Agenda and minutes

Venue: WSP Exeter, Longbrook House, New North Road, Exeter AND Microsoft Teams

Contact: Hannah Clark 01392 383000  Email:

No. Item


Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 5th October 2023.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 6th December 2023 be approved as a true record.


Items requiring urgent attention

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


There were no matters raised as urgent items.


Peninsula Transport - Transport Strategy pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Report of the Lead Officer seeking Board approval for the draft Transport Strategy and proposals for consultation and the submission of the final transport strategy to the Board for approval in February 2024.


The Board considered the report of the Lead Officer and received a presentation on the Transport Strategy.


The presentation set out the final version of the Strategy and the process undertaken to take into account comments and feedback received from the Board, officers and co-opted members. The Board also heard the proposals for the consultation plan and programme for events and engagement in the new year.


The Board heard that at the final timeline will be given at the next meeting in March.


The Board heard that the Strategy has been developed further based on feedback and comments from Local Authority members, officers and strategic partners etc. The STB occupies a unique space looking right across the network. It’s important that the document can be easily read from end to end with the key priorities clear to the reader.


Coast Communications have developed a detailed communication plan. This will include engagement with the Transport Stakeholder forum, a series of webinars, a meeting with the MP and prospective parliamentary candidates.


The Board commented that the strategy is a really good document and its good to see how it refers back to the vision. There are some drafting errors to be ironed out but it’s good to see the comments received at the informal meeting in November have been taken into account.


It was also commented that this stands a good chance for the public to read and understand the STB and lays out important milestones and sets the groundwork for in-depth detailed work in 2024.


It was PROPOSED by Cllr Coker, SECONDED by Cllr Pears, and RESOLVED that the recommendations be taken forward.



Peninsula Transport - Draft Business Plan 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 278 KB

Report of the Programme Director on the draft Business Plan for 2024/25 seeking approval to submit this draft to the Department for Transport.


The Board received a paper from the Programme Director setting out the draft business plan for 2024/25. The Board heard that the DfT have recently published Business Planning Guidance for STBs. In advance of full business plans being agreed, the guidance requests that an indicative budget breakdown be provided to enable the department to plan and agree STB budget settlements with Ministers ahead of the start of the next financial year. This budget breakdown is in the form of the proforma as set out within the Board Paper. The budget breakdown sets out the projected staff and resourcing costs for 2024/25 and the remaining funding available for technical studies and commissions.


The Board heard that a full Business Plan will be brough for approval at the next Board meeting in March, subject to further discussions with the DfT.


The Board heard that base funding for 2024/25 has been assumed to be £704,000. This is based on the letter received from Baroness Vere in March 2022 setting out three-year budget allocation proposals. This is inline with advice from the DfT.


The Board raised the issue that local contributions from member authorities and the increased pressure on discretionary spending. It is likely there will need to be further discussion on the process of removing discretionary spend but no decisions have been made year, with a clearer position expected later in the year. The Chari noted these comments and further discussion on contributions will be undertaken in coming months.


It was PROPOSED by Cllrs Pears, SECONDED by Cllr Coker, and RESOLVED that the recommendations be taken forward.


Finance Update

Update of the Finance Lead Authority on the latest financial position.


The Board received the report of the Finance Lead Authority on the latest financial position of the STB.


The Board was asked to note the revised budget, upcoming work package commitments and staff costs – which includes the new staff positions and secondments.


The Board heard that the projected spend is affordable and within the planned budget as set out within the Business Plan for 2023/24, based on receipt of the remainder of funding from the DfT.


The Board heard that there has been a small favourable move in terms of the contingency, and expenditure has accelerate through the completion of a number of Work Packages.





Communications and Engagement Update pdf icon PDF 148 KB

Report of the Communications and Engagement Lead Authority on the latest communications and engagement activity.


The Board received a communications and engagement update.


The Board noted the communications paper which showed that the majority of recent activity has focussed on the strategy consultations. Additional activities included:

-       Publication of the Peninsula Transport Rail Strategy

-       Alternative Fuels for Freight revised report has received strong media coverage

-       Support and amplification provided for GWR launch of ‘tap in tap out’ technology on rail services in the region.

-       Network North announcement – additional coverage and reaction via social media.

-       STB conference 28th February: messaging of strategy will be key.


Peninsula Rail Update

Verbal update from the Peninsula Rail Task Force (PRTF) Chair and Network Rail on recent activities.


PRTF Update

The Board heard a verbal update on the PRTF:

-       The PRTF have supported the publication of the Rail Strategy document.

-       No PRTF meeting has been held since the last Board meeting.

-       Availability of rolling stock, modal, freight terminals. From road to rail-based movements. Tavistock, restoring railways. Connectivity between south west.

-       PRTF engaged with consultation strategy.


Network Rail Update

The Board received a verbal update on Network Rail schemes across the region.

