Agenda and draft minutes

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

Contact: Janna Simpson  Governance Services Officer

Items
No. Item

24.

Welcome and Introductions

Presented By: Chair

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed the portfolio lead and members to the committee.

25.

Apologies for Absence

Presented By: Chair

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from the following members: Councillor Aqueela Choudry; Councillor Amo Hussain; Councillor Narinder Kaur Kooner; Councillor Saddak Miah; Councillor Josh O'Nyons and Councillor Alan Taylor.

26.

Declarations of Interests

Members are reminded of the need to declare any disclosable prejudicial interests they have in any item being discussed during the course of the meeting. In addition, the receipt of any gift or hospitality should be declared where the value of it was thought to have exceeded £25 (gifts) or £40 (hospitality).

Presented By: Chair

27.

Opening Statement from the Portfolio Lead for Transport

Presented By: Councillor Mike Bird

Minutes:

The Portfolio Lead gave an introductory statement focusing on his vision for transport in the West Midlands and priorities for the year. He mentioned the pressures on transport funding, mentioning CRSTS programme and how funding could impact services in the region and how they might be mitigated. The Hydrogen Bus Programme was also mentioned, and the need for cars to be considered when improving environmental impacts was highlighted.

28.

Questions to the Portfolio Lead from Members of the Committee

Presented By: Transport Delivery Overview & Scrutiny Committee

Minutes:

The committee pursued a number of general lines of enquiry with the Portfolio Lead for Transport, including the local transport plan, bus operations the regional road safety strategy and customer communications.

 

The committee discussed the need for a phased approach to the implementation of the local transport plan, with a focus on good opportunities for public transport and input from Transport for West Midlands into all planning applications. The committee also discussed the shift in policy around the local transport plan, with the emphasis now on infrastructure for public transport. Councillor Bird said that he hoped for a change in government policy to reflect the different needs of the West Midlands region compared to London.

In response to a question from Councillor Ian Ward, Councillor Mike Bird and the Executive Director for Transport for West Midlands confirmed that TfWM had 100 hydrogen buses on order, with 24 already ordered and the rest of the buses would be ordered when the business cases were approved. The committee agreed that hydrogen buses and electric vehicles were a promising technology, but there were still some unknowns that need to be addressed. It was stated TfWM was working with the industry to explore the possibilities.

The committee agreed they were open to exploring alternative ways for provision of bus services in the West Midlands. They were particularly interested in finding ways to reduce the reliance on the current monopoly provider, National Express and maintained that any new system should be profitable and provide adequate service.

The committee acknowledged the importance of reliability and real-time information in encouraging people to use public transport. Councillor Mike Bird said that the WMCA was working to improve reliability through live communications and consultation with bus operators, as well as by improving the road network with bus lanes and other measures.

Demand responsive transport was discussed and whether the WMCA would consider using this method improve reliability. The Executive Director for Transport for West Midlands confirmed that the local authorities, the WMCA and police were developing an action plan for the regional road safety strategy which would include monitoring and evaluation. 

In response to a question from Councillor Marshall, The Executive Director for Transport for West Midlands said that the WMCA had been working on improving its website and feedback procedure. She also said that the WMCA was looking to conduct a consultation that included the public to develop transportation priorities.

Resolved:

 

(1)      Bus reliability

WMCA Officers should consider applying pressure on operators to improve the technology on buses to encourage accurate and reliable real-time information.

 

(2)      Demand responsive transport

Committee to receive a report on demand responsive transport.

 

(3)      Regional Road Safety Strategy

Regional Road Safety Strategy action plan to be presented to the committee when it when complete.

 

(4)      Communications

Committee to feedback on the Executive Director for Transport for West Midlands’ communication plans.

 

At the conclusion of the Q&A session, no further questions or items that would be drawn to the attention of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.

29.

Closing Comments from the Portfolio Lead for Transport and Chair

Presented By: Councillor Mike Bird/Chair

Minutes:

In his closing remarks, Councillor Mike Bird thanked the committee for their hard work and dedication. He also stated that he would provide answers to any unanswered questions in the near future. Finally, he commended Councillor Ian Ward for his work as the previous Portfolio Transport Lead.

30.

Date of Next Meeting

Presented By: Chair

Minutes:

Monday 30 October 2023 at 1.00pm and Monday 11 December 2023 at 1.00pm