Agenda and minutes

Transportation Advisory Group - Wednesday 1 February 2023 10.00 a.m.

Venue: Microsoft Teams Meeting

Contact: Dawn Mitchell, Governance Adviser 

No. Item


Minutes of the previous meeting held on 26th Ocober, 2022 pdf icon PDF 245 KB


Consideration was given to the minutes of the previous meeting held on 26th October, 2022.


Agreed:-  That the minutes of the meeting held on 26th October, 2022, be approved as a true record.


Matters arising from the previous minutes (not covered by the agenda items)


There were no matters arising from the previous minutes.


Questions on Transport Issues pdf icon PDF 187 KB


The Transportation Advisory Group noted the questions and answers on transport matters that had been submitted in advance of the meeting that had been included in the agenda pack.


In response to the question submitted and answer received, Councillor Griffin asked if the planned consultation would be station by station or a single consultation exercise for the whole country.  Issues varied depending upon the station.


Lisa Maloney (Northern Rail) reported that, despite much in the media, as yet there were no plans to close any ticket offices.  However, the role of staff who worked in them was being looked at with a view to widening and upskilling the role


In response to the question submitted by Councillor Cooksey, there was a rolling programme of cabling by City Fibre which narrowed the carriageway when safety barriers were erected resulting in bus services having to divert, often at short notice.  It was suspected that this may well be the case with service No. 115 as referred to in the question. 


In response to the question submitted by Councillor Sheppard, Lisa Maloney (Northern Rail) reported that it was down to the ticket machine available at the particular station.  Some ticket machines gave an option to purchase an advance ticket which was cheaper than the standard fare.  It was hoped that a software update would resolve this issue.


In response to the question submitted by Councillor Sheppard, Andy Wright (SYMCA) stated that it was not a statutory obligation for the operators to provide such information and it would be their decision as to what information was shared with customers.  The information provided to the SYMCA was subject to a data sharing agreement.


Steve Grant, Operations Manager, Worksop, stated that Stagecoach tried to get as much information out as possible via Twitter but acknowledged that it was only a select group of passengers that would access it.


Agreed:-  That Lisa Maloney, Northern Rail, provide an update to the next meeting on ticket machines and the ability to purchase advance tickets.


South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority Transport - Update


Andy Wright gave the following verbal update:-


-        SYPTE was still the statutory body until it was devolved at the end of March, 2023.  Services would be going out to tender shortly with a start date of July


-        The tender round would be challenging for both operators and the SYMCA.  The Government had provided additional funding either directly to the operators and SYMCA to help support bus services throughout Covid whilst patronage had been significantly declined.  Patronage was now 80% “normal” fare payers but ENCTS customers that benefited from subsidised fares had reduced to 60% of pre-Covid numbers


-        SYMCA funded additional social necessary services that could not be funded by the commercial operators


-        No clear statement of intent had been made of what Government funding would be available for the next financial year.  It was an uncertain future in terms of what the impact would be on the network services


-        Desire to work with all stakeholders to get back to a healthy and sustainable commercial and supported service


-        Initial indications were that Mayor’s £2 fare scheme and now the Government scheme,  suggested that it had been successful and generated some patronage.  It was challenging to indicate how the passenger numbers may have varied because of seasonal variation.  It was felt to have been worthwhile and brought focus to the transport but as to what degree it generated new customers was difficult to ascertain


Bus Operators - Update


(1)       First Group

(2)       Stagecoach

(3)       Rotherham Community Transport


First Group

No representative was in attendance.




-        Approximately 73% of pre-Covid level which was a slight uplift linked to the £2 fare; the test would be as to whether that new business could be retained when the scheme finished at the end of March


Fare Increase

-        Increase from 2nd January, however, for many that increase had effectively not take place due to the £2 fare.  Options were being worked through as how to possibly minimise the impact



-        The situation was still quite delicate and in particular Rawmarsh Depot.  There had been a few challenges recently but things had improved but there was still some work to do 

-        In terms of reliability, approximately 96-97% of all journeys were run but it did vary from day-to-day.  Another factor impacting was sickness on the day with sickness levels having increased generally since Covid.  It was recognised that this was a national trend with people more likely to be concerned about coming to work if they had a cold particular in roles where they mixed with the public.  This was reflected in the new establishment figures

-        The number of leavers had slowed down and looking at changes to rosters to try and better match staff to the hours they wanted to work



-        It was still unclear what would happen at the end of March when the funding ceased but there was close work with the SYMCA.  Attempts would be made to maintain and protect the network as much as possible given the significant increased costs and rider numbers


Electric Buses

-        Rawmarsh Depot would receive 23 new electric buses in 2024 and would operate the 22X and 221 services

-        There would be a rigorous training programme over the next few months for engineers and drivers


Rotherham Community Transport

No representative was present


Andy Wright, SYMCA, reported that the community sector’s patronage had struggled throughout Covid.  The SYMCA would be working with them on an annual business plan to encourage that patronage to return.


