To consider a report by the Chief Officer Highways and Transport which provides an update on the Leeds Transport Conversation - Public Transport Investment programme (£173.5m), Outer North East area and Leeds Transport Strategy development.
The Chief Officer Highways and Transportation submitted a report which provided an update on the Leeds Transport Conversation – Public Transport Investment Programme (£173.5m) including the Outer North East Area and the Leeds Transport Strategy Development.
Appended to the report were copies of the following appendices:
· Outer North East Workshop – Notes of the meeting held on 12th October 2016
· Aecom analysis of Outer North East questionnaire responses
· Summary of Major Transport Schemes in Leeds
Paul Foster, Transport Strategy Manager, City Development together with Vanessa Allen, Principle Transport Planner, City Development and Neil Warness (WYCA) addressed the report and provided an update in respect of the following:
· The successful business case submission for the Public Transport Investment Programme (£173.5m) announced by the government on the 28th April 2017 (Department of Transport).
· Public transport funding proposals were developed in response to the feedback from the Transport Conversation engagement process in the Summer/ Autumn 2016 and both the Leeds wide and Outer North East response is outlined within the submitted report.
· Outline of Leeds wide transport improvements, the Public Transport Investment Programme (LPTIP - £173.5m) as well as other transport improvements within the Outer North East area.
· Bus improvements including First Bus committed to spending £71m on buying 284 new greener buses.
· The West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) proposal for bus network and Community hub improvements.
· Identification of the longer term proposals and key issues for development of a 20 year Leeds Transport Strategy.
Referring to the Leeds Transport Conversation questionnaire it was reported that the following areas had been identified as key transport issues in the Outer North East Area;
· Unreliable bus services
· Poor frequency of some bus services
· Long journey times
· Poor service provision at busy periods
· Lack of direct buses
· Poor connectivity to areas identified for future housing and employment growth
· Poor connectivity to the City Centre
· Buses missing out parts of the route
· Congested bus stands at existing hubs
· Poor pedestrian safety and security at existing hubs
Suggested solutions included:
· Improved information provision at Wetherby Bus Station
· Improved pedestrian safety and security at Moor Allerton District Centre
· Door to door transport for people with mobility issues
· Improved walking and cycling routes
· Better public transport information that is easily available
In offering comment Members suggested:
· There was nothing in the report about cross border working
· Welcomed the proposal for a Railway Station at Thorp Park but residents from the Outer North East area would find it difficult to get to if using public transport
· Could larger bus layby’s be created to reduce congestion
· The No.36 Service Leeds to Harrogate was a very good service, buses every 10 minutes, could other routes operate in a similar way
· Improved passenger information in bus shelters was required
· Possible Park & Ride proposals for north Leeds, were there any further developments (A site near Leeds Grammar School had previously been suggested)
In responding officers commented as follows:
· There had been a lot of partnership working with North Yorkshire Council but in recent years funding from North Yorkshire had been reduced which had impacted on cross border bus services
· There was a proposal to create a park & ride facility at Thorp Park accommodating up to 1000 vehicles, which would improve connectivity in the Outer North East Area
· Creating larger bus layby’s could be problematic if underground services required moving, the bus may also be delayed in getting back into the traffic channel. The introduction of contactless payments may reduce waiting times at bus stops
· The Leeds to Harrogate bus service was run by a commercial operator due to the large passenger numbers
· New/ improved real time passenger information would be installed in up to 1000 bus shelters in the near future
· In respect of a Park & Ride facility for north Leeds, it was reported that the latest proposal would be circulated to Members of the Committee in due course.
The Chair introduced and welcomed to the meeting representatives from the Wetherby Transport Group and invited them to address the meeting.
Mr Melvyn Wood said the Wetherby Transport Group represented 7 Parish Council’s across the Outer North East Area and also included Bickerton in North Yorkshire which demonstrated a cross border interdependence within the Leeds City Region.
Mr Wood said the Group wished to highlight the poor public transport network across the area. From Wetherby there was no direct access to York, Tadcaster or Bickerton. Mr Wood provided a number of examples where residents from the Outer North East area had enjured long journey times due to the poor frequency of service or the lack of direct buses. There was a large older population in the area surrounding Wetherby with a growing number of people no longer able to drive. Journey times to hospital referrals in Leeds, Harrogate and York were often lengthy, public transport to York was particularly poor.
Referring to highway issues within the area Mr Wood said speeding traffic through Walton Village was a concern and requests had been made to the City Council’s Highway Department for traffic calming measures within the village.
Other requests for dropped curbs and the replacement of the footpath on Spring Lane, Walton, Members were informed that in all cases no response had been provided.
Referring to the highway issues, the Chair asked to be supplied with the necessary details so that he may take up the matter on behalf of the Group.
In drawing the discussion to a conclusion the Chair thanked; Members, representatives from the Wetherby Transport Group and Officers for their attendance and contributions all of which would be fed back into the Leeds Transport Conversation.
(i) To note the feedback from the Transport Conversation and its input into the £173.5m public transport improvements and informing a wider transport strategy for the city and the Outer North East Area over the next 20 years
(ii) To note the overall progression of Leeds Transport and £173.5m funding programme in Leeds overall
(iii) To note progression of the major transport schemes within the Outer North East Area