Agenda and minutes

Transport Committee
Friday, 15th March, 2019 11.00 am

Venue: Committee Room A, Wellington House, 40-50 Wellington Street, Leeds

No. Item


Chair's Comments


The Committee was advised that Councillor Lyons was standing down as a Councillor in May 2019 and this would be his last Transport Committee meeting. Councillor Groves thanked Councillor Lyons for his hard work over many years and his knowledge and expertise in respect of public transport. Councillor Bolt and Councillor Firth also thanked Councillor Lyons for his service to public transport and the people of Leeds. Dave Pearson, the Combined Authority’s Director of Transport Services paid tribute to Councillor Lyons and highlighted some of the achievements realised during his leadership as Chair of the former Passenger Transport Authority and Integrated Transport Authority.


In response, Councillor Lyons said he had been involved with the Authority in its many guises since 1985 and had seen many improvements to public transport during that time. He thanked members and officers for their support and hoped that everyone’s hard work towards achieving the ambitions for the Leeds City Region would be successful.


It was noted that Neale Wallace, Head of Transport Operations, and Diane Groom, Head of Customer Services, were leaving the organisation and the Committee sent their best wishes and thanks to them.



Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Khan, Kaushik, Ellis and Ian Cherry.


Declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests


There were no disclosable pecuniary interests declared by Members at the meeting.


Exempt information - possible exclusion of the press and public


There were no items requiring the exemption of the press or public.


Minutes of the meeting of the Transport Committee held on 11 January 2019 pdf icon PDF 148 KB


Resolved: That the minutes of the Transport Committee held on the 11 January 2019 be approved.


Integrated Transport Block Programme 2019-2022 pdf icon PDF 160 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report which provided an update on the Integrated Transport Block Programme. A draft programme for the period 2019-2022 was attached at Appendix 1 which included proposed allocations to schemes within the three prioritised programmes previously identified by the Transport Committee; Asset Renewal, Healthy Streets, and Improving Public Transport.


The Chair welcomed the report and highlighted the proposed £2.5 million allocation to deliver pilot projects for demand responsive bus services as well as the Healthy Streets initiative.


In respect of the selection of Holbeck as the site for the Healthy Streets demonstration project it was reported that district partners had selected the locations and it was hoped that the proposals would be effectively integrated with current plans for the area at district level.                                                                                                    


It was requested that future reports provide more detail around the Local Authority evidence and that the Transport Committee be updated on the progress of the delivery of the current ITB programme from April 2017 to March 2019 including any underspend at a future meeting.




(i)        That the draft integrated Transport Block-funded programme for the next three years (2019 to 2022) be endorsed and the ITB programme be considered at the next available meeting of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority for approval.


(ii)       That the proposed programme set out in paragraphs 2.20 and 2.21 for Healthy Streets Demonstration Projects as part of the ITB programme delivery be endorsed.


(iii)      That a workshop be held in year one of the programme (2019-20) with West Yorkshire District Portfolio Holders, Members of the Inclusive Growth and Public Policy Panel, Place Panel and Green Economy Panel to help set ambition, scope, timetable and key milestones for the Healthy Streets Demonstration Projects.


Bus Information Strategy pdf icon PDF 133 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report on the draft Bus Information Strategy which was attached at appendix 1. The draft strategy sets out a plan for the future provision of passenger information on public transport and seeks to build on the success of the 2012-17 strategy to attract new customers and increase patronage.


The Committee discussed the strategy and the following points were raised:


·         The importance of liaising with elected members and ensuring that young people were included in the consultation.

·         It was identified that of the key objectives listed in the submitted report ‘Always Live’ and ‘Network Wide’ posed the biggest challenges.

·         That real time bus updates relied on the information being provided by operators and wasn’t only a matter of installing new technology.


It was noted that while further stakeholder engagement on the wider strategy was underway a number of actions would be undertaken and these were outlined at 2.16 in the submitted report.


It was emphasised that the current strategy was a draft and would be brought to a future meeting for approval.




(i)        That the key objectives within the Bus Information Strategy as summarised in paragraph 2.8 of the submitted report be endorsed.


(ii)       That the next steps set out in section 2.13 of the submitted report be endorsed.


(iii)      That the draft Bus Information Strategy be issued for wider stakeholder engagement prior to the Committee considering a final version for adoption.


(iv)      That the wider engagement on the communications strategy include consultation with young people through schools, universities and colleges.


