To consider the report of the Director of City Development seeking authority to spend a total of up to £15.31m from the DfT funding for scheme and package development and overall programme management costs for 2017/18. A breakdown of the costs is detailed within the report. Also, the report sets out the next steps for delivering the Leeds Public Transport Investment Programme.
The Director of City Development submitted a report which sought ‘authority to spend’ a total of up to £15.31m from the £173.5m funding which the Department for Transport had agreed in April 2017 for the Leeds Public Transport Investment Programme. Additionally, the report detailed the next steps for the delivery of the Programme.
Responding to a Member’s enquiry, the Board received further information regarding when the proposed programme of works would need to be delivered by, together with further detail on the proposed new rail stations, and the current position with regard to Network Rail funding. The Board also noted that discussions were ongoing with bus companies, with Members highlighting the need for all residents of Leeds to benefit from improvements to bus transport, and not just those users of specific bus companies.
Responding to Members’ comments regarding investment in different modes of transport, it was highlighted that the public transport network needed to become as seamless as possible, in order to ensure that the public benefit was maximised from the investment being made.
The Board discussed the cross-party working group, noted the comments made during the discussion, and reaffirmed the importance of cross-party working in this area.
Regarding the Council debate on public transport which had been scheduled for 17th May 2017, but had been subsequently cancelled following the Prime Minister’s announcement to hold a General Election, it was highlighted that a comprehensive discussion on such matters was still a priority, and that further work and discussion on the scheduling of this would be undertaken.
(a) That the Government approval of £173.5m funding towards public transport improvements in Leeds, together with the content of the related correspondence, as detailed at Appendix 1 to the submitted report, be noted;
(b) That approval be given to inject the Department for Transport grant of up to £173.5m towards public transport improvements in Leeds, as set out within the contents of the approval letter (as appended to the submitted report), subject to the finalisation of a grant agreement with West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) in accordance with their assurance framework and those elements of the programme to be delivered directly by WYCA;
(c) That expenditure of up to £15.31m from the £173.5m Government funding be approved in order to progress the Leeds Public Transport Improvement Programme, subject to finalising those elements to be directly delivered by WYCA;
(d) That it be noted that officers will return to Executive Board in due course in order to seek approval to carry out detail design and construction on schemes as they are developed;
(e) That negotiations with bus operators, developers and partners continue in order to leverage significant additional financial investments to support the Leeds Public Transport Investment Programme;
(f) That the necessary authority be provided in order to enter into a Grant Agreement with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority for the expenditure of monies;
(g) That it be noted that the Chief Officer (Highways and Transportation) is responsible for the delivery of the programme.