Agenda and minutes

Venue: Room 116, 16 Summer Lane, Birmingham B19 3SD

Contact: Wendy Slater, Senior Governance Services Officer 

No. Item


Apologies for absence

Presented By: Chair


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Andrew, Sidhu and Welsh.


Councillor Horton referred to the continuing absence of Councillor Sidhu and advised that Sandwell MBC had recently passed a resolution granting Councillor Sidhu a dispensation from complying with the ‘six month rule’ on attendance at meetings. The Chair requested the Governance Services Officer to check the position in respect of Councillor Sidhu’s attendance at this Committee.


Declarations of Interest


The Chair, Councillor Worrall and Councillors Horton, Huxtable and Warren declared an interest in Agenda Item No. 9 (West Midlands Cycling Charter progress) inasmuch as it referred to the operator of the new rail franchise and they had received hospitality recently from the company.


Chair's Remarks

(1)  Baby on Board Scheme

(2)  Funding for Metro WBHE

(3)  Member visit to CCTV Centre

Presented By: Chair


(1)  Baby on Board Scheme

The Chair invited the Lead Member for Putting Passengers First, Councillor Kath Hartley to explain the Baby on Board Scheme. Councillor Kath Hartley outlined briefly the scheme. Steve McAleavy reported that, to date, 250 badges had been issued. The scheme had been launched recently following an approach to the WMCA from a pregnant lady who had been unable to obtain a seat on a tram. Councillor Timothy Huxtable suggested that the scheme be extended to parents with pushchairs. Steve McAleavy undertook to refer this suggestion to the respective operators. Councillor Robert Alden suggested that the various Clinical Commissioning Groups and Hospitals be alerted to the scheme.


(2)  Funding for Metro WBHE

The Chair reported that the Government had intimated its intention of providing funding in the sum of £250 million towards this scheme.  


Councillor Roger Horton reported that a number of recent meetings of the Metro Board had been cancelled and that he had requested that Members receive a written update on matters which would have been discussed at such meetings. With regard to the WBHE scheme he commented that this was excellent news for the Black Country and the West Midlands generally.


(3)  Member Visit to the CCTV Centre

The Chair advised that he would be circulating an invitation to Members of the Committee to assess interest in visiting the CCTV Centre on the day of a future meeting of the Committee.


Minutes of the meeting held on 6 November 2017 pdf icon PDF 182 KB

Presented By: Chair


The minutes of the meeting held on 6 November 2017 were agreed and signed by the Chair as a correct record.  


Matters Arising

Presented By: Chair


Councillor Horton referred to Minute No. 53 insofar as it related to dates of future meetings of his Lead Members Group and advised that this matter had been resolved. The Chair reported that he had spoken with Councillors Diana Holl-Allen and Kath Hartley and that reports from their respective Groups would be presented to the meeting of the Committee scheduled 8 January 2018 with the remaining being presented reports to the meetings of the Committee scheduled for 8 February 2018 and 5 March 2018.


Councillor Timothy Huxtable referred to Minute No. 57 and requested that Malcolm Holmes explain the potential of hybrid trains to West Midlands Trains.


Councillor Roger Horton referred to Minute No. 61 and requested an update on the matter. Steve McAleavy advised that the views of the community transport operators and a further response from the Government were awaited.


Correspondence/ Petitions

Presented By: Chair


None submitted.


To note the Minutes of the Bus Shelter Appeals Decision Group held on 7 November pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Presented By: Cllr. Hartley


Councillor Kath Hartley presented the minutes of the Bus Shelter Appeals Decision Group held on 7 November 2017.



That the minutes of the meeting of the Bus Shelter Appeals Decision Group held on 7 November 2017 be noted subject to the deletion of the reference to ‘Weston Road’ and the substitution of ‘Weston Street’.


Customer Services Performance Report pdf icon PDF 205 KB

Presented By: Sarah Jones


Councillor Kath Hartley presented a report relating to the performance of the Ticketing Delivery and Customer Service Centre Teams. The report included:

Customer Services Centre Performance

·         Overview;

·         Telephone Calls;

·         Customer Relations Enquiries; and

·         Emails

Ticketing Delivery Performance

·         Overview; and

·         Concessionary Pass Application Processing

Future Developments


Sarah Jones explained various elements covered in the report and drew to the attention of the Committee the increase in call volume following the expansion of the range of responsibilities of the WMCA and the election of the Mayor.


Councillor David Stanley suggested that the various local authorities be encouraged to assist with the issue of concessionary passes for those customers without access to computers. Sarah Jones advised that this had been the previous practice but had ceased due to the level of additional equipment required. She offered to re-visit this possibility.



            That the contents of the report be noted.


West Midlands Cycling Charter Progress pdf icon PDF 345 KB

Presented By: Hannah Dayan


Councillor Diana Holl-Allen presented a report which detailed the performance, operation and delivery of the West Midlands Cycling Charter initiatives. She commented that it was an ambitious plan working towards £283 million expenditure over a ten year package of cycling initiatives.