Bus Service Matters Referred from District Consultation Sub-Committees pdf icon PDF 102 KB


The Committee considered a report which set out the Combined Authority’s response to a petition submitted at the Kirklees DCSC regarding the cancellation of the 253 bus service. It was noted that the changes to the 253 service had been made as Arriva sought to strengthen their services in North Kirklees and that overall there had been an increase in bus services across the area however there were connectivity issues emerging from the withdrawal of service 253.


It was reported that a substantial number of complaints had been received and the Chair advised the Committee that Tracy Brabin MP and Paula Sheriff MP had been on contact with officers of the Combined Authority and Arriva to try to resolve the issues arrising. It was reported that steps had been taken to ensure that no area was without a bus service and the following comments were made:          


·         Members welcomed the ongoing work to resolve the gaps left in the service as a result of timetable changes made by Arriva and noted that 2 procurement packages had been curated.

·         Whether DCSC meetings were regular / flexible enough to address changes as they occur.

·         That arrangements made for school pupils should consider Sixth Form students who don’t keep regular school hours.

·         The new arrangements were causing bus congestion at the Heckmondwike hub and its capacity needs to be considered in future plans to upgrade infrastructure in the area.  


The guidelines set by the Transport Committee at its meeting in July 2018 are aimed at providing bus services to communities who would not otherwise have a service. Whilst accepting that withdrawal 253 will make it more difficult for people to make some journeys, all of the communities served by the 253 will continue to have a bus service. It was recommended that the Combined Authority does not fund the reinstatement of service 253 but that Combined Authority officers continue to work with bus companies to address the issues arising from the withdrawal of this service.  


A vote was taken on an amendment to the recommendations proposed by Councillor Bolt in respect of considering a review of service 253 and the use of temporal extensions of bus services through de minimis powers:


Against the amendment: 5

For the amendment: 3

Abstentions: 1


The Committee would be kept informed of any further developments.




(i)        That the Transport Committee notes the representations submitted to the Kirklees District Consultation Sub-Committee regarding bus service 253.


(ii)       That the Director, Transport Services advises the petitioners that the Combined Authority is unable to provide a replacement of service 253 for the reasons described in the report.


Transforming Cities Fund and Connectivity Strategy Update pdf icon PDF 161 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report which provided an update on the Transforming Cities Fund and the Leeds City Region Connectivity Strategy.


The Committee was updated on the progress of the four applications from the Transforming Cities Fund as part of tranche 1. Members welcomed the news that bids for Kirklees Cycling and Walking Early Gateway Transformation package and the York Station Gateway Cycle Route enhancements were successful. However, they were disappointed that bids for Leeds City Region Clean Bus Corridors and Bradford Forster Square had been unsuccessful.


Members expressed their dissatisfaction at the way Local Authorities and the Combined Authority had to constantly bid for funding, knowing that some bids would be unsuccessful, which prevented them thinking about transport plans in a holistic and strategic manner. In this respect reference was made to the bid for clean air corridors which had been turned down. This was disappointing given that it would address air pollution which was one of Government’s key targets.   


Resolved: That the Committee notes the updates on the Transforming Cities Fund and Connectivity Strategy.  


Transport for the North Strategic Transport Plan pdf icon PDF 135 KB


The Committee considered a report which provided an update on Transport for the North’s (TfN) Strategic Plan, including the implications for the region.


The Committee noted that TfN had strengthened their position on carbon reduction – adding objectives that align with West Yorkshire Transport Strategy 2040. However, Members expressed their concerns that TfN’s draft plan was not compliant with the Committee on Climate Change. It was noted that transport related emissions were expected to increase over the next 20 years.


It was proposed that a working group be established to consider transport’s contribution to achieving the regional low carbon ambitions especially with reference to the forthcoming Energy Summit, organised by the Green Economy Panel.


Members also discussed the communication between TfN and regional partners and considered  that TfN operated a ‘top-down’ approach with limited scope for input from the Transport Committee and the Local Authorities. It was agreed that the Chair would write to TfN seeking greater transparency and strengthened communication.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     


It was noted that Councillor Judith Blake was the Combined Authority’s representative on the TfN Partnership Board and she ensured that the Authority’s concerns were raised. It was proposed that Councillor Blake be invited to a future meeting.




(i)        That the Transport Committee welcomes Transport for the North’s recommendations and notes the implications for the region.


(ii)       That a working group be established, working with the Green Economy Panel, to consider the contribution of transport to achieving the regional low carbon ambitions.


(iii)      That a letter be sent from the Chair to Transport for the North seeking greater transparency and strengthened communication with the Transport Committee and District Council portfolio holders. 


Roads Update - Opportunities to Fund Improvements on Strategically Important Roads pdf icon PDF 149 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report which provided an update of recent announcements with implications for funding improvements on strategically important roads.


