apparent lack of progress on the connectivity feasibility study for the A51 corridor; given no indication had been provided as to where the monies would come from. 


Funding for the consultation study had yet to be identified.  The draft transport plan identified a number of studies across the sub-region and others had been suggested during the consultation process.  Hence, following finalisation of the strategy by the LEP, a prioritisation exercise would need to be undertaken and a report would be brought back to the next meeting of the Local Transport Body. 


A general discussion then ensued about the matters raised, comments/responses being made as follows: 


·           Cheshire East had acknowledged the route as a strategic corridor and was lobbying for it to be classified as a major road network which would give access to funding opportunities 

·           A consultation exercise on the Major Road Network (MRN) was due to be published shortly

·           At a meeting of Transport for the North (TftN), support was given in principle to the investment plan, which was to be revisited in December 2018.  The plan was ambitious but could not cover everything  

·           Cheshire West and Chester Council was developing a scheme which would tackle pinch points along the northern part of the A51

·           It was pointed out that the government’s processes for developing schemes are complex and hence time consuming   

Declarations of Interest

Roy Cartlidge sought clarification on whether the Chairman of the Local Transport Body had been consistent in declaring interests at meetings he had recently attended.   


In the Chairman’s absence, it was AGREED that the matter would be raised with the Chairman and that a response would be provided to Mr Cartlidge and the Local Transport Body.    


Sub Regional Transport Strategy Consultation pdf icon PDF 82 KB

To consider a report on the Transport Strategy Consultation.

Additional documents:


The Transport Co-ordinator spoke to the report which set out the background to the draft Sub-Regional Transport Strategy and gave details of the stakeholder engagement process which had run for 12 weeks from May 2018. 


The report before the Local Transport Body, set out the consultation approach adopted during the process and an executive summary, circulated at the meeting, provided summaries of responses received from 28 organisations and 5 individuals. 


Having considered the comments received (which, in the main had been supportive), a number of changes to chapters, 4, 5, 6 and 7 of the report were proposed, set out on pages two and three of the executive summary.  Should the changes be approved, the final version would be taken to the next LEP Board meeting.   


AGREED: That a) proposed changes to the draft sub-regional transport strategy be approved in principle; and b) delegated approval for detailed drafting changes be granted to the Chief Executive of the LEP in consultation with the Chair of the Local Transport Body.       




Transport for the North Update pdf icon PDF 64 KB

To consider an update on Transport for the North.


The Local Transport Body noted that Transport for the North (TftN) was now a statutory sub-national body, its powers having been awarded to it under the 2016 Cities and Devolution Act.  Councillor Dixon (Leader of Cheshire West and Chester) had been appointed as a vice chair.         


In addition to the updates set out in paragraphs 2.1 and 3.1 of the report, the following additional matters were reported:


Cathy Mitchell would chair the Scrutiny Committee established as part of the governance arrangements.  IPSO Mori had been commissioned to consult on the Strategic Transport Plan.  A strategic outline business case for Northern Rail Powerhouse (NRP) was being developed to deliver transformational journey times; the outline business case being expected to be published at the end of the year.  TftN had made a strong statement about the May timetable changes and was working with DfT to identify what had caused the issues.   TftN had identified 9 Strategic Development Corridors (SDCs) which covered the north of which the Wales and West corridor was the most relevant to the sub-region.  The output of the SDC studies would feed into the Strategic Transport Plan and the Investment Plan, which was due to be published around February 2019.  Finally, TftN was planning a trial roll-out of integrated and smart ticketing, the first stage of which would be the replacement of season tickets.   


AGREED: That the Local Transport Body notes the Transport for the North developments and continuing activities.          




NPR Update

To receive a verbal update on the NPR.


Warrington Borough Council continued to lobby for the route chosen by Northern Powerhouse Rail to serve the centre of Warrington (via Bank Quay station), and is pressing very hard for mitigation of environmental impacts.      


HS2 Update

To receive a verbal update on HS2.


Updates were given as follows:


Phase 2a

Phase 2a hybrid Bill was deposited with Parliament in 2017 and traffic management plans for Crewe (traffic movement and depots) had started to be received.  Whilst the Bill proposed 2 trains an hour, partners were continuing to press for 5 – 7 HS2 trains per hour for Phase 2b.  Proposals for the Crewe Campus area were being considered and would include the development of an Area Action Plan.  A Crewe HS2 Masterplan would be published later this year to shape the environment and support access to and from the hub station.  The layout of the hub would enable an enhanced pattern of local train services to be accommodated.  


