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Notes of Plenary Meeting

Friday 23 March 2018

West Midlands Combined Authority

11.00 – 14.30

  1. Apologies

  2. Presentations & Discussion – see appendix 1

  3. Notes of the Plenary meeting 26 January 2018 and matters arising – approved

  4. Notes of the Executive meeting 26 January 2018 – approved
    Attention was drawn to item 3 and members and officers will be asked to comment on consultation responses
  5. Financial report
    1. Expenditure against Budget 2017-18 – noted
    2. Balance – £19,627.49
      13 members had paid subscriptions for 2017-18, and two for 2016-17
  6. Consultations
    1. East Coast Mainline Route Study – no response submitted
    2. Proposals for creation of a Major Road Network – no response submitted
    3. Transport for the North Long Term Rail Strategy – to be submitted by 17 April
    4. DCLG Formula for Revenue – response noted
    5. Use of Section 19 & 22 Permits – to be submitted by 4 May
  7. Issues to Discuss from NewslettersThe following issues from newsletters were discussed:
    The rail proposals by Transport for the North are of interest but concern was raised at the cost.
    Members were advised that the DfT has issued guidance on Advanced Quality Partnership Schemes.
    Concern was raised at the difficulties young people had experienced in trying to acquire 26-30 railcards. Further information will be sought.
    The station ownership management structure of West Midlands Rail should be considered further.
    Temporary changes by Network Rail, to the advance availability of final timetables is expected to end in December 2018.
    Members were advised that rail major projects would be subject to business case approval on an individual basis in CP6, through a pipeline process – further details will be sought.

    8. LGA Update none received

    9.Regional meeting & study tour
    Durham offered to host the meeting on 28/29 June. 

  8. Future Programme & Dates for 2018
    1. Friday 4 May: LG House – Transport Focus research
    2. Thurs 28/Fri 29 June: regional meeting – Durham
    3. Friday 21 September: 18 Smith Square, Westminster
    4. Friday 16 November, AGM: 18 Smith Square, Westminster

Any other business – none 

Appendix 1: Presentation & Discussion session

West Midlands Bus Alliance – Linda McCord, Peter Bond

A partnership with multilateral voluntary agreements which has led to improvements for passengers, set up two and a half years ago. The priority was passenger satisfaction levels, setting and exceeding 85%. It was relaunched in October 2017 after recognising a need to refocus objectives; congestion and emissions are seen as a key focus. It aims to make travel easier, especially for young people – by making it easier to find tickets, easier to catch the bus and a more pleasant experience. Network resilience group set up assessing the effect of potential disruption from major projects such as HS2 and the tram network and aims to avoid the relocation of problems from major roads to minor roads and any effects it would have on buses. The Bus Alliance ensures the bus network has a higher priority:
Bus Alliance supports West Midlands Rail – £450m investment locally – reopening the line to Brierley Hill, development of 10 new rail stations in next few years which will affect metro, bus and rail. £150m is for bus rapid transit (SPRINT) by 2021, ready for the Commonwealth games.
Challenges: in 2020 – clean air zone in Birmingham city centre, include demand responsive transport operators. Investment is being made in infrastructure with response from operator to maintain the network. There is concern that BSOG, paid for diesel operations, is not paid for electric buses.

Liverpool City Bus Alliance operates on similar principles and is an agreement between Stagecoach, Arriva, Merseytravel. Merseytravel looking at options in the Bus Services Act to determine what would be useful locally; a fall in passenger numbers has forced operators to talk. Transport Focus role is to look at the impact for passengers. The Liverpool fleet is to be all WiFi equipped. Passengers value WiFi, USB charging points, reliability and value for money. A flat rate fare for young people has increased patronage 140%, with no proof of age requirement for young travellers.

Transport Focus involved in other areas to progress bus improvements – a predictable journey time is seen as a key requirement – Sprint dedicated highway to be provided to achieve this.

West Midlands Rail franchise – Tom Painter

West Midlands Rail is a consortium of 16 authorities – 7 metropolitan authorities plus shire and unitary authorities. The Board has politically nominated representatives with the Chair alternating between metropolitan and non-metropolitan authorities. The objective is to provide local leadership for rail in the wider region.

There has been a modal shift away from car and bus use towards rail: car use dropped 14% since 2001 in Birmingham City Centre morning peak; rail use increased from 17% to 36%.

