Venue: Reception Room, Huddersfield Town Hall
Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from public representatives Christopher Jones, Catherine Waters and Bruce Bird and Kirklees Council officer Joanne Waddington.
Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests
Transport Committee members only.
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 exclusion of the press and public.
Resolved: That the minutes of the meeting held on 18 April 2018 be approved.
Spending priorities for Transport Services
The Sub-Committee was given a presentation on spending priorities for transport services. The presentation outlined the funding pressures on local government as a result of a reduction of £1 million in the transport levy for 2019/20.
The services funded through the levy include:
· Support for mobility / tendered bus services which receives £18.7 million in funding.
· Concessionary travel for young people with a current budget of £10 million.
· The provision of travel information, with a budget of £1.2m plus £0.8 million contribution form transport operators.
· Support to multi modal ticketing, current income £0.8 million
· Bus stations, stops, shelters and associated facilities with a total cost of £7.5m offset by £4 million income.
The Sub-Committee raised the possibility of increasing revenue to cover the shortfall rather than cutting the £1 million. It was heard that the Combined Authority continue to look at ways to increase revenue, for instance through advertising and renting out spare units in bus stations.
A further question was raised regarding the overall transport budget for the 2016/17 year showing a £1.3 million underspend and the possibility of transferring this money across to cover the shortfall in funding from the transport levy. In response, it was emphasised that the consultation was concerned with revenue spending only and not capital spend.
The results of the consultation were as follows:
· 33 for support for mobility / tendered bus services.
· 11 for concessionary travel for young people.
· 19 for the provision of travel information.
· 11 for bus stations, stops, shelters and associated facilities.
· 6 for the support of multi-modal ticketing.
Resolved: That the presentation and the Sub-Committee’s feedback on spending priorities be noted.
First West Yorkshire updated the Sub-Committee on the following issues:
· First have started a disability awareness training programme.
· It was reported that 35% of transactions were contactless – the aim remains 80% in 5 years.
· First acknowledged that fares increased the previous weekend.
· A campaign to decrease litter on buses is underway.
· First are retro-fitting buses to Euro 6 standard.
Arriva provided the following update to the Sub-Committee:
· Arriva reported that they were fully staffed in Kirklees.
· Informed the committee of the North Kirklees network review which involved a great deal of consultation. Members of the committee were encouraged to get involved.
Yorkshire Tiger informed the Sub-Committee of some changes to the service in Kirklees from October.
The Sub-Committee had the following questions and comments following the bus operator updates:
· Clarification on the aim and progress of the North Kirklees network review was sought. The Sub-Committee heard that the review aimed to increase patronage in North Kirklees and was currently in the consultation stage. Arriva reported that they were pleased with the level of engagement with the consultation so far.
· The Sub-Committee questioned what was driving fare increases. The bus operators mentioned fuel costs and labour costs as prominent factors.
· Concerns were raised regarding the quality of the buses used by Yorkshire Tiger. The operator stated that they had identified this as an issue and intended to address it through a policy of ‘polish and promote’ to improve the appearance of their buses.
· Questions were raised regarding First buses on Huddersfield Town match days and the concern that due to congestion the buses were not practical for supporters and were missing out on patronage. First reported that they are an official partner of Huddersfield town and would explore possible options.
Northern updated the Sub-Committee on the impact of the timetable changes introduced in May 2018. Northern were told in January that the new timetable would no longer be possible due to a delay in the electrification of rail around Bolton. Planned changes for December 2018 and May 2019 will aim to stabilise the service. Northern stated that lessons have been learnt and in future they will ensure that no unnecessary risk is taken. Northern also updated the Sub-Committee regarding the ongoing industrial dispute. The Sub-Committee heard that RMT had called strikes for the next 3 Saturdays and that no talks were currently planned between either side after the dispute was submitted to ACAS, with no resolution.
Transpennine updated the Sub-Committee on performance since the last meeting. Transpennine reported that the service was not where it should be and identified issues caused by the ‘Castlefield corridor’ as a primary factor. The operator described how congestion in Manchester causes delays which are dragged across their network. In order to address this Transpennine will split the service from Leeds to Manchester Piccadilly from 9December 2018. There will be two services after that date; one from Manchester Piccadilly to Huddersfield and the other from Huddersfield to Leeds. It is hoped that this will ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
An information report was made available which updated the Sub-Committee on matters relating to the Kirklees district.
Resolved: That the information report be noted.
Open Forum - Questions and Suggestions
Much of the open forum was held under the operator updates item. However the Sub-Committee additionally noted the following:
· That it would be helpful if Network Rail and Grand Central would attend future meetings. In particular it was observed by operators that many issues addressed in the Sub-Committee concern Network Rail and it would be useful if a representative attended.
· It was further noted that the Sub-Committee has in the past alternated between Huddersfield and Dewsbury and that this should be the case in the future.
· It was requested that microphones should be provided at future meetings.
· Members of the Sub-Committee expressed concerns that some issues raised were not answered due to time constraints.
Date of the next meeting - 6 February 2019