Members noted the information and update provided in the report and the appendices. It was reported that the Combined Authority would work with district partners to better understand their priorities for funding of the road network and a progress report would be brought to a future meeting. 




(i)        That the report be noted.


(ii)       That Transport Committee agrees to the Combined Authority working with partner councils, Transport for the North and the Department for Transport to develop funding proposals for the National Road Fund for improvements to the Major Road Networks and for Large Local Major schemes.


(iii)      That the Transport Committee agrees that the Combined Authority continues to seek to influence the Department for Transport in respect of roads contained within the Major Road Network and funding opportunities for other roads that are excluded from the Major Road Network.


Rail Matters Affecting West Yorkshire pdf icon PDF 166 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report which provided an update on rail matters affecting West Yorkshire.


The Chair advised that she had recently met with Transpennine Express and she provided a service update. In respect of Northern, it was reported that they had advised that the new rolling stock would be delivered on time and it was hoped that they would attend a future meeting.  


Members wished to register their frustration with the delays in the delivery of the Transpennine Route Upgrade. It was noted that the upgrade was much anticipated and would have significant benefits for Kirklees. Members discussed the need for an official announcement to enable districts to put contingency plans in place to prepare for the commencement of work and the importance of feeding into the public consultations to be carried out by network rail.




(i)        That the Transport Committee notes that the performance of the railway in West Yorkshire up to and including the end of period 11 (2 February 2019) has shown an improvements since the December timetable change but has still not reached a satisfactory level.


(ii)       That the progress being made on other rail matters affecting West Yorkshire as presented in the report be noted.


(iii)      That the Transport Committee endorses the positions adopted in progressing the Combined Authority’s ambitions for the railway, and that further communications work be undertaken in pursuit of them. 


West Yorkshire Bus Alliance Update pdf icon PDF 134 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report which provided an update on the development of the West Yorkshire Bus Alliance.


It was noted that work had progressed in developing the work stream delivery plans, governance arrangements and the next steps for communication and engagement.


The Chair informed the Committee that the Bus Alliance would be formally launched on 18 March and also that a meeting had been arranged with Lilian Greenwood MP, Chair of the Parliamentary Select Committee, which Members were welcome to attend.


The Committee was also updated with the latest performance indicators in which overall satisfaction had increased from 83% to 85%. It was noted that the challenge for the Bus Alliance was to improve on this.


In discussing the report, the following comments were made:


·         It was considered that communications around bus service consultations should be improved using clearer language to ensure a good response.

·         The importance for Transport Committee to review the Bus Alliance to ensure that an effective partnership is maintained.

·         The Committee noted that a piece of work had been commissioned to look at future proofing bus networks for new developments.


It was noted that regular updates would be brought to future meetings of the Transport Committee.


Resolved: That the report be noted.


Leeds City Region Transport Update pdf icon PDF 353 KB


The Committee considered a report which provided an update on current issues related to transport.


Members discussed the Clean Bus Technology Fund and the invitation to apply for up to £3 million additional funding to enable the retro fitting of extra buses to Euro VI standard. Members noted that a bid of £2.9 million was submitted, Members of the Committee questioned whether the requirement for the money to be spent by September 2019 was too demanding and unrealistic. It was reported that steps were being made to achieve this and that the Chair of the Combined Authority was challenging the Government in respect of unrealistic timescales on this and other programmes.


Resolved: That the updates provided in the report be noted.


Summary of Transport Schemes pdf icon PDF 105 KB


The Committee considered a report which provided an update on the transport related schemes considered by the West Yorkshire and York Investment Committee.


Members noted the various projects and also welcomed the first Investment Committee joint workshop with Transport Committee.


Resolved: That the report be noted.

Draft Minutes of the District Consultation Sub-Committees held on:


Leeds - 4 February 2019 pdf icon PDF 161 KB


Resolved: That the minutes of the Leeds DCSC held on 4 February 2019 be approved.


Kirklees- 6 February 2019 pdf icon PDF 151 KB


Resolved: That the minutes of the Kirklees DCSC held on 6 February 2019 be approved.



Bradford - 11 February 2019 pdf icon PDF 172 KB


Resolved: That the minutes of the Bradford DCSC held on 11 February 2019 be approved.



Calderdale - 12 February 2019 pdf icon PDF 152 KB


Resolved: That the minutes of the Calderdale DCSC held on 12 February 2019 be approved.



Wakefield - 14 February 2019 pdf icon PDF 175 KB


Resolved: That the minutes of the Wakefield DCSC held on 14 February 2019 be approved.