Agenda and draft minutes

SCR - Transport Board - Friday, 3rd July, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome and Apologies

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.  Apologies were noted as above.


2.

Declarations of Interest by individual Members in relation to any item of business on the agenda

Minutes:

None.

3.

Urgent items / Announcements

Minutes:

The Board was informed that the results of the Bus Review had been published on 18 June 2020; there had been 5,900 respondents.  The Review had concluded that the system was not working and needed to improve.

 

The Review would be discussed at a Leaders meeting with a view to agreeing the principles of the response to the Review.

 

Officers would propose a work programme to improve buses in South Yorkshire to the next meeting of the Board.

4.

Public Questions of Key Decisions

Minutes:

None.

5.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 272 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was noted that the minutes from the 10th January stated that it had been agreed that Members would receive a summary of topical transport issues and announcements at each meeting.  Officers would ensure that this happened in the future.

 

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meetings of the Board held on 10th January and 12th June 2020 be agreed as a true record.

6.

Public Transport Response and Recovery

Minutes:

S Edwards gave an update on public transport response and recovery.

 

Unsurprisingly at the beginning of the lockdown passenger numbers had dropped dramatically and operators across all transport modes had been running reduced services.

 

All operators were reliant on additional funding from central government; concessions and tendered service also had to be maintained.

 

Since the gradual easing of the lockdown passenger numbers had risen causing some capacity hotspots on the network.

 

The change to 1 metre+ and the mandatory wearing of face coverings on public transport meant there was the ability to increase capacity although the operators were not considering this at the moment.

 

A major challenge would be when schools and colleges returned in September which would lead to a gap in capacity.

 

All modes of active travel were being promoted and the use of coaches to provide extra capacity was being considered.

 

Dialogue would be entered into with schools and parents; staggered start times had been suggested to ease the situation.

 

The Board agreed that this was an opportune moment to promote the active travel message and ensure that safe walking and cycling routes were provided.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

 

7.

Concession Enhancements

Minutes:

A report was submitted to enable the consideration of enhancements to the South Yorkshire Travel Concession Scheme in the context of the 2021/22 budget setting process.

 

The report presented options around concessions for young people, apprentices and the elderly including:

 

  • To consider if or when to increase the child and young persons notified fare, currently at 80p.
  • Extended discounts for young people up to age 22.
  • Concessions for care leavers.

 

The report also includes the recommendations with regard to concessions from the SCR Bus Review.  These were:

 

  • An enhanced concession offer for apprentices.
  • Extending the ENCTS scheme to allow passengers to use travel passes on all services after 9.30am including final bus services.
  • Simplifying the fares offer for young people.

 

Members noted that SYPTE had previously undertaken analysis on some of these options in advance of the Bus Review and initial cost estimates were contained within the report.

 

The Board noted the significant impact that Covid-19 had on the public transport network.  At the height of the lockdown, patronage had reduced by around 90% and even with the gradual ease of lockdown measures patronage was only back to around 20% to 30% of pre-Covid-19 numbers on bus and the national message remained to avoid public transport.

 

The Board agreed that the role of discretionary concessions in supporting the return to work and restart of the economy was important, and how it supported sectors of society and the economy in returning to previous levels of economic output would be critical.

 

The Board felt that the priorities should be assisting with keeping people in work and supporting people back to work.

 

The Board also discussed the need to ensure that when the public transport network was reinstated that it was more environmentally sustainable.  Although there were already plans and measures in place to improve air quality and emissions from buses across the region, consideration should be given as to how the network was encouraged to use lower emission or zero emission vehicles.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

8.

Active Travel Design Principles pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board considered a report that set out the design principles for Active Travel Infrastructure.

 

The Board were reminded that they had agreed to the creation of a set of minimum standards for active travel infrastructure at its meeting in July 2019.

 

On 1st June 2020 the MCA had agreed to adopt the Active Travel Implementation Plan which set out the overall approach to inclusive design.

 

The proposal was for SCR to adopt high level design principles; national infrastructure design advice from the DfT was awaited.

