Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, ROTHERHAM. S60 2TH
Contact: Debbie Pons, Principal Democratic Services Officer
Appointment of Chairman for the meeting
Agreed:- That Councillor A. Atkin be appointed Chairman for this meeting.
(Councillor Atkin in the Chair)
Consideration was given to the minutes of the previous meeting of the Transport Liaison Group, held on 3rd December, 2014.
Agreed:- That the minutes of the previous meeting be approved as a correct record for signature by the Chairman.
1) First Group
3) South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive
4) Rotherham Community Transport
5) Northern Rail
6) Robin Hood Airport - Consultative Committee meetings - minutes of the AGM on 15 January, 2015 (pages 8 to 12) and the ordinary meeting, also on 15 January 2015 (pages 13 to 17)
(1) First Group – Members welcomed Mr. Paul Flanagan (Business Manager, First Rotherham) to the meeting. Thanks were also extended to Mr. A. Timewell, who had attended previous meetings and who had now joined another company. First buses will be increasing bus fares with effect from Saturday 28th March 2015, although the increase is not large and represents value for money. Purchase of the weekly travel card will entitle the purchaser to discounts when using the shop local card in Rotherham. Various single fares will have an increase of 10 pence. At the end of April 2015, a number of service adjustments will take effect, in order to improve punctuality. However, there are no major alterations to services. The Pool Green (A630 Centenary Way) highway improvement scheme had inevitably caused some delays, although service punctuality had been maintained at 91-92%.
The recent results from the South Yorkshire county-wide passenger survey group had shown that 87% of service users are very or fairly satisfied with the First bus services, which is an improvement of 6% on the previous survey results from 2012. Highlights of the survey were the ease with which passengers are able to get on and off buses, the comfort of seats, the cleanliness of buses, value for money and the good customer focus of bus drivers.
Additionally, the First bus company will extend its community work and be actively involved in the Crucial Crew training of Year 6 school pupils and also elderly persons, in respect of public transport safety. The company is replacing the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, which has withdrawn as a consequence of budget reductions. A refurbished First bus will be located at the Lifewise Centre, Hellaby, for use as part of the training. Members thanked the First company for becoming involved in this community initiative and training.
Members asked the following questions:-
(i) Referring to the currently plummeting oil prices and zero inflation and acknowledging that companies will purchase oil in advance, are the bus fares likely to remain the unchanged next year ? Members were informed that bus fare increases are being kept to a minimum and weekly ticket prices had been reduced. Value for money is important and if fuel prices do remain unchanged, it may possibly be the case that bus fares could remain unchanged next year. However, the whole issue remains uncertain.
(ii) The price of a First day ticket is going up. When the Rotherham bus partnership was announced in 2014, there were promises of lower fares in Rotherham, but they are already going back up. Why ? Members were informed that there was a reduction in fares for weekly and day tickets when the Rotherham Bus Partnership began. However, circumstances do change and commercial demands mean that variations in prices are unavoidable.
(iii) In the context of the First company’s operating climate, what were the First group's profits in the United Kingdom last year ? Members were informed that the company’s end of ... view the full minutes text for item 18.
Updates from RMBC Transportation Unit
Members received details reported by the Traffic and Transportation Manager concerning the following highways improvement projects within the Rotherham Borough area:-
(1) A630 Centenary Way, Rotherham (adjacent Tesco supermarket) – the staging of the traffic signal controls will be reviewed and, if necessary, amended, so as to improve and assist bus and pedestrian movements in this locality. Sometimes, vehicles queuing at Drummond Street obstruct the buses which are leaving the transport interchange.
(2) A633 Rotherham Road, Parkgate and Dearne corridor - a new Toucan Crossing has been installed near to the Retail World complex at Parkgate, enabling pedestrians to cross the whole width of the highway at once, instead of having to halt in the central refuge.
(3) Taylor’s Lane, Parkgate – a new Toucan crossing is being installed in this location for the benefit of pedestrians crossing the highway.