Hannah Dayan explained the various elements of the report.


Councillor David Stanley observed that the role of ‘Cycling Champion’ had previously been undertaken by Councillor Peter Lowe and suggested that this role now be taken by Councillor Roger Lawrence, Portfolio Lead for Transport. Councillor Judith Rowley expressed concern that the role of Cycling and Walking Commissioner was not being progressed. She commented that both London and Manchester had such positions. Laura Shoaf explained that no decision had yet been taken on this matter, that the situation in the West Midlands was different to that in London and that the role had yet to be determined.


Councillor Pervez Akhtar commented that all parties were convinced of the importance of cycling and that delivering the various initiatives was important. He reminded the Committee of the Mayor’s aspirations to increase expenditure on cycling to £10 per head of population. He requested that the Mayor attend a future meeting of the Committee to report on the future of cycling and its role in improving health, quality of life, air quality and reducing noise pollution. The Chair agreed to invite the Mayor to attend a future meeting of the Committee.


Councillor Mohammed Hanif welcomed the report but commented that only three voluntary organisation within the Dudley MBC area were involved in delivering activities and/or encouraging more people to continue to take up cycling and walking as a form of active travel as well as a way of promoting healthy active living. He enquired how this was promoted and if feedback was received from the voluntary organisations. Hannah Dayan explained that the voluntary organisations referred to in the report were those that worked currently with the respective local authorities. She advised that Transport for West Midlands did not have a lot of inter-action with these voluntary organisations as they worked with the local authorities. The list of organisations was updated as necessary based on information from the local authorities.


Councillor Mohammed Hanif enquired whether the various health groups were approached. Hannah Dayan explained that this was a decision of the local authorities.  Sandeep Shingadia suggested that these matters could be raised with the Cycle Charter Group and the methods of capturing feedback could be explored.


Councillor Timothy Huxtable commented that on 24 November 2017 a sum of £30 million had been allocated for HS2 Road Safety schemes in Birmingham, Solihull, Staffordshire and Warwickshire and requested that further details be included in a future report to the Committee. Sandeep Shingadia advised that the announcement had been made after the Agenda and supporting papers had been despatched and that the monies had been allocated to the respective local authorities and not the WMCA.



1.    That the progress to date with the West Midlands Cycling Charter Action  ...  view the full minutes text for item 72.


Metro Operations Business Report pdf icon PDF 277 KB

Presented By: Sophie Allison


Councillor Roger Horton presented a report on matters relating to the performance, operation and delivery of Metro services in the West Midlands. He reported that track testing on the Bilston Road, Wolverhampton replacement track had commenced during the previous week, that crew training was beginning this week and that the line would be open fully next weeks ahead of schedule. 


Sophie Allison reported that the full service would resume on 10 December 2017 and that the works had been delivered ahead of schedule and on budget. She advised that 30% of drivers had now been trained which would increase to 50% by the end of that day. A ticket offer for a Group/Family Ticket for £5 rather than £10 would be available to encourage customers back to the Metro. Patronage had increased since the commencement of the Birmingham Christmas Market. Enhanced services were planned for Boxing Day and New Years Day. She reported that the Metro had received ‘Most Improved System’ at the recent Very Light Rail Awards in October. She commented that punctuality had improved since the Bilston Road section of track had been closed and that discussions were on-going with the City of Wolverhampton Council with regard to the timing of traffic signals following the re-opening of the on road section.


Councillor Judith Rowley congratulated those involved with the track replacement scheme in delivering the project ahead of schedule and on budget. She raised issues relating to:

a)    If the on street sections of track required replacing would the other sections require replacement at some point;

b)    An anomaly between the information displayed on the Real Time App and the actual situation on the service which had required a bus replacement service which customers would not have been aware of until arriving at the Tram Stop; and

c)    How customers were being made aware of the service not being available when testing and training was taking place.

Sophie Allison explained that: i) the off street track would be replaced as necessary as part of the replacement cycle; ii) undertook to investigate the anomalies between the Real Time App and the Website; and iii) that notices were displayed at Tram Stops outlining the position, staff were on site to give advice, announcements were made over the public address system and leaflet drops had been carried out in the local area.



            That the report be received and noted.


Presentation : Stations Alliance

Presented By: Malcolm Holmes


The Committee received a PowerPoint presentation from Malcolm Holmes on the Stations Alliance.


Councillor Timothy Huxtable referred to a presentation from West Midlands Trains that morning and commented that there were no plans for trains to stop at Kings Norton or the middle platform at Northfield as part of the re-opening of the Camp Hill line. He suggested that this was not in line with the Stations Alliance principles. Malcolm Holmes reported that West Midlands Trains had engaged positively on the Stations Alliance and had promoted the provision of new stations. He explained that the Camp Hill line was busy and that both Kings Norton and Northfield were both served by other services. Councillor Timothy Huxtable commented that there was sufficient capacity. Malcolm Holmes advised that these issues could be addressed as part of the Master Planning process and that the middle platform at Northfield could be opened if necessary. He reported that these issues were in advance of the Midlands Rail Hub.