A presentation had been made to Crewe Members on the impact of HS2 on the Town Centre. The Local Transport Body noted that proposal for a hub at Crewe was different from the others, as the existing station would remain open whilst work was carried out on HS2. 


Phase 2b

Stakeholder engagement events were being undertaken in October 2018.  There are concerns over environmental impacts and Cheshire East Council is seeking world class mitigation measures.     




Golborne Link Update

To receive a verbal update on the Golborne Link.


Updates were given as follows:


Warrington Borough Council supported a high speed link to London but opposed the route selected (Golborne link).  It continued to pursue two work streams; a case against that section of the route whilst looking to secure world class mitigation measures, should the route go ahead. 


A report on the work being undertaken would be submitted to a subsequent meeting of the Local Transport Body.   



Crewe Hub Update

To receive a verbal update on the Crewe Hub.


Matters under this heading were reported under HS2 update. 


Mid-Cheshire Line Study Update

To receive a verbal update on the Mid-Cheshire Line Study.


Updates were given as follows:


WSP had been appointed to undertake the study and would look at service options (including revenue generated, operational and capital costs and what could be supported in the business case by way of infrastructure e.g. new stations at Middlewich link and Gadbrook Park) to improve connectivity to Crewe Hub/Manchester/Chester.  It was anticipated that the study would report in January 2019 which would shape the development of a strategic outline business case as the mechanism for securing potential government funding. 


A stakeholder meeting had been held, attendees being keen to become involved in this work.  The reopening of the route would enhance connectivity into the Crewe Hub and would benefit other communities along the line.  Feasibility work would be required to identify any constraints and to identify possible options. 



Department for Transport Update

To receive a verbal update on the Department for Transport.


Updates were given as follows:


Department for Transport

Secretary of State had announced a root and branch review which would look at all parts of the industry including the commercial model, structures and roles/fares systems.  To be lead by Keith Williams, former Chief Executive of British Airways supported by an expert Challenge Panel.  The report was expected next year which could result in a white paper by 2020. 


Major Road Network (MRN) consultation responses had been published.  Road investment strategy was expected to be published alongside the draft investment strategy. 


The Government had launched an inclusive transport strategy, the aim of which was to achieve equal access for disabled people.     


Highways England update

Smart motorway programme between junctions 16 – 19 on M6 due to be completed March 2019.  Had commenced same work on junctions 10 – 12 of M62.  M56 junctions 8 – 6 on track to start next financial year.  M6 junction 21a – 26 which crept into Warrington had been slightly delayed, the plan was to commence that stretch in 2019.  Due to amount of work being carried out on network, traffic was to be monitored. 


The Local Transport Body welcomed investment in the areas around the M6 but expressed concern that during works, vehicles were either being diverted or had found alternative routes.  A question was asked as to whether any action had been taken to take people off re-directed routes and other roads and back onto the M6.  In response, it was confirmed that traffic movements were being tracked and that Highways England would work with local authorities to improve signage, if required.    





Update on Major Scheme Progress

To receive verbal updates from each local authority on progress of their major schemes.



·         A51 congestion scheme being developed for Tarvin/Chester corridor – currently assembling land required and will be using the SCAPE framework to procure delivery of the scheme   

·         Gadbrook Park progressing

·         Chester/Broughton growth corridor (Chester relief road) tender had been issued to look at alternative alignments



·         Warrington West Station works ongoing, completion spring 2019

·         Centre Park Link, due on site January 2019

·         Birchwood phase 2 on site, phase 3 approvals now in place

·         Junction 8, M62 further improvements on site

·         Local Transport Plan 4 to be refreshed in parallel with Local Plan,  consultation exercise to be undertaken in January/February 2019



·         Crewe Green roundabout, on programme and on budget.  Due to open in November 2018

·         Sydney Road bridge replacement to commence in November 2018

·         Congleton Link Road contract due to be let and signed with Graham Construction.  Enabling works to start before Christmas

·         Middlewich eastern bypass – planning application expected in next two months.  Will be parallel with Cheshire West and Chester as straddles boundary, commencement date expected to be 2020

·         Poynton Relief Road has planning approval,  Enquiry scheduled for November causing a delay of six months

·         A500 dualling – outline business case drafted and outline planning application being consulted on.  Hope to have planning approval by Christmas

·         A6 Manchester relief road almost finished and opening in October.  Poynton relief road will link to this.  




Date of Next Meeting

To confirm the date of the next meeting will be on Friday 21 December 2018 in Chester.


It was agreed that the next meeting be held on Friday, 21 December 2018 in Chester.