(4) Parkgate centre (A633 Broad Street) – an investigation is taking place in respect of a possible scheme to link the series of traffic control signals together, to try and ensure better traffic flows through Parkgate.
(5) A630 Rotherway and West Bawtry Road roundabout (near to Holiday Inn premises) – recent highway improvements, completed in December 2014, have served to reduce the traffic delays in the Canklow area.
(6) Whiston crossroads, A631 East Bawtry Road and A618 Moorgate Road – Members noted that, although long queues of vehicles do build up, they tend to discharge quite quickly when the traffic signals change; the pattern of staging of the traffic signals will be altered to improve the right turn manoeuvre from East Bawtry Road onto Moorgate Road; the Council is awaiting delivery of the specific equipment required (a ‘mast arm’). In the section of the A631 from the Rotherway roundabout to the Whiston crossroads, a “freer flowing left turn green light” will be installed, together with ‘Give Way’ road markings and traffic signs. This facility will also serve to improve traffic flows. Members discussed issues relating to the queuing of traffic at this very busy road junction.
(7) ‘Smart’ Motorways project (M1 Junction 32 (M18 intersection) to J35A) – the project works are due to begin after Easter, in April 2015. Three lanes of the M1 motorway will be open for vehicles, with a 50 mph speed limit imposed during the construction works. The coalition Government’s Transport Ministers have assured that there will be a minimum length of ten kilometres of ‘free running’ for motorway traffic, between the various sections of works in the motorway.
(8) A630 Sheffield Parkway – the Council is preparing a major scheme proposal which may in the future be funded from the Growth Fund, the Government’s allocations to the Sheffield City Region. This highway improvement will reduce traffic congestion on the A630 Sheffield Parkway (near to Catcliffe) by widening the highway to three lanes. A feasibility study will initially be undertaken, as the future development of areas such as Waverley will inevitably lead to an increase in volumes of vehicular traffic.
Members asked the ... view the full minutes text for item 19.
Pinch Point Schemes - Update - Pool Green and Old Flatts
Members received details reported by the Traffic and Transportation Manager concerning the following highways improvement projects within the Rotherham Borough area which were being financed by the Department for Transport Pinch Point Fund:-
(a) A630 Old Flatts Bridge (adjacent M1 motorway Junction 33) - works to strengthen the bridge
Members noted that the majority of the bridge strengthening works are happening underneath the carriageway and are therefore not immediately visible to anyone passing by. These works are progressing on schedule and are due for completion during October 2015.
(b) A630 Pool Green (Masbrough) roundabout (Centenary Way/Main Street, Rotherham) – this £5 millions highway improvement scheme is also progressing on schedule and is due to be open to all traffic towards the end of May, 2015. Members questioned the vehicle right turn manoeuvres permissible in the new junction design. It was noted that the right turn is permissible for vehicles from Masbrough Street onto the A630 Centenary Way. However, the right turn manoeuvres from the A630 Centenary Way, in either direction, will require a ‘U turn’ using the newly-constructed, dedicated lanes in the A630 carriageway and then a left turn either onto Main Street or onto Masbrough Street. Vehicles intending to turn right from Main Street must instead make a left turn onto the A630 Centenary Way and then make the ‘U turn’ manoeuvre within the A630.
Agreed:- That the information be noted.
Any other business
Further to Minute No. 8(2) of the Parish Liaison meeting held on 20th January, 2015, discussion took place on the possibility of Parish Council representation on this Transport Liaison Group. Members agreed that two Parish Council representatives be nominated to join, if possible one each from the northern and the southern parts of the Borough area and these representatives shall be chosen by the Parish Councils themselves.
Date and time of the next meeting
- Wednesday, 24th June, 2015 at 2.00 p.m.
Agreed:- (1) That the next meeting of the RMBC Transport Liaison Group be held at the Town Hall, Rotherham on Wednesday, 24th June, 2015, commencing at 2.00 p.m.
(2) That future meetings of the RMBC Transport Liaison Group take place on:-