Agenda and minutes

Cheshire and Warrington Local Transport Body
Friday, 4th October, 2019 10.00 am

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

Contact: Sarah Baxter  Democratic Services Officer

Note: Please see the Cheshire and Warrington LEP website for access to agendas and minutes 

Items
No. Item

16.

Appointment of Temporary Chairman for the Meeting

To appoint a temporary Chairman for the meeting.

Minutes:

It was moved and seconded that Councillor H Mundry be appointed as Chairman for the meeting.

 

RESOLVED

 

That Councillor H Mundry be appointed as Chairman for the meeting.

17.

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 C Browne.

18.

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.

19.

Minutes of Previous meeting pdf icon PDF 137 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 25 July 2019.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 25 July 2019 be approved as a correct record subject to it being noted that under minute no. 12 ‘Department for Transport’ Update’ Richard Perry was from the Department for Transport and not Highways England and subject to the last sentence of that minute being amended to read as follows:-

 

‘It was noted that £198 million was being made available for maintenance and that £150 million was for pinch points’.

20.

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:

Andrew Needham representing CPRE attended the meeting and asked the following questions:-

 

It had been reported that the capital cost of the Crewe Hub and Northern Junction would be in excess of £1bn.  What was a realistic figure?  Was there a cost/benefit ratio?  The location for the Crewe North Connection was shown at High Legh.  Apparently it would need to be further South.   What was the proposed location?

 

Councillor Philip Atkins as Chairman of the Constellation Partnership was promoting the fact that HS2 was more than just a railway and represented investment which was decades overdue.  Was this consistent with CANDWEP, NPR and TfN?

 

John Ryan representing the Wirral Transport Users Association attended the meeting and raised concerns that the there were no plans for HS2 to have a direct connection to Chester. 

 

It was greed that a written response to the questions raised by Mr Needham would be provided.

21.

Prioritising Business Case Development pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To consider a report on prioritising business case development.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Roy Newton representing the Cheshire & Warrington LEP presented a report on prioritising the business case development. 

 

At the meeting on Thursday 25 July 2019 the LTB noted that the LEP Strategy Committee had allocated £200,000 to support the development of business cases for Crewe Hub Access Package, Winnington Hill/Bridge Corridor Study and Warrington Last Mile - Town Centre Masterplan.

 

A further £200,000 was available for studies/business case development for this financial year and the report sets out recommended priorities for the funding.  Successful projects needed to be able to demonstrate their fit with criteria agreed by the LEP’s Strategy Committee which included Strategic fit of the proposal against sub-regional strategies and priorities; the potential to secure government/3rd party funding for delivery; the amount of funding the scheme promoters were contributing and the degree to which the project was likely to deliver a scheme which offered good value for money.  Additionally, government sources were indicating that there was likely to be funding available from April 2020 for schemes which were ready to be delivered or have elements which could be delivered in 2020.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the schemes identified within the report be endorsed and recommended to the LEP Strategy Committee for approval.

22.

HS2 and Crewe Hub Update pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To receive an update in respect of HS2 and the Crewe Hub.

Minutes:

Chris Hindle, the Head of Infrastructure at Cheshire East Council gave an update to Members on HS2 and the Crewe hub.  It was noted that the date of the meeting referred to in the title of the report was incorrect.

 

As well as information on the Crewe hub station, there was an update on the Crewe North connection, Crewe hub area action plan and the Southern link road bridge.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the update be noted.

23.

Northern Powerhouse Rail Update pdf icon PDF 135 KB

To receive an update on the Northern Powerhouse Rail.

Minutes:

David Bowyer representing Warrington Borough Council gave an update on progress made by Transport for the North (TfN), and the Department for Transport (DfT) who had jointly commissioned the business case work for the Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR).

 

The business case for the NPR included the benefits for the Crewe North connection.  It was necessary to be built when HS2 was built.  Officers were keen to see that although benefits did need to paly a part in when phase 2b was built the business case needed to be made so that it was not reliant on the NPR.

 

Clarification was sought on what the touch point at High Legh was.

 

In response it was confirmed that it was a junction and not a station.  In order for the NPR to work the construction of HS2 was required.  Whilst there was uncertainty in respect of the future of HS2 the advice was that work needed to continue with regard to the key design elements.

 

RESOLVED

 

1. That the progress made to date by the Department for Transport and Transport for the North in the preparation of a Draft Strategic Outline Business Case for Northern Powerhouse Rail be noted.

 

2. That the key issues for Cheshire and Warrington with regard to the Northern Powerhouse Rail proposals be noted.

 

3. That updates on both of these matters would be provided at a future meeting of the Cheshire and Warrington Local Transport Body.

24.

Transport for the North Update pdf icon PDF 63 KB

To receive an update on Transport for the North.

Minutes:

David Boyer, representing Warrington Borough Council attended the meeting and gave an update on the progress made with Transport for the North (TfN).  It followed on from a series of written reports considered by LTB meetings held over the last four years since the formation of TfN.