The strategy includes – single network vision, rail investment, stations Alliance, franchising and partnerships

From December 2017 – March 2026, the management of West Midlands Rail franchise has been devolved to 2 business units with franchise management powers for West Midlands Trains. West Midlands Rail involved in the procurement process to ensure the contract meets the local needs. The brand is to continue irrespective of the operating company.

Capacity for growth; commitment for rolling stock – £700m investment, 400 new carriages increasing from 566 – 706 in 2021 giving 20 thousand extra seats in rush hour in Birmingham, 10,000 for London travel, with WiFi in all trains, a new depot and station improvements.  New service quality regime sets out minimum standards that passengers can expect. There is a target of 90% of travel to be with smart ticketing. There will be new Digital customer information screens which will allow for more flexible messaging. Kenilworth will have a new station, Bromsgrove will be redeveloped. The line to Staffordshire will be electrified; Walsall to be connected to London with one additional train per hour between Shrewsbury and Birmingham. Additional evening and Sunday services are also planned. There is also a proposal for freight only lines to be returned to passenger use.

Station ownership management structure of West Midlands Rail is to be considered further.

Bus Passenger Survey 2017 – David Sidebottom

Results published March 2018. Overall satisfaction in England was 88%. Bus drivers found to be key to passenger experience; Arriva and Stagecoach funding customer service training for all their drivers. Half of all journeys are delayed, primarily due to congestion and passenger boarding time.
Tram survey results are also to be launched.
16-19 year olds have the lowest satisfaction: specific research was undertaken – Google maps is key to providing information – young people don’t want multiple apps on their phones; there is confusion over best fares available for the journey; 50% use buses a few days per week, 25% spend £10 per week. Value for money is seen as the most desirable improvement.

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Notes of Plenary meeting 26 January 2018

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Friday 26 January 2018

Confederation of Passenger Transport

53-64 Chancery Lane, London

10.30 – 12.45

  1. Apologies for absence – see appendix 1
  2. Notes of the AGM & Plenary meeting 10 November 2017 and matters arising – accepted

  3. Notes of the Executive meeting 10 November 2017 – accepted
  4. Financial report
    1. Expenditure against Budget 2017-18 – noted
    2. Balance – £12,556.12

The administrator advised that the Consortium is now able to accept card payments.

  1. Discussion session: see appendix 2

    Mitigating security vulnerabilities outside railway, bus and coach stations

    1. Craig Stride, Department for Transport
    2. David Pike, Department for Transport

  2. Consultations
    1. Accessibility Action Plan consultation – The DfT were pleased that over 1000 responses had been received.
    2. Community Rail consultation –

Consultations have been issued on the East Coast Rail Route Study and the Major Route Network, and it was suggested the Consortium should consider a response.

  1. Issues to Discuss from Newsletters

The following issues from the Newsletters were discussed:

  • Department for Transport rolling Stock Perspective – concerns were raised at meeting the accessibility requirements by the end of December 2019.
  • A revised Draft National Airports Policy has been published and Heathrow Airport have begun consultation on expansion.
  • The Welsh Government is consulting on discounting travel to more young people.
  • The impact of Carillion going into administration on rail projects was discussed.
  • The impact of the Mayor of London’s decision to bring forward the ULEZ for coaches and buses, and the capacity of the industry to meet this requirement was discussed.
  • The early termination of the East Coast rail franchise was noted with concern.
  • It was highlighted to members that FirstGroup is to focus capital expenditure for new buses where local authorities are supportive.
  • Network Rail – concern was raised at renewal work from CP5 moving to CP6 and that it would only include routine maintenance and renewals, with new projects requiring specific funding.
  • Bus Services Act 2017 – the DfT has issued 3 documents for local authorities to use.
  • The new railcard for those aged 26-30, valid after 1000, was noted.
  • Concern was raised at the withdrawal peak time intercity trains from Bedford and Luton, by East Midlands Trains, and the reduction in connectivity northbound as a result.
  1. LGA Update – noted

  2. Section 19 & 22 Update – the policy advisor informed members that the DfT is to undertake a 12 week consultation on this issue and a request had been made for a specific meeting with local authorities.

  3. Future Programme & Dates for 2018
    1. Friday 23 March – Birmingham: West Midlands Bus Alliance
    2. Friday 4 May – LG House
    3. Friday 29 June – Regional meeting
    4. Friday 21 September – LG house
    5. Friday 16 November (AGM) – LG House
  4. Any other business – none

 Domestic Land Transport Security

Currently the National Threat level is at ‘Severe’ meaning that a terrorist attack is highly likely. This is the second highest threat level – in 2017, this was elevated to ‘critical’ on two occasions. Two attacks were successful, but there were 20 other disrupted/failed attempts.