-       Lostwithiel footbridge – install deferred until the structure has passed a fire test. Will likely open to coincide with the D7C signalling integration by April 2024.

-       Edginswell – Planning permission approved and PACE2 expected to be completed by end of January 2024. Change paper issued to DfT was not successful. Torbay now seeking alternative options for additional funding requirement of up to £10m.

-       South West Mobile Connectivity – signal strength tests have been carried out. Contractor heads of terms signed in November with commercial contract likely to be in place by end of March 2024. There will then be a programme developed for roll out on network.

-       South West Rail Resilience Project – Phase 2 works to be completed by end of March 2024. Phase 3 covering rockfall shelter at Parson’s Tunnel close to completion. Phase 4 cliff resilience work ongoing with land agreements and rail access being negotiated. Phase 5 OBC planned for submission by end of October 2024 following support announcement as part of Network North.

-       West Devon Transport Hub – LUF funding yet to be received from DHLUC but have been using own funds to maintain momentum. PACE1 finalised with PACE2 commencing with NR Contractor Octavius. Ecology, Ground Investigations and Topo being progressed.

-       Mid Cornwall Metro – Implementation agreement discussions in progress. Detailed design continuing to progress.

-       Tavistock Line – OBC being progressed. Supportive statement as part of Network North.

-       Wellington and Cullompton – progressing with current focus on ecology surveys. FBC on target for end of January 2024. Octavius progressing PACE2 as framework contractor with Atkins. Land acquisition at both sites now key to the programme.


Further Updates on Strategic Developments

-       Publication of the PT Rail Strategy

-       Plymouth Metro Development – NR looking at how to get more from existing stations on the network as well as a potential new station on the east of Plymouth

-       Industry revenue generative initiative: generating revenue and saving costs through increased usership.

-       Decarbonisation: rolling stocks across peninsula needs to be replaced. Working with GWR to make more sustainable fleet.


Co-Opted Members Update

Co-opted Members to provide updates and feedback from their organisations.


Department for Transport

-       Series of ministerial changes at the DfT. Guy Opperman MP, Anthony Browne MP and Lord Davies of Gower (all Parliamentary Under Secretary of States) have joined, whilst Richard Holden, Jesse Norman and Baroness Vere have departed. Local Transport (including CRSTS and LUF delivery), buses, active travel and highways maintenance now sit with Guy Opperman MP, with Huw Merriman leading on regions and devolution, as well as rail.

-       Network North: £36bn from HS2 will be reinvested in the Midlands and the north, with savings from the Euston quarter redistributed nationally.

-       Plan for drivers: department working with stakeholders and local authorities to ensure powers are used fairly and proportionately.

-       MRN/LLM Programme – The Network north announcement included uplifts for schemes already in the programme, which has not yet reached final business case.

-       New MRN2 programme announced with £1billion for the north, £650m for Midlands and £1bn for rest of country. Full details of the process and eligibility in spring 2024.

-       Highways maintenance: £2.8bn roads national resurfacing fund for authorities outside of the midlands and southwest. £76m for Southwest Las for each of 23/24 and 24/25.

-       76 million pounds for southwest for each of two years, letters sent to local authority.

-       The £2 bus fare cap to be extended until the end of December 24.

-       Zebra 2 scheme – with 56 expressions of interest from local authority and £129m  available, application deadline by the 15th December.

-       Reimbursement guidance and calculator for the levels of concessionary fare payment have been circulated – this will return the system to be based on the actual passenger numbers. The net expected effect of the changes is likely to be a reduction in overall payments.

-       Capital funding: allocation for local authority have been notified now, most local authorities will receive funding.

-       City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements – additional £8.5bn funding via Network North. West of England CA to receive additional £100 million means the total indicative allocation for 2027/28 to 2031/32 is £752m.


National Highways

-       Road investment strategy:

-       Following the Government’s consultation on Road Investment Strategy 3 (RIS3) in Summer 2023, work continues to develop the draft RIS which DfT anticipates publishing in the next couple of months. This document will be high-level and set out Government’s high-level direction of travel towards the final RIS. It will also set out the overall budget for the RIS (statement of funds available). DfT anticipates publishing RIS3 late in 2024, followed by National Highways’ Strategic Business Plan and Delivery Plan setting out how we will deliver RIS3. The final reports of Connecting the Country and the Route Strategies will also be published with those documents. We are thankful to all the STBs for their continued engagement and support in a lot of this work and will continue to work with you over the next 9-12 months as we work towards the final Road Investment Strategy.

-       Target of planting 3 million  ...  view the full minutes text for item 229.


Public Participation

Questions or Representations from Members of the public in line with the Board’s Public Participation Scheme.


There was no questions from a Member of the public.



Dates of Future Meetings

Please use link below for County Council Calendar of Meetings;


Board Members noted the dates of future meetings as: 


Thursday 7th March 2024 @ 11:00am.


Please use link below for County Council Calendar of Meetings;