Venue: Committee Room B, Town Hall, Crossley Street, Halifax, HX1 1UJ
Contact: Andrew Atack
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Graham Meiklejohn.
It was noted that Councillor Peter Caffrey attended the meeting on Tuesday 4th April 2017, but was not registered on the attendance section in the minutes.
Resolved - That the minutes of the meeting held on 4 April 2017 be approved, after Councillor Caffrey is noted as present.
Introduction to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the District Consultation Sub-Committees
This will be a presentation provided by a representative from the West Yorkshire
The committee was presented with an overview of how the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) is funded and the transport functions and services it provides. Members were also provided with an overview of how the District Consultation Sub-Committees (DCSCS) fit into WYCA’s governance structure.
Halifax Town Centre Proposals
This will be a presentation provided by representatives from Calderdale Council and AECOM.
The Committee were given a presentation by AECOM, who were appointed by Calderdale Council to progress the approved outline proposals for Halifax Town Centre.
The transport infrastructure investments proposed for Halifax Town Centre comprised of three key elements. The first element is the upgrade of the eastern corridor in order to provide enhanced pedestrian and cycle access facilities from the Rail Station into Halifax Town Centre. Upgrades to the northern, southern and western gateways into the town centre are incorporated in the other two elements.
It is anticipated that the full Business Case will be submitted to WYCA in mid-2018 for approval, with a view for all three elements of the programme to be completed for 2021.
A number of questions were raised regarding the bus services currently running through the town centre and which bus stops they would use when the changes to the traffic flow are implemented.
The committee were informed that there will be changes to the bus stop location throughout the town centre and route changes will be communicated with passengers in advance of the implementation of the new routes.
This will provide the opportunity for questions to be raised from the floor with a focus on matters of wider interest.
Bus Services Act
The committee was informed that the Bus Services Act received Royal Assent in April 2017. Draft regulations and secondary legislation have now been issued by the government for consultation.
Bus Service Changes
The committee was informed that a number of service changes were implemented on the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd October. The changes involved the withdrawal of journeys which carried small numbers of passengers and fell below the subsidy per passenger criteria set by WYCA.
New CCTV Contracts
The committee was informed that a new contract has been let to manage and replace all CCTV installations currently active in bus stations across West Yorkshire. The new system will be digital, rather than analogue, and will provide higher quality live camera feeds and improved evidence gathering facilities.
Real Time Information
The committee was informed that the current realtime information system, which has been in operation since October 2005, will be replaced following the completion of a procurement process. Two suppliers will deliver different aspects of the upgrade, which includes the introduction of a new back-office system and the upgrade of real time information screens.
The committee was informed that a MCard ticket machine is due to be installed at Halifax Bus Station shortly. The machine will enable MCard users to purchase a range of MCard tickets such as weekly and monthly tickets when the station is open.
May 2018 Northern and TransPennine Timetable Update
It was reported that the first significant timetable change for the Northern and TransPennine Express will be introduced in May 2018. As a result of delayed work from Network Rail, most changes are those delayed from December 2017.
Northern Stations Improvement Fund
The committee was informed that the Northern Stations Improvement Fund is aimed at middle and smaller sized stations and is focused on bringing facilities and standards up to a consistent level. Improvements include investment in areas such as seating, information, lighting and security, as well as additional ticket machines and improved accessibility where applicable. 36 stations, as part of phase 1, would be completed by the end of 2017.
Rail Station Car Park Expansions
It was reported that work had started on a programme of car park extensions at a number of rail stations throughout West Yorkshire. Once completed, the car parks will provide additional standard and blue badge parking bays, as well as charging points for Electric Vehicle. Work is planned to begin in Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd within the next 18 months.
DfT Accessibility Action Plan
The committee was informed that the Department for Transport is currently seeking feedback on a draft accessibility action plan which sets out proposals to improve the travel experience for people with disabilities. WYCA are planning to respond to the consultation, which closes on 15 November 2017.
This will provide the opportunity for questions to be raised from the floor with a
focus on matters of wider interest.
Bus Service 539
Councillor Paul Bellenger presented a petition to the committee regarding Service 539, operated by First. The petition, which has been signed by around 1,000 people, asks for the reinstatement of the 539 bus service along a previous section of its route from Bowling Green Road in Stainland to Sowood and Outlane.
It was reported that the changes had made it more difficult for residents of Sowood to access the doctor’s surgery and shops in West Vale. I In an area which has a large volume of older people, bus services provide a vital lifeline that helps people who struggle get out into the community.
Oliver Howarth informed the committee that the area is served by other bus services that offer access to shops and other services if required. As First would be unable to run the service on a commercial basis, Oliver suggested approaching WYCA for a subsidised service.
It was agreed that discussions will continue outside of the meeting and the outcome will be presented at a future meeting.
Geoff Woods suggested that bus stops and shelters in rural areas and in the town centre would benefit from a ‘sympathetic’ design that would be more visually appealing to the public and would encourage more people to use the bus.
Meg Gillet suggested incorporating easier to read signs on bus stops, similar to what is currently in use in London, in order to help people that are not familiar with an area to make the right choice of stop when using the bus to travel.
Jenny Marshall said she would make a note of comments and feedback to the consultation team.
Sowerby Bridge Station Development Plan
John Myddelton asked about the purpose of the Sowerby Bridge Development Plan, and whether any of the proposals within it was in the pipeline for implementation.
Pete Myers informed the committee that each station has a development plan which will be implemented should funding become available.