Venue: Town Hall, Dewsbury
Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence was received from Public Representatives Anne Baldwin, Christopher Jones, Jean Kirby, Mike Still and Kelvin Waites
Declaration of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests
Transport Committee members only.
There were no declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests at the meeting.
Exempt Information - Possible exclusion of the press and public
There were no items requiring the exemption of the press and public.
Open session for members of the public to ask a question, raise a concern or provide feedback.
A request was received from Dot Freeman representing Better Buses Kirklees to speak at the Open Forum.
The Open Forum item has been established so that members of the public, in addition to those formally appointed to the committees, can come along and raise any transport related issues. The aim of the Open forum is that officers from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority in attendance can respond to any questions on the day and if not possible, take them away and provide a response by email.
Dot Freeman, Jean Goodison and Jackie Hardaker from Better Buses Kirklees raised their concerns as follows:-
· Bring the Bus Services back in the Public Domain (one body running the services)
· Planned and co-ordinated routes across Kirklees linking with wider areas in West/South Yorkshire which all the bus companies align to and are in agreement.
· Profits from popular routes can subsidise areas leas busy.
· Improve access to rural transport and increase access on evenings and weekends.
· Introduce a simple one ticket scheme on all buses. A clearer ticketing system so return tickets can be used on any bus (include a cap on spend)
· Improve access for disabilities on all levels.
· One rule regarding access re prams, bikes etc
· Improve routes and access on and off buses. Faster routes create higher usage. Look at long term infrastructures and geographical areas when planning.
· Information and communication to be improved at all levels.
· Cleaner and more environmentally transport stock to safeguard climate change.
The Chair asked that Agenda item 9 (West Yorkshire Bus Alliance) be discussed at this point in proceedings.
The sub-committee was provided with a brief presentation by Helen Ellerton, West Yorkshire Combined Authority, on the West Yorkshire Bus Alliance which aims to put customers at the heart of improving services, keeping business moving and developing a sustainable bus network. The Alliance brings together the Combined Authority, the local authorities of West Yorkshire and the bus operators including Arriva, First, Transdev and small operators.
Members gave their feedback and Helen Ellerton answered questions from representatives from Better Buses Kirklees and concerns from public representatives
Members raised specific concerns about what would happen to the Bus Alliance when/if the First and Arriva operations were sold. The view was that the legal requirements surrounding the alliance may mean that the current agreements with the operators may not be met by new ones.
The importance is what is the right way forward for West Yorkshire and to work with operators to deliver in partnership and to realise the customer benefit early.
Resolved: That the information report and the Sub-Committee’s feedback be noted.
Appointment of Deputy Chair
The Chair had received one application from mark Denton for the position of Deputy Chair.
Resolved: That Mark Denton be confirmed as the Deputy Chair.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 6 February 2019 be approved.
Councillor Kaushik introduced Cllr James Homewood as the new Chair of the Sub-Committee as she has now moved to a new role as Deputy Chair of the Transport Committee.
Councillor Kaushik announced that sadly Councillor John Appleyard Deputy Chair of the sub committee passed away during the Summer and one minutes silence was held at the commencement of the meeting.
Operators were invited to give their updates to the sub-committee
· Arriva re-confirmed their commitment to the Bus Alliance and the view that in order to increase patronage it would be necessary to increase service frequency
· Reported that West Yorkshire had been recognised as providing the most punctual service area in the country and had a dependable good service.
· Updated regarding the sale and that bids had been invited to purchase. They will still be Arriva and will still be in operation
· Improving timetables
· Retrofit programme had been completed with nearly 200 buses for key corridors
· A post-implementation review was underway following the September timetable changes to inform the December timetable changes
· There is to be a fare increase which is not ideal but necessary due to increasing fuel costs.
Members of the sub-committee had the following questions and comments following the updates.
· What was the fare concessions for the age group 60 – 67 years, it was felt that a gap still exists in this area.
· Clarification was requested on the policy of the bus companies for transporting bicycles, prams, wheelchairs.
· New trains had been introduced into the rolling stock which have provided additional capacity. Customer feedback has been good.
· Winter timetables will shortly be introduced.
· Dewsbury now has two trains per hour to Manchester and Manchester airport.
· Summer 2019 has seen a better performance than 2018.
· There have been issues with infrastructure and a high impact due to delayed trains
· Impact from key work being undertaken by Network Rail and the corridor is run to maximum performance.
· Working closely with Network Rail.
· Friends of Dewsbury Station have been undertaking flower planting
· New Toilets and baby changing facilities have now been provided along with an additional shelter at Dewsbury Station with funding from West Yorkshire Combined Authority. The provision of both facilities has been much appreciated by rail passengers using Dewsbury Station.
Members of the Sub-Committee had the following questions and comments following the update from TransPennine
· The new trains are louder and had this been considered when purchasing the new trains. The representative from Trans Pennine responded to say that the trains comply with European standards, but agreed they were louder.
· Residents had been making observations that the trains were louder
· The noise had an impact on announcements near the proximity of the engine.
· At Dewsbury Station the Barriers are an obstacle for a visually impaired person and it is difficult to get through with a guide dog as the gates are not manned all the time. The response to this question was that the problem is appreciated, and this will be picked up and looked into further. All employees have been on a disability awareness course but will ensure that the Station Manager at Dewsbury is aware so that assistance can be provided.
· Regarding changes in strategies, Network Rail are the organisation to contact.
· The performance has been better between Manchester and Leeds.
· Capacity to accommodate, bikes, wheelchairs and luggage. TransPennine are looking at providing ... view the full minutes text for item 9.
Members considered a report which gave an update on matters relating to the Leeds District and included notes of the joint District Consultation Sub Committee discussion on Bus Information and December Rail timetable changes.
Members of the sub-committee raised the following:
That the Agenda should cover more locally focussed issues including local transport update schemes and highways.
The Chair said he is happy to feedback comments to Cllr Groves and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to ensure that items are on the Agenda so that the DCSC works for all.
Resolved: That the information report be noted.