To consider the report of the Chief Officer, Highways & Transportation which provides an update on the Transport Conversation, including information specific to the Inner North East area and updates on the £173.3 m Public Transport Investment programme and Leeds Transport Strategy development.
Further to minute 33 of the meeting held 19th September 2016, the Chief Officer, Highways & Transportation, submitted a report which provided an update on the Transport Conversation, including information specific to the Inner North East area and updates on the £173.3 m Public Transport Investment programme and Leeds Transport Strategy development.
Gary Bartlett, Chief Officer Highways & Transportation, presented the report which provided an update on the progress made since the previous presentation and workshop at Inner North East CC in Autumn 2016. The report provided information on how the feedback from previous Conversation exercise had shaped the developing plan to spend the £174m fund granted by Central Government to Leeds for transport infrastructure. Tom Gifford, METRO, also attended the meeting.
Overall, information gathered from respondents showed that the car was still favoured over bus/train transport, some had indicated they may consider other transport if buses/trains were improved. There had been 700 respondents from the Inner North East CC area, and their top priorities included better value/service/reliability in the bus service; improved cycle facilities and park & ride in this part of the city. Other issues identified included the economic pressures and benefits, emerging clean air zone, move away from car domination in the city centre and putting pedestrians and cyclists first.
Additionally, Central Government required the £174m to be spent by 2021, so work was progressing on the following short term schemes which impacted on the Inner North East area:
· East Leeds Orbital Road
· Route 36 bus stops
· Examining possible review of A61
· Considering Park & Ride scheme in the northern quadrant
· Cycle way infrastructure
Tom GIFFORD, METRO, then addressed the meeting seeking to identify the transport priorities for the INE CC area and how the £174m should be targeted. He acknowledged the general experience of unreliability, long journeys and cost of current bus provision in Leeds and focussed on two development proposals within the Transport Strategy:
Transport Hubs - £8m allocated from the £174m to develop Transport Hubs city wide, three had been identified so far including Moortown Corner
‘Connecting Communities’ - £5m had been allocated to this initiative, and the consultation sought views on the type of transport solutions preferred and the places within the city which could benefit from better connectivity.
During discussions, the following issues were considered:
· Acknowledged the improvements and investment made by First Bus in 284 new ‘greener’ buses. The introduction of the Clean Air Zone will be vital for air quality and health improvement and discussions with other bus operators were ongoing to achieve additional improved bus stock.
· Consideration of an ‘Oyster card’ smart ticketing scheme was suggested to allow travellers the opportunity to purchase tickets prior to their journey. Transport for the North and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority were working on this issue
· King Lane roundabout and the impact of this junction on stacking traffic on all routes and bus journeys. The close proximity of residences reduced the possibilities for works to improve the roundabout - such as road widening. Highways technicians were working towards a solution to address the heavy traffic flow through the area
· Bus provision and the night-time economy. Members noted the view that reduced services at night did not support the growing Leeds night-time economy, or shift-workers. However night -time services were dependant on commercial needs
· Bus provision and connectivity. The need for City Circular buses was identified to better connect the city’s communities
· Service efficiency – One Member reported on the Edinburgh city bus service which provided an example of an efficient service with routes across and around the city. The service was cash only, with no change given and was well supported by users. The service was also municipally run
· Consultation with Leeds Bradford International Airport to ensure that any new transport links supported the airport’s growth and accessibility whilst addressing visitor’s use of local/residential roads as rat-runs to the airport.
· New Railway Stations - It was noted that respondents to the consultation so far had expressed support for a rail link with the airport, and discussions were ongoing regarding an additional station on the Leeds-Harrogate rail line. Three new stations had been identified and work with Network Rail was ongoing to pursue their development. Although it was not expected that Network Rail could deliver these by the 2021 deadline, LCC was committed to progressing their development as far as possible in readiness for their completion in 2022/23
· One Member reported on the need for a Park & Ride scheme in the north east of the city, commuter on street parking was prevalent in the residential areas of the Chapeltown, Chapel Allerton and Harehills areas of the city
· Acknowledgement that bus patronage had decreased during the last 30 years, however the city had grown and more people travelled into the city.
· A review of fare pricing/minimum was requested, as residents of the Chapeltown area paid a minimum fee of £2.00 to travel into the city. In other areas of the city, passengers travelling the same or shorter distance into town were charged lower minimum fares.
· City walking. Development of a clear and simplified pedestrian route into the City was identified. Currently pedestrians from the INE area tackled multiple lanes of traffic to access the city via Sheepscar
· Moortown Corner – Members welcomed the plans to improve the area, and requested further details on what could be achieved. It was agreed that local Ward Councillors would meet with Highways & Transportation officers to discuss viable proposals in the first instance, before wider consultation took place.
The Community Committee thanked officers for their presentation of the feedback from the Transport Consultation and
a) 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 Inner East area over the next 20 years.
b) To note the overall progression of Leeds Transport and £173.5m funding programme in Leeds overall.
c) To note progression of the major transport schemes within the Inner North East Area.
d) To note the feedback provided to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority representative at the meeting on the proposals for the Transport Hubs and network proposals.
e) To note the intention for local ward Members to meet directly with officers to discuss viable proposals on what can be achieved at the proposed Moortown Corner Transport Hub/improvement scheme.