Public vigilance is required due to the current nature of attacks being small and individual and therefore harder to detect, rather than large scale military type (such as previous IRA attacks). However, the idea that the public needs to be vigilant isn’t widely accepted.
Challenges involved in keeping the travelling public safe are a result of the nature of the public transport system – open and unscreened –it is a soft, crowded, easily accessible, economic target.
Rail security is delivered through enforcing security instructions. Legal requirements are placed on national rail network, London Underground, Docklands Light Railway and Glasgow Subway. The Department for Transport instructions are the minimum standard – the rail industry often does more.
Bus and Coach: Guidance was issued in 2012 recommending best practice: DVD is available at landsecurity@dft.gsi.gov.uk .
On 9 October 2017, DfT issued ‘Mitigating Security Vulnerabilities’ document – DfT wants local authorities to share best practice. DfT has helped in the design of new projects at new stations.
Roads, Bridges & Tunnels – guidance being developed
Regional antiterrorist units are available to assist local authorities.


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Annual Report to LGA

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The Annual Report to the LGA may be downloaded :

Annual Report to LGA 2016-17



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Draft notes of the plenary meeting 7 September 2017

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Notes of the Plenary Meeting
Thursday 7 September 2017
Oak Suite, Mercure Bristol Holland House Hotel
17.00 – 18.00


1. Apologies for absence – see appendix 1

2. Notes of the Plenary meeting 24 March 2017 and matters arising – accepted
a. Bus Services Bill consultation on draft regulations & guidance – the DfT review has been received and will be circulated to members. It is understood that the Secretary of State does not wish to devolve responsibility for rail services.

3. Notes of the Executive meeting 23 June 2017 and matters arising – accepted
a. Members expressed thanks to the Administrator for organising the changes to the website
b. It was agreed that the annual report to the LGA would be put onto the website following the Consortium Annual General Meeting
c. Abellio plans to remove staff from stations – a response has been received

4. Financial report
a. The Administrator gave a update on outstanding membership fees. Authorities in arrears have been contacted and it is hoped that this will be resolved shortly.
b. Noted
c. Balance £12,835.72

5. Consultations
a. Freight Network study consultation – noted
b. South Eastern rail franchise consultation -noted
c. East Midlands rail franchise – members were reminded to submit any points in response to specific questions by 25 September. Comments put forward by Hertfordshire were relayed to the members.

6. Reports for the information of members
a. Rail Franchise Update Aug 2017 – noted
b. HS2 Update Aug 2017 – noted
c. Great Western electrification representation – noted
d. Government response to Welsh Affairs Committee – noted
e. Transport Focus – Bus Passenger Survey Autumn 2016 – noted
f. Transport Focus – Impact of congestion on bus reliability – noted
g. Greener Journeys – improving air quality in towns and cities – noted
h. Greener Journeys – talking pollution and congestion – noted
i. ATCO price expenditure competition and performance survey – noted
j. Transport Committee on Rail franchising – Government response – noted
k. Transport Knowledge Hub – discussion of any items circulated – noted. No issues were raised following the circulation of newsletters.
l. Ensuring a sustainable railway – Campaign for Better Transport – noted
m. Urban Transport Group – rail devolution works – noted
n. National Rail Passenger Survey – Spring 2017 – noted
o. Railways Act 2005 High Level Output Specification – noted

7. Bus Services Act 2017 Workshops 14 July & 25 October – Members were advised that a second workshop is to be held on 25 October. Consortium attendance at the first workshop was disappointing and it was suggested that this could be due to the need to seek approval to attend.

