Agenda and draft minutes

Greater Nottingham Light Rapid Transit Advisory Committee
Tuesday, 10th March, 2020 2.00 pm

Venue: Ground Floor Committee Room - Loxley House, Station Street, Nottingham, NG2 3NG. View directions

Contact: Adrian Mann  Governance Officer

Items
No. Item

26.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Councillor Phil Jackson

Roger Bacon

Helen Hemstock

Hugh McClintock

27.

Declarations of Interests

Minutes:

None.

28.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 245 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on 8 January 2020, for confirmation

Minutes:

The Committee confirmed the minutes of the meeting held on 8 January 2020 as a correct record and they were signed by the Chair.

29.

NET Operational Performance and Progress Update pdf icon PDF 206 KB

Report of the Head of Operations, Nottingham Trams

Minutes:

Mike Mabey, Head of Operations at Nottingham Trams, presented a report on operational performance during December 2019 and January 2020. The following points were discussed:

 

(a)  the reliability and punctuality of the tram service remained high, at 98.7% and 95.0% respectively. However, the December performance was affected by seasonal traffic congestion and greater passenger numbers. A special timetable was in place for New Year’s Eve, with additional late trams. For the purposes of safety, trams did not operate through the Old Market Square during the annual firework display between 11:30pm and 12:40am. Performance during January was improved, but there were three incidents of cars driving into tram-only sections of the road (one at Lenton Lane and two at Cator Lane), which caused some service disruption;

 

(b)  other vehicles entering tram-only sections of the road is a significant issue, and it is particularly difficult to recover stranded cars from Lenton Lane. To further reduce the number of car drivers entering these tram-only sections, discussions are underway with the Local Highway Authority (LHA) to install bollards and anti-bridge incursion signs, similar to those introduced successfully on the Nottingham Station viaduct, where there have been no further incidents;

 

(c)  the unexpected closure of Clifton Bridge by Highways England for safety reasons caused significant problems for the city’s travel network. However, the LHA has put alternative travel routes in place and the tram routes have not become over-congested. Although the number of passengers on the Clifton line has increased significantly, there is sufficient carrying capacity on the trams and there is still parking available at the Clifton and Toton park and rides. Passenger numbers are being counted regularly and, if the park and rides became full, a communications strategy will be introduced to encourage customers to car-share;

 

(d)  the Council is seeking mitigation funding from Highways England to manage the disruption created on the travel network by the closure of the bridge. As public transport does have more capacity, work is underway to encourage more people to leave their cars outside the city and travel in by bus or tram. It is important that this information reaches both City and County residents, so all Committee members are encouraged to circulate this information as widely as possible;

 

(e)  contingency planning is underway for the operation of the tram network as the Coronavirus outbreak worsens, and the ongoing Government guidance is circulated to all staff. The eighteen Controllers are the staff members most vital to the overall operation of the network, so the central control room is now managed as a controlled, sterile environment, and other staff are being trained to cover these essential roles. The drivers and Revenue Team have structures in place for reducing the tram service gradually as drivers become unavailable due to sickness or the need for isolation. Managing the potential overcrowding of trams if the regularity of service decreases is under consideration – but if a large number of tram drivers were sick, it is likely that a similar proportion of citizens would also be sick or self-isolating, and so not travelling. The trams are deep-cleaned every night, including all handrails, and all staff have access to hand sanitiser;

 

(f)  following an annual review, some cash fares increased from 6 January 2020. The fare changes affect single, day and week tickets for adults, students and under 19s; the off-peak group ticket; and the concessionary fare. Customers using the NETGO! app continue to receive a discounted rate. Following feedback from Mango customers, who will be unable to use their Mango cards on the tram after 31 March 2020, the £1 short hop zones have been reviewed and are now available via the ticket vending machines, so all customers can now benefit from short hop prices covering the entire network;

 

(g)  Ambassadors were deployed across the network for seven weeks until mid-January, to offer assistance and guidance to customers. Over the period of the trial, the Ambassadors assisted more than 30,000 customers in the use of ticket machines and validators, and provided guidance in downloading and using the NETGO! app. A further 8,000 customers were given general assistance, many of whom were seeking travel information. The Ambassadors also assisted the Travel Officers in checking tickets and were able to provide advice on the January fare changes, including the introduction of the new short hop zones. Overall, the deployment of Ambassadors was a success, providing additional resources for revenue protection, as well as raising the level of customer care;