 

Members had attended meetings with the Transport Minister and a representative from HS2.  HS2 representatives had said they were willing to listen whilst in the past this had not been the case.  Clarification was sought as when the funding for the A500 would be finalised.  In response it was confirmed that the scheme had been with the DfT for sometime and did form part of the wider programme of works.  As yet there was no specific date.

 

RESOLVED

 

(1)That the Transport for the North developments and continuing activities outlined in the report be noted.

 

(2)That the progress made on all of the TfN work streams as listed and briefly summarised in Section 3 of the report be noted.

25.

Department for Transport Update

To receive a verbal update from the Department of Transport.

Minutes:

Richard Perry, representing the Department for Transport (DfT), attended the meeting and updated the Body on the following:-

 

The Prime Minister had delivered two major speeches on transport in the North - Manchester in July and Rotherham on the 13th September.  The speeches had been notable for the Prime Minister’s commitment to NPR between Manchester and Leeds; strong advocation of buses; intention to provide more local control of rail services in the North (linked to the forthcoming Williams Review) and the establishment of a pan Northern body to promote economic growth.

 

In addition two new MHCLG funding announcements were noted - Stronger Towns Fund and Historic High Streets - both of which had local implications.  A prospectus for the former was being drafted and transport was expected to be amongst the potential interventions that could be funded.  It was noted that any transport interventions should be agreed by the LTA.

 

The recent one year Spending Round announcement had included an additional £200m for buses, reflecting the Government’s strong interest in this area.  Further details on this funding, and broader strategic aims for buses, had been published on the DfT website.

 

The announcement of the Oakervee review into HS2 was noted.  The Review was underway and a report was expected in the Autumn.  TfN was continuing to develop the business case for NPR.

 

A reminder of the timescales for bids and Expressions of interest to the Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund (end October) and the Local Pinch Point Fund (end January 2020) was noted.  Local Authorities were working on proposals for both.

 

The announcement of the outcome of the West Coast Franchise was noted, with First/Trenitalia taking over the franchise from December this year.

 

It was reported at the previous meeting the LTB had agreed to develop a bus strategy.  This would be worked on closely with the DfT.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the update be noted.

26.

Highways England Update

To receive a verbal update from Highways England.

Minutes:

Mike Sinnott, representing Highways England attended the meeting and reported that in respect of RIS2 the situation remained as captured in the minutes of the last meeting.  Highways England were still awaiting the formal announcement of RIS2 Investment Plan.  This was due in the Autumn, but precise timings were not yet clear.  The Chancellor re-confirmed the £25bn budget for Highways England in RIS2 in his speech at the Conservative Party Conference on 30th September.  As mentioned at previous meetings, Highways England welcomed engagement from LTB stakeholders and partners about potential improvements on or associated with the Strategic Road Network that might be potential candidates for investment in RIS2 but reiterated that any proposals would be subject to prioritisation and affordability once RIS2 was confirmed.  The RIS1 schemes situation remained largely as reported in the previous minutes, with one update which was that Highways England had appointed a contractor for the M6 J19 junction improvement scheme, which would start works in March 2020.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the update be noted.

27.

Update on Local Authority Major Scheme Progress pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To receive verbal/written updates from each of the Local Authorities.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Updates were provided for each Local Authority area:-

 

Cheshire East Council

 

·         Sydney Road Bridge Improvement-now completed

·         Congleton Link Road-Scheme progressing and due to be opened to traffic in late 2020

·         Poynton Relief Road-Contractor announcement due imminently

·         Middlewich Eastern Bypass-Notices have been served to commence detailed ground investigation which would be starting shorty

·         North West Crewe Package-Main works due to start in early 2020

·         A500 Dualling-A contractor has been identified to deliver the scheme and subject to the completion of statutory processes the opening date was anticipated to be early 2023.

 

Cheshire West & Chester Council

 

·         A51 Tarvin to Chester Improvement Scheme-Construction on the main components to commence in Summer 202 with a Spring 2021 completion date.

·         Sutton Way Boulevard Pedestrian and Cycling Improvements-Detailed design is complete and construction is due to commence in November 2019, with completion scheduled for March 2020.

·         Winnington Swing Bridge/A533 Corridor Improvements-Currently procuring professional consultancy support for this development.

·         Hooton-Helsby Strategic Outline Business Case (SOBC).

·         Middlewich Southern Link Feasibility Study.

·         Additional Pedestrian and Cycling Improvements.

·         Future Funding Stream Opportunity: Local Pinch Point Programme.

·         Future Funding Stream Opportunity: Challenge Fund Programme.

 

Warrington Borough Council

 

·         Waterfront Western Link-Submission case back to Government in late 2022, with any construction stage subject to DfT approval starting in mid-2023 for a period of circa 3 years.

·         M62 Junction 8-Local Growth Fund-Completed

·         Warrington East Ph1-Completed

·         Centre Park Link-On site

·         Warrington West Station-On site

·         Warrington East Phases 2 & 3 –On site

·         Sustainable Transport Project-Access Fund

·         Omega Local Highways

 

RESOLVED

 

That the updates be noted.

28.

Date of Next Meeting

To confirm the date of the next meeting as Friday 10 January 2020.

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That the date of the next meeting take place on 10 January 2020.