8. Department for Transport letter re Section 19/22 – the Policy Advisor outlined the implications of the DfT letter sent to authorities on 31 July 2017. It was agreed that the Consortium view is to accept the implementation and seek to negotiate the best arrangements to protect Community Transport arrangements

9. Future Programme – noted
a. AGM & Plenary meeting 10 November 2017 – Rail Delivery Group invited, Transport Focus
b. Executive meeting 8 December 2017 (location to be confirmed)

10. Any other business- none.


Study Tour to the East of England presentations & discussion

What’s the Combined Authority all about? – James White
A Growing Bus Market – Andy Strong
West of England Joint Transport study – Bill Davies
MetroBus – Pete Woodhouse
MetroWest – Phase 1 – James Willcock
MetroWest – Phase 2 – Janet Kings SGC

WECA PT Consortium 070917
PTC presentation on buses in WoE Sep 17 revised
JTS LG Consortium presentation 070917
Pete Woodhouse Presentation
Public Transport consortium MetroWest Phase 1 Slides
Final Presentation 7 sept Janet Kings

Hitachi – visit to train maintenance depot


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Programme & Agenda for regional meeting – West of England

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Public Transport Consortium Regional meeting & Study Tour to the West of England 7th and 8th September 2017

This autumn will be an interesting time to visit the West of England as it is on the brink of a step change in bus and rail based public transport. Metro Bus will be about to start operating (First Bristol have recently been announced as the operator of the first route) this will represent a significant increase in quality, reliability, comfort and capacity on the bus network. The electrification will be intensifying through Bristol Parkway and the new Hitachi trains will be entering service together it is hoped with cascaded diesel trains for the Severn Beach line.
The programme will be a mix of talks and visits with the opportunity to learn about the work being done in the West of England to support the local and regional economy and to address significant capacity issues on road, rail and bus.
A programme of presentations has been planned for Thursday afternoon which will include presentations from the newly formed West of England Combined Authority and the teams involved in delivering rail and bus improvements (the major schemes of MetroBus and MetroWest). There will also be presentations providing an overview of the integrated transport study which the West of England Authorities started in 2016 to support the development of the West of England up to 2036.

On Friday morning a visit is planned to Hitachi’s depot Stoke Gifford. The brand-new facility will support and maintain the Class 800/801 trains the company is delivering through Agility Trains for the Department for Transport’s £5.7bn Intercity Express Programme (IEP). These trains will be running on the Great Western Main Line from the Autumn 2017.
The now completed £80 million depot has been reformatted to service the fleet of bi-mode trains which will now operate on Great Western route. The facilities are impressive and internal space can accommodate two 5 car trains together. En route to the depot it will be possible to see significant features provided for MetroBus including a bus only two way junction on the M32. It is proposed that officers will provide an on board commentary for the journey to and from Stoke Gifford.
The current timetable is as follows:
Thursday 7th September Hotel Following lunch and arrivals

Welcome to the West of England:
Welcome for delegates speaker to be confirmed. 1400-1600 approx Introduction to the West of England Combined Authority-Speaker from WECA WoE Joint Transport Study – Lead Officer Break Transport Projects MetroBus and MetroWest –rail Lead Project Officers A Growing Bus Market- Andy Strong, Public Transport Manager, Bath & NE Somerset Council NB-All presentations to include opportunities for questions and answers
pm Consortium Business Dinner Friday 8th 0915 approx Leave hotel to travel to Hitachi depot in Stoke Gifford. Officers on board to answer questions and point out projects en route. Hitachi Visit hosted by Depot Team Return by coach to hotel commentary en route Approx 1200 Delegates depart

The final programme is available: Final Programme 290817

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Bus Services Act Update 5 September 2017

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This update is to give you the latest information regarding implementation of the Bus Services Act and the associated regulations and guidance.

We have now published our response to the consultation which ended on Tuesday 21 March 2017, setting out our analysis of the consultation responses, and the changes we will now be making to the regulations and guidance following the consultation.

Any comments or questions in relation to this update should be sent to:busbillconsultation@dft.gsi.gov.uk

Bus Services Act Implementation Team
Department for Transport

Below are the links to the update from DfT and to the consultation response:

Bus Services Act Update


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Notes of Executive meeting 23 June 2017 – draft

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Notes of Executive Meeting
Friday 23 June 2017
Confederation of Passenger Transport

1. Apologies for absence – see appendix

2. Notes of the Executive meeting 24 February 2017 and matters arising- Agreed. A discussion took place regarding the website. Concern was raised that it was not up to date and the Chair, Administrator and Policy Advisor were asked to resolve the issues.