 

There were proposed to be four standards:

 

  • Standard 1 covered when active travel infrastructure should be segregated from vehicular traffic and where the footway should be separated from other active travellers.
  • Standard 2 covered lane widths and was to make sure that all the infrastructure planned was fully accessible for the whole length of the route.
  • Standard 3 covered active travel route surface and continuity.
  • Standard 4 dealt with crossings and how signals responded to active travellers.

 

RESOLVED – That the Board recommend the design principles and the approach to creating inclusive active travel infrastructure for approval at the MCA Board.

9.

Sheffield City Region Innovation Corridor pdf icon PDF 104 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report was submitted that set out the background to the current development work for the Sheffield City Region Innovation Corridor project (SCRIC) and highlighted the next steps.

 

Members were reminded that an application for scheme development funds for the SCRIC was submitted to the DfT’s ‘Local Large Major’ fund in July 2016.

 

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement later that year confirmed that £1.4m bid had been successful enabling the development and production of an Outline Business Case to be appraised by government.  This work, led by a Project Board, commenced in April 2017.

 

The SCRIC was included within Transport for the North’s investment programme.  Current assumption in the programme was that a successful submission could lead to a scheme that would start on site by 2027.

 

The paper provided an outline of the scheme and its current progress, further information was provided through a presentation to the Board.

 

Members noted that the aim was to create the UK’s largest research led Advanced Manufacturing cluster and build on existing success to ensure the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID) would become a world class centre of excellence along the spine of the M1.  The wider objective of the SCRIC was to facilitate economic growth in the area.  The main transport objectives of the scheme included reducing existing network capacity constraints by improving connectivity and capacity to, and within the AMID area – including an environment where public transport service provision in the area became more sustainable and active travel options were enabled.

 

The SCRIC OBC was being developed in line with the Government Transport Appraisal Guidance.  This defined the stages of activity any business case was expected to demonstrate to be considered robust.

 

Working from existing evidence and studies completed by stakeholders numerous potential scheme options were generated.  A sifting process then allowed a shortlisting of options.

 

Members were informed that the project was at a key stage, as options had been sifted further based around a core route.  The initial scheme was shown in appendix 2.  It was expected that, following final detailed appraisal, the Business Case would be finalised before going through relevant approvals before submission to the DfT.  This was expected to be in December 2020.

 

Following a decision on the OBC, further development of the scheme through to Full Business Case would incorporate detailed design, extensive scheme consultation, further site surveys and due diligence, contractor engagement and land assembly.  The current programme saw delivery of the scheme starting in 2023 and becoming operational by 2025.

 

The Mayor requested that this report be considered by the Local Enterprise

Partnership Board.

 

RESOLVED – That the Transport Board:

 

i)             Note the progress made to date and the next steps required to progress the project.

 

ii)            Note that a further paper providing additional detail would be presented to the Board in the autumn.

 

10.

Trans-Pennine Tunnel Project Update pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board considered a report which provided an update on the Trans-Pennine Tunnel (TPT) project.

 

Members were reminded that in July 2015, the DfT and Transport for the North (TfN) jointly commissioned Highways England (HE) to produce a strategic study to assess the feasibility of a new strategic highway route (including a tunnel under the Pennines) connecting the M1 at Sheffield and the M60 at Manchester.

 

The project was still in the very early stages – DfT had only committed funding for its early development, not its delivery.

 

It was expected that an improved Trans-Pennine route could. provide journey time reductions from the M1-M60 of around 30 minutes.

 

The report listed the key issues and opportunities for SCR including:

 

  • SCR involvement from an early stage had helped to understand and shape the proposals.
  • Having declared a climate emergency in November 2019, SCR would want to reiterate that improved Trans-Pennine transport links needed to include new (or significantly improved) rail options as well as new roads.
  • The need for any Trans-Pennine scheme to be built to an exemplar environmental standard that delivered environmental enhancement as well as limiting the negative effects of climate change.
  • The whole scheme, including the significant length of tunnel (and wider connectivity elements) needed to be constructed, not just elements of it.

 

Members supported the continued development of the project recognising it is in its early stages.  In developing and evaluating the project it will be  essential that the economic benefits outweigh the wider climate change issues.

 

The Chair commented that the project would only succeed with the support of all partners; there would be no dramatic progress in the short term.