 

(h)  a project called Keolis Signature Service (KSS) has been launched to identify and implement value-adding initiatives that will enhance the customer experience, as part of a strategy that has been introduced at other Keolis subsidiaries across the world, including the London and Manchester public transport networks. During November, as part of the initial development phase, one-to-one interviews were carried out with a variety of staff about their role and experience as a NET employee. This was followed in January by the holding of focus groups with employees, customers and stakeholders, who were asked to define what they considered would add value to their journey and make it a positive and outstanding experience;

 

(i)  the feedback from the focus groups is being analysed to determine which initiatives could be implemented, and inform the creation of specific customer pledges. Communication channels are still in place with both customers and employees, to provide them with updates throughout the project. Feedback from participants in the process has been good.

 

The Committee noted the operational performance report and progress update.

30.

Network Safety and Accessibility Update

Update from the Head of Operations, Nottingham Trams

Minutes:

Mike Mabey, Head of Operations at Nottingham Trams, gave an update on network safety and accessibility. The following points were discussed:

 

(a)  following the Croydon tram derailment in 2016, work is being carried out, in discussion with other tram operators, to assess any additional measures that can be introduced to ensure that trams are as safe as possible to travel on. Operators are exploring automatic breaking systems for if the driver is inattentive or has become incapacitated, and the provision of emergency power to doors. A Light Rail Safety Standards Board has been established to develop a consistent set of safety standards for tram operators nationally, and these are being applied in Nottingham;

 

(b)  a warning noise is sounded and a flashing light is shown when a tram’s doors are closing but, unlike the automatic doors on a lift, the tram doors will not re-open to their full extent if they are blocked; the doors will open slightly to allow any obstruction to be removed, and then close again. The doors will try to close up to three times, and the driver will become alerted that the doors are unable to shut;

 

(c)  there are three formal classifications of scooter. The largest (Class 3) are designed as off-road vehicles and it is not anticipated that a user would take one of these onto a tram as a mobility aid. The trams are designed to accommodate Class 1 and 2 mobility scooters and each tram has two wheelchair base areas that can also be used by these scooters, if possible, as these zones have more space to enable scooters to turn around inside the tram. There is no formal restriction in place on the taking of large scooters onto trams as it is not anticipated to happen regularly, but the situation is kept under review and passengers are consulted. Customers who require wheelchairs and scooters for mobility due to a disability have the priority use of the wheelchair areas on the trams even if, say, parents with young children in pushchairs have already occupied the space – and tram staff are aware of this;

 

(d)  NET has suggested to Network Rail that the lift to the tram tracks that it operates in Nottingham Station could have better signage, and Network Rail should ensure that the lift gives the correct audio information. The travel card readers on the platform at the Queen’s Medical Centre will be relocated so that they are more assessable to passengers when they are upgraded to take contactless payments, which will be done within the next twelve months.

 

Resolved to recommend to the Council that the Nottingham City Disability Involvement Group is added to the Committee membership as a representative of users of the NET system, to improve representation in relation to accessibility issues affecting the network.

31.

Issues Raised by Committee Members and Citizens

Minutes:

The Committee noted that no new issues had been raised since the last meeting.

32.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 9 KB

Discussion of the Work Programme for the 2020/21 municipal year

Minutes:

The Chair encouraged members to submit topics or issues that they felt that the Committee should consider or review during the upcoming 2020/21 municipal year, and requested that a regular slot is given at each meeting to discuss any safety and accessibility issues raised by citizens, members or the operator.

33.

Proposed Future Meeting Dates

Provisional: Tuesday 9 June 2020 at 2:00pm (Loxley House)

Minutes:

·  Tuesday 9 June 2020 at 2:00pm

·  Tuesday 15 September 2020 at 2:00pm

·  Tuesday 15 December 2020 at 2:00pm

·  Tuesday 9 March 2021 at 2:00pm