{meta} Agenda for Devon and Exeter Rail Project Working Party on Friday, 19th January, 2018, 1.30 pm

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Suite - County Hall

Contact: Gerry Rufolo, 01392 382299  Email: gerry.rufolo@devon.gov.uk

Items
Note No. Item

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9.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on 14 July 2017, (attached).

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 14 July 2017 be signed as a correct record.

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10.

Items Requiring Urgent Attention

Items which in the opinion of the Chairman should be considered at the meeting as matters of urgency.

 

Minutes:

There was no item raised as a matter of urgency.

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11.

South Western Railway update

 

Presentation by the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment on behalf of Phil Dominey.

 

Electoral Divisions:  All Divisions in Exeter, East Devon, Mid Devon, Teignbridge, South Hams and North Devon

Minutes:

(Councillor Davis (Cabinet Member for Infrastructure Development and Waste) attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(1) and spoke to this item at the invitation of the meeting and Councillor Greenslade attended in accordance with SO 25(2) and spoke to this item).

 

(Councillor Deed declared a personal interest in this matter by being in receipt of an occupational pension from South Western Rail)

 

The Working Party received a presentation from the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment on the South Western Railway covering on an update on:

 

·         the December 2018 Timetable Consultation: this included the main issue for Devon with the speeding up of trains and whether to drop Woking or Clapham Junction calls and the expectation that new plans via the timetable consultation page would be available on the website later in spring and then final timetables produced in autumn 2018 once they had been reviewed by Network Rail;

·         RMT Strikes and there being no news of further dates;

·         introduction of additional stakeholder management across SWR;

·         Delay Repay had reduced to a 15 minute threshold;

·         SWR had won 3 awards at October 2017 Community Rail Awards; and

·         SWR Community Rail Conference held on 13th February 2017 in Southampton.

 

Members indicated their preference for the Woking call to be dropped rather than Clapham Junction which they felt should remain. 

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12.

Great Western Franchise Renewal

Presentation by the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment.   

 

The consultation document can be found at the following website:

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/663801/great-western-rail-franchise-consultation-web.pdf

 

 

Minutes:

(Councillor Davis (Cabinet Member for Infrastructure Development and Waste) attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(1) and spoke to this item at the invitation of the meeting and Councillor Greenslade attended in accordance with SO 25(2) and spoke to this item).

 

The Cabinet Member for Infrastructure Development and Waste reported that she was attending to listen to views of the Working Party to help formulate her response to the Consultation on behalf of the Council and local authority partners.

 

The Working Party received a presentation from the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment on the consultation on the Great Western Franchise and draft initial views of Devon County Council, subject to approval by the Cabinet Member,  covering:

 

·         confirmation by the Department for Transport (DfT) that the current GWR franchise award has been extended from 2019 to March 2020 and was now consulting on a possible further two year extension from 2020 to March 2022 (with an option to extend by a further 2 years to 2024) and that the two year extension would not be taken up if the winning bid did not offer good value for both taxpayer and passengers (reverting to a full new 7 year + franchise competition);

·         that the consultation closes on 21st February 2018;

·         the DfT had issued a ‘Request for Proposal’ to GWR in mid-2018 and the DfT aimed to secure an agreement on terms of the two year extension towards the end of 2018; and

·         the Franchise extension (or new long-term franchise) started in April 2020 but the above dates were challenging and could slip.

 

Within the consultation there were 18 questions in total and the Meeting focussed on 11 of the most important relating to:

 

       the potential splitting of the franchise (Q2);

       Adding to or transferring routes from the franchise (Q3);

       Improvements to train frequencies (Q5);

       New stations or lines (Q6);

       Reductions in journey times (Q7);

       Direct services / improved connections (Q8);

       Other train service enhancements (Q10);

       Rolling stock priorities (Q12);

       Accessibility (Q13);

       Station improvements / connections between transport modes (Q14); and

       Priorities for fares and ticketing (Q15) 

 

The proposed County Council response included the following points in respect of the above questions:

 

Q2: Franchise Split? Key Issues:

       Management focus – but could this be done through business units?

       Ability to invest in improvements;

       Cross subsidy;

       Rolling stock flexibility and the ability to manage disruptions / special events;

       Complexity of fare structure;

       Network Rail working with an extra operator;

       Co-ordination of services including connections;

       Attractiveness to the bidding market; and

       Political visibility at national level.

 

       Current view: One franchise but with two business units?

 

Q3: Adding to or transferring routes from franchise

 

       Add St James Park (Exeter) to Honiton to complement SWR services / enable half hourly frequency and provide cross city links from Barnstaple / Crediton; and

       Flexibility to allow SWR services to share the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

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13.

Next Meeting

To fix a date for the next meeting.

Minutes:

Members discussed future arrangements including ideas around additional informal meetings. This would require further consideration by the Chair, other Members and Officers for report back to the Working Party.

 

RESOLVED that the next meeting be held on Friday, 13 July 2018 at 1.30 pm.