 

RESOLVED – That the Board notes the current position of the project and supports the project as set out and as per how it is progressing.

11.

Restore Your Railways pdf icon PDF 100 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report was submitted which provided an update on SCR’s bids to the DfT’s Restoring Your Railways Fund.

 

The government had launched its Restoring Your Railways Fund in early February and invited expressions of interest for rail re-opening schemes.   This would be for a share of the initial £500m made available to develop the business case for successful schemes.

 

The funding was split in three ways to offer support to projects at different phases of development.  The Ideas Fund was currently the most appropriate route for schemes in SCR to pursue scheme development opportunities.

 

SCR had worked with local MPs and authorities to submit four bids to the first round of the Ideas Fund in March.  These were detailed within the report.

 

At the end of May the DfT announced the first shortlist of ten schemes across England to take forward.  SCR had been successful in securing support to progress the Sheffield Victoria to Chesterfield via Barrow Hill Line.

 

The DfT were now seeking to arrange feedback sessions for all four proposals.  The outcome of the sessions would provide a substantive way forward for all schemes.

 

The Board was informed that SCR had submitted a bid to the second round of the Ideas Fund in June for a new Waverley Station on the Sheffield to Lincoln line.  This could be taken forward as part of the Barrow Hill Line scheme.

 

Members noted that the DfT would provide 75% of the business case development costs up to a maximum of £50,000.  This could mean that SCR and other partners would need to provide some match funding to progress the scheme through the business case process.

 

RESOLVED – That the Board note the update provided and proposed next steps and agree to the progression of the Barrow Hill Line scheme and further investigation on the other schemes.

12.

Local Transport Programme pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Minutes:

The Board considered a report which gave an update on current activity and issues in the three South Yorkshire centrally managed local transport programmes.

 

Integrated Transport Block

 

Members were informed that initially Covid-19 impacts had restricted delivery of the programme but this had been short lived while partners had adjusted to the situation.   The annual profile had been reorganised to enable the programme to continue to be productive and minimise the negative impacts of the shutdown.

 

The latest forecast for annual delivery was good with most projects still planned to be delivered in full.

 

Highways Capital Maintenance

 

It was reported that during May DfT announced an additional allocation of maintenance and pothole funding for the region of £13.605m.  Grant conditions for this were currently unknown.

 

The early impacts of Covid-19 were similar to ITB and on the ground delivery was initially restricted to emergency works.  Road teams were able to return quickly although social distancing restrictions had slowed work down.

 

Sustainable Travel Access Fund

 

The Board noted that project sponsors reacted quickly to the impacts of Covid-19 and looked for ways in which the programme delivery profile could be changed to contribute directly to the pandemic response.  An example of this was the redesign of the cycle loan scheme to target key workers and improve their options for travelling to work sustainably.

 

A key focus at the moment was supporting the return to work process, working with large employers to provide advice and information that promoted active travel as the first option for returning staff.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

13.

Transforming Cities Fund Tranche 2 Approvals pdf icon PDF 109 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board considered a report that sought approval to release scheme development costs for 28 schemes with a total value of £2.94m and also sought delegated authority to the Head of Paid Service in consultation with the S73 and Monitoring Officer to enter into legal agreements for the schemes.

 

Members were reminded that in recognition of the risks associated with developing and delivering of such a large size it was agreed that scheme development costs would be released at two stages prior to full approval:

 

  • Stage 1 – release up to 2% of the total scheme cost to facilitate the development of the Outline Business Case.
  • Stage 2 – release up to 10% of the total scheme cost, based on a costed fee plan, to facilitate the development of the Full Business Case.

 

Details and costs of the 28 schemes were include as an appendix to the report.

 

RESOLVED – That the Board:

 

i)             Approve the release of scheme development costs between £8k and £335k for 28 schemes, totalling £2.94m to the four local authorities and the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive.

 

ii)         Agree that delegated authority be given to the Head of Paid Service            in consultation with the S73 and Monitoring Officer to enter into legal agreements for the schemes covered in i) above.

 

14.

Any Other Business

Minutes:

M Thomas informed the Board that Gareth Sutton had been appointed as SCR’s permanent Finance Director and that hoped to attend future meetings of the Board.