Agenda and draft minutes

Transportation Advisory Board - Wednesday 10 March 2021 10.00 a.m.

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Martin Elliott, Governance Adviser 

Items
No. Item

55.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Mallinder, Short and Williams.

56.

Minutes of the previous meeting held on 9 December 2020 pdf icon PDF 296 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the minutes of the previous meeting of the Transportation Advisory Board held on 9 December 2020.

 

Agreed: - That the minutes of the previous meeting be approved as a true record.

 

57.

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

Minutes:

There were no matters arising.

58.

Questions on Transport Issues pdf icon PDF 218 KB

Minutes:

The Transportation Advisory Board noted the details of questions on transport matters and the answers that had been provided. There was one question outstanding and a holding response had been sent.

 

59.

South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive - Update

Minutes:

Nathan Broadhead of the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) attended the meeting to provide an update on public transport services and development in the Borough. It was reported that First buses were running at 97% of their pre-COVID mileage. Stagecoach was running at 86% and was aiming to be at 100% in April when non-essential retail reopened. The School Bus network was back up and running with no issues. There had also been a good take up of free vaccination transport from Rotherham Community Transport. In terms of travel levels, they were still well below pre-COVID levels. Buses were running at 33%, rail 18% and trams at 25%. The network was quiet but stable.

 

Nathan Broadhead also confirmed that the Government were due to issue the National Bus Strategy the day after this meeting, 11 March 2021. This strategy would set out funding arrangements. It was confirmed that there were not enough School Buses to accommodate “bubbles” but that bus companies were working closely with schools in order to deal with any outbreaks. There had not been a spike in bus shelter vandalism and work was ongoing nationally on how to increase the confidence of members of the public who may be unsure of returning the public transport. Transport operators were trying to get as much information as possible on how changes in working patterns could impact the viability of some services. This would be an on-going matter and the next twelve months would be a big learning curve for all involved.

 

Agreed: - That the update be noted.

60.

Bus Operators - Update

 

(1)       First Group

(2)       Stagecoach

(3)       Rotherham Community Transport

Minutes:

Nathan Broadhead had given an update on behalf of First under the previous item.

 

David Rich from Stagecoach gave an update on their operations. Passenger numbers were still low and running at between 35-40% of normal. There were still far less school children on the buses despite the return to school. As reported by Nathan Broadhead in the previous item, Stagecoach expected to be operating at 100% mileage in April.

 

Adrian Parkinson gave an update on Rotherham Community Transport. He confirmed that the service was continuing but in a limited way. This included essential journeys and shopping for vulnerable service users. Community Transport had assisted over 200 people in getting to the vaccination appointments and would continue to do this. It was also confirmed that 95% of drivers had had their first vaccine.

61.

Railway Operators - Update

Minutes:

Richard Isaac from Northern Rail provided an update on the railway. There had been a slight increase in passenger numbers but this was still far off “normal” levels. Many employees of Northern Rail were getting the Covid vaccine which led to an improving picture. Northern Rail wished to thank colleagues in Rotherham for promoting the apprenticeships during Apprenticeship week and for pushing the International Women’s Day message about opportunities for women and the need for diversity in the rail industry. The May timetable uplift was due to go ahead as planned despite the fact the consultation could not be as wide as planned due to the lockdown. However Mr Isaac agreed to circulate the summary of the consultation to the Board after the meeting.

 

Richard Isaac also confirmed that there had been an increase in suicidal incidents on railway lines and also an increase in the number of children trespassing on the railway. Work was being undertaken with network rail, the police and schools respectively. It was agreed that Mr Isaac would circulate the warning notices regarding trespassing on the railway so that Councillors could include them in ward newsletters.

 

Agreed:- That the update be noted.

 

62.

Doncaster Sheffield Airport - Update pdf icon PDF 298 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Lelliott provided an update on Doncaster Sheffield Airport. They were moving ahead with their £5 million expansion plan which would take place on phases. The airport did not receive free port status in the budget.

 

63.

RMBC Transportation Unit - Updates

·       Parkway Widening Scheme update

·       Cycling Schemes update (Transforming Cities Fund and Active Travel Fund)

·       Roads Planning overview

·       Public Transport Update

·       South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership update

 

Minutes:

Andrew Moss, Interim Head of Transport Infrastructure, attended the meeting to provide a progress report and give a presentation on:

 

-       Parkway Widening Scheme

-       Cycling Scheme

-       Roads Planning overview

-       Public Transport

-       South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership

 

The Interim Head of Transport Infrastructure confirmed that the parkway widening scheme was now at the construction phase and work was underway. The presentation highlighted the key aims of the project which were to reduce journey times; improve regional connectivity; reduce congestion; improve air quality; improve safety for drivers and support economic and housing growth. More information could be found at: https://www.rotherham.gov.uk/parkway-upgrade. It was confirmed that there were no plans for an acoustic fence to be constructed as the widening of the lanes would take place within the current curtilage of the road.

 

Phase 1 of the Templeborough cycling scheme was progressing as of March 2021. Other schemes such as Ickles – Westgate, Manvers cycleway; Maltby Bus Corridor and Doncaster Road cycleway were part of the projects covered by the Transforming Cities Fund. Work was underway on the cycle ways on Broom Road. The Cycling Strategy would be presented to Cabinet on 22 March 2021 and would then go out for public consultation.

 

With regard to Roads Planning, the Interim Head of Transport Infrastructure explained the different strategies and studies that led to roads improvements, from a national level, down to a regional level down to a local level.

 

The South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership is a ten year strategy aimed at improving road safety across South Yorkshire. RMBC was the Chair for 2021 and the partnership worked with blue light services, key advisory bodies and local Council’s. The current partnership was half way through and working on many different projects. It was hoped that a review of the strategy would be complete by the end of the calendar year.

 

In relation to the public transport update, it was confirmed that there were two rail developments underway. The first was the new station at Waverley and the second was the redevelopment of the Rotherham Mainline station. The Waverley project had been given funding of around £5 million from the Station Renewal Programme to continue feasibility. In relation to the Rotherham Mainline station, it was confirmed that approval was expected from Transport for the North, Northern Powerhouse Rail, for the outline business case in early Spring. It was hoped that both projects would take place within the next five years. The Interim Head of Transport Infrastructure confirmed that a bus review had previously taken place but that recommendations had been severely impacted by COVID. As such, the plan now was to focus on a shorter term plan focussed on stabilisation. The Bus Strategy that was due to be released by Government would assist with that. There was an aim to establish a City-region wide Bus Partnership steering group whilst also maintaining local Member input.

 

64.

Any other business

Minutes:

The Chair wished to record her thanks to Members, Officers, Transport Representatives and anybody that had been involved in the Transportation Advisory Board over the past five years. It was noted that this was the last meeting of the Board before the local elections and Councillor Lelliott wished everyone good luck. She noted that good work that the Board had done on a wide range of topics and thank everyone for their hard work.

 

65.

Date and time of the next meeting

The next meeting of the Transportation Advisory Board is provisionally scheduled for Wednesday 23 June at 10am.

 

Venue: TBC

Minutes:

The next meeting of the Board is scheduled for Wednesday 23 June at 10.00am.