There would also be investment in 2 electric vehicles for the community transport area.  They were being tested in the real environment to ascertain how they featured in that type of operation.  They were currently in the procurement stage.


Elected Members were encouraged to remind their constituents that community transport was there for those with less accessibility and not able to access the core network.


Agreed:- That the update be noted.


Railway Operators - Update


Lisa Maloney, Northern Rail, gave the following verbal update:-


-        Current performance data  included the period of striking.  On time performance was 55%, within 3 minutes 77%, within 15 minutes 97% and cancellation rate of 3.8%

-        Within 3 minutes was just below target (80%), cancellation target just over target and on time should be higher than 55%.  However, the latter had been heavily impacted by industrial action, weather, engineering issues etc. and hopefully it would improve as the weather improved

-        RMT – had been presented with an offer from the Department of Transport which they were considering and discussing

-        ASLEF – on strike today with further strike action planned for the 3rd.  They had been presented with an offer that had been rejected.  The matter was with the Department of Transport.  As an operator, Northern Rail, could not speak to the unions

-        An engineering issue had been identified just after Christmas at the Harbridge Junction between Wakefield Kirkgate and Barnsley.  A temporary fix had been sourced with a new part now secured and would be fixed by an overnight position in March


Agreed:-  That the update be noted.


RMBC Transportation Unit - Updates


Andrew Moss, Head of Transport Infrastructure, gave an update with the aid of the following powerpoint presentation:-


Delivery 2022 Update

-        Parkway Scheme – complete

-        Greasbrough Junction – complete

-        Bellows Road Clean Air Zone Scheme – complete

-        Other Schemes/Developments

College Road NPIF junction improvement – to completion

Cumwell Lane – approaching Section 278 sign off

Motorway Service Area – Section 278

-        Programmes

Cycle Hub and Schools Road Safety Training – ongoing

Cycling Strategy Delivery Plan – in draft for March 2023 approval

Traffic Management Act Part 6 – ready for submission to Government

-        Clean Air Zone Schemes – complete

-        Transforming Cities Fund Programme – scheme now in consultation, detailed design and awaiting FBC ahead of construction to March 2024

-        City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRST) – funding allocated, revenue funding approved, programme of scheme development in hand

-        Local schemes – Local Neighbourhood Road Safety (LNRS) Programme brought to completion.  New concept introduced and engagement started

-        Centenary Way Viaduct Slab Failure Scheme – Responded immediately, made safe.  TTM amended November back to 2 lanes.  Full scheme to get funding approval.  Delivery Spring/Summer 2023

-        Service Management Processes – Service planning.  Budget bids submitted


Year Ahead 2023

-        January – Application for Traffic Management Act (TMA) Part 6 Powers

-        CRST into feasibility (early 2023)

-        Sheffield Clean Air Zone to go live 27th February, 2023

-        April – Cabinet report – Transport Capital Programme and finalisation of Cycling Delivery Plan

-        TCF into construction (early 2023-early 2024)

-        Local Transport Plan 4 – DfT consultation early 2023 for completion early 2024 (includes quantifiable carbon reduction)

-        The Whins into construction Spring 2023

-        LNRS tranche 1 delivery

-        TMA Part 6 Designation Order from Government (expected)

-        LNRS tranche 2 prioritisation Winter 2023/24

-        Bus service improvement plan and enhanced partnership working


Policy Update

-        DfT indicate broadly similar direction of travel notwithstanding changes of Government i.e. improved tone on active travel and impact of spending review

-        SYMCA Transport Strategy and implementation plans to be renewed under LTP4

-        Bus Recovery Grant/£2 single cap ends March


Wider Picture – current key issues – progress since previous update

-        Strategy/Policy/Funding

·        Funding


Central Government Financial Statement

Active Travel Fund 4

·        Integrated Rail Plan – ongoing lobby

Active Travel England up and running

Great British Railways – deferral of go live

·        Local Transport Plan

Review to 2024

-        Carbon Reduction

·     Climate – now post COP26

Global events continue to pressure

Decarbonisation of transport

-        Active Travel

·        Health

Increased focus on active travel, lower speeds and improve air quality

·        Air quality

Sheffield City Council CAZ Scheme go live end of February

Completion of RMBC CAZ schemes

Active Travel progress on current schemes to March 2024

-        Public Transport and Covid Recovery

·        Covid – no new travel data as yet

·        BSIP and Public Transport Recovery – enhanced partnerships

·        Economy

Inflation %

Supplier shortages


South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership Update

-        Strategy “VISION Zero” Launch  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.


Any other business


There was no other business to be considered.


Date and time of the next meeting

Wednesday, 17th May, 2023, commencing at 10.00 a.m.


Agreed:-  That a further meeting be held on Wednesday, 17th May, 2022, commencing at 10.00 a.m.