3. Notes of the Plenary meeting 24 March 2017 and matters arising – Agreed

4. Financial report
Approximately half the membership was outstanding for the current year. The Administrator will send out reminders shortly. Expenditure to date 2017/18 was noted.
The current balance is £15,574.72

5. Consultations
a. Freight Network study consultation – the response from the Chair of the Freight Network Study Board was noted.
b. South Eastern rail franchise consultation – was agreed for submission

6. Reports for the information of members
a. Rail Franchise Update Jun 2017 – Members were advised of the short listed bidders for West Coast Partnership. The East Midlands consultation was still not released and suggestions were made that the franchise may be redesigned.
b. HS2 Update Jun 2017 – noted. The Queen’s Speech included the extension from Birmingham to Crewe
c. Great Western electrification representation – noted
d. Government response to Welsh Affairs Committee – noted
e. Transport Focus – Bus Passenger Survey Autumn 2016 – noted
f. Impact of congestion on bus reliability – Transport Focus – Legislation needs to be updated to assist with bus reliability
g. Greener Journeys – improving air quality in towns and cities – noted
h. ATCO price expenditure competition and performance survey – there was a discussion on rural transport issues and its funding and the role of Community Transport
i. Transport Committee on Rail franchising – Government response – noted
j. Transport Knowledge Hub – May Newsletter – the knowledge hub will be seeking best practice examples
k. Ensuring a sustainable railway – Campaign for Better Transport – noted

7. Bus Services Act 2017 Workshop – noted. The Administrator was asked to remind members of this event.

8. LGA update – noted. There was a discussion of the Traffic Management Act 2004 part 6

9. Consortium Annual Report to LGA – Members asked that this was put onto the website and circulated to non-members. Members commented on the broad range of issues covered during the year

10. Study Tour & Regional meeting – noted
Programme – the draft programme was approved by the Executive who also agreed that invitations to attend be extended to other groups such ATCO and WCR 250

11. Any other business
a. Transport Knowledge Hub Board meeting 8 June – the Policy Advisor gave an update on the first meeting
b. Abellio plans to remove staff at stations – the lack of response from Abellio was noted with concern and it was suggested that the Rail Delivery Group be invited to a plenary meeting to discuss a number of issues such as security on trains. The Administrator is to invite the Rail Delivery Group to the AGM.

12. Future Programme – noted
a. Regional meetings & Study Tour 7/8 September – West of England
b. AGM & Plenary meeting 10 November 2017
c. Executive meeting 8 December 2017 (location to be confirmed)

13. Dates & location of meetings 2018 – the Administrator was asked to draw up a programme of dates, and seek availability from both LG House and CPT


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Bus Services Act 2017 – What next? workshop

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Bus Services Act 2017 Workshop

Members and Officers of the Public Transport Consortium of the Local Government Association and members of the Association of Transport Co-ordinating Officers are invited to a workshop on Friday 14 July 2017 to discuss implementation of the Bus Services Act 2017.

The Confederation of Passenger Transport have offered to host the event at their offices at 53 – 64 Chancery Lane, London from 1100 until 1500 hours: refreshments will be available from 1030 and lunch is included.

The emphasis will be on discussion and questions rather than formal presentations, although the day will start with an outline of the major features of the Act and the view of the bus industry on implementation.
A booking form is available for your use; thereis a small charge for the workshop to cover the costs.
PTC booking form – bus services act workshop


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Newsletter April 2015

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  1. The Department for Transport has announced a £60 million fund to transform rail stations: rail operators and councils have until the end of May to submit bids.
  2. The Government has announced a major upgrade to the 86 mile rail line connecting Peterborough with Lincoln and Doncaster, allowing two freight trains per hour to be diverted from the East Coast mainline.
  3. more than 300 local authorities and community groups across England will receive new minibuses from a Department for Transport £25 million fund – announced 26 March 2015. A list of successful applications is available
  4. Total Transport Pilot Fund – winning bids announced 27 March 2015 – £7.6 million available
  5. The Office for Low Emission Vehicles has announced a £30 million Low Emission Bus Scheme to operate between April 2016 and March 2019 – open to all operators and local authorities in England and Wales. Guidance is available at

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Info update 28 Jan 2015

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The Transport Select Committee issued a report ‘Investing in the Railway’ on 23 January 2015

The Department for Transport has appointed KPMG Consultancy to review the operating model of bus services in England outside London, with a report to go to ministers at the end of June
(Local Transport Today 664 23 January)
The European Court of Justice has supported Transport for London’s policy of allowing taxis but not private hire vehicles to use bus lanes
(Local Transport Today 664 23 January)
The DfT has issued guidance to local authorities on payment of grants to Community Transport operators to ensure compliance with European State Aid rules

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