Councillor Roger Horton suggested that there should be a list of aspirations for service enhancements. He commented that West Midlands Trains had intimated that it was considering using the Shrewsbury line on Camp Hill to serve Worcestershire. He commented on the work carried out on various consultations and requested that details of any requests from customers at stations regarding service enhancements be reported to this Committee.


Councillor David Stanley commented that improvements and enhancements to the Park and Ride provision were required. Councillor Roger Horton commented that a report on this matter had been considered at a recent meeting. Councillor Timothy Huxtable commented that with longer trains the Park and Ride provision would need to be increased. He also queried whether Park and Ride provision would be made at the proposed new stations. Malcolm Holmes confirmed that this was an integral part of the new station proposals but identifying suitable land was an issue and it would not be possible at all stations.


Councillor Robert Alden commented on the need for Local Ward Councillors and local groups to be informed on the proposals emerging from the Stations Alliance.



1.    That the presentation be received and noted;

2.    That details of any requests from customers at stations regarding service enhancements be reported to this Committee;

3.    That Local Ward Councillors and local groups to be informed on the proposals emerging from the Stations Alliance.




WMCA Update - Transport Reports For Information Only (to be advised on 1 December)

Presented By: Laura Shoaf


The Committee considered the following transport related reports which would be considered at the meeting of the WMCA Board to be held on 8 December 2017;

·         Midland Metro Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Extension – Submission of Transport and Works Act Order;

·         Midland Metro - Wednesbury - Brierley Hill Extension - Change to

Capital Profile (Investment Board – 30 October 2017);

·         West Midlands Cycle Design Guidance;

·         Governance for Establishing Advanced Quality Bus Partnerships; and

·         Midland Metro Penalty Fare.


Councillor Roger Horton commented that he had had sight of letters to businesses and landowners along the proposed route of the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Extension scheme. Laura Shoaf advised that these had been sent out by the Midland Metro Alliance as part of the pre- consultation exercise on the Transport and Works Act Order and had been circulated prematurely. She undertook to circulate details of the information contained within the letters. Councillor Charman Lal welcomed the financial support provided by the Government and enquired whether the ‘Lessons Learnt’ from the construction of Line 1 would be taken into account. Laura Shoaf confirmed that all previous experiences would be used.


Councillor David Stanley welcomed the progress on the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Extension but asked whether West Midlands Trains was aware of the connectivity issues at Brierley Hill and Stourbridge. He expressed concern regarding maintaining the infrastructure for heavy rail and freight in these locations. Laura Shoaf advised that in the absence of considerable investment, Network Rail had no proposals in this area in the pre- 2040 period.


Councillor Timothy Huxtable enquired whether it was possible for a map illustrating the opening of rail lines between Canal Street and Stourbridge that was to be opened. Also, a map of the complete network would be desirable. Laura Shoaf advised that this would be included in future policy documents but that care was required as to the level of detail contained on such maps in case it was misconstrued.


Councillor Roger Horton suggested that a map similar to the London Underground map would be helpful outlining the various modes and connectivity. Laura Shoaf advised that the production of such a map was underway but that it would not be practical to include all bus routes.



            That the reports be noted.



Notices of Motion

To consider any notices of motion by the deadline of 12 noon on 30 November 2017.

Presented By: Chair


None submitted.



To consider any questions submitted by the deadline of 12 noon on 30 November 2017 for written questions and 12 noon on 1 December 2017 for oral questions.


The Committee considered a question submitted by Councillor Richard Worrall.


The following question was submitted by Councillor Richard Worrall on 30 November 2017:


"The original Midland Metro trams are stored at Long Marston, Warwickshire, and are to be disposed of early next year. 


It is important that one of these be preserved at a suitable museum or heritage location either within or very close to the West Midlands Metropolitan County area, in particular since we are soon to see a major expansion of the modern West Midlands tram network. 


Would TfWM confirm that they are willing to pursue the acquisition of a T69 tram for the purpose of conservation, seek a suitable home in the region for its display, and report back to WMTDC at an early stage on progress made?"


Laura Shoaf advised that the auction would take place on 29 January 2018 and that, to date, no intimations of interest had been received from any local museums or heritage locations. Should any such interest be expressed a tram could be donated but the costs associated with storage and/or transportation of the tram to the museum or heritage location would need to be met by the recipient.


The Committee suggested a number of possible recipients including:

·         UK Tram;

·         Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery;

·         Black Country Living Museum;

·         Blackbourne Heritage Tramway;

·         National Tram Museum;

·         Severn Valley Railway.




Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Presented By: Chair


The Committee considered a report on Agenda items to be submitted to future meetings.



1.    That the report be noted;

2.    That the report from the Lead Member Reference Group on Rail be added to the Agenda for the February 2018 meeting.


Date of Next Meeting - Monday, 8 January 2018, 1.00pm


Monday 8 January 2018 at 1.00pm