Agenda and draft minutes

Greater Nottingham Light Rapid Transit Advisory Committee
Tuesday, 10th September, 2019 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

11.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Councillor Jim Creamer  -  Council business

Councillor Samuel Gardiner  -  unwell

Councillor Phil Jackson  -  Council business

Councillor AJ Matsiko  -  on leave

Nick Chischniak

Helen Hemstock

Hugh McClintock

Jim Thomas

12.

Declarations of Interests

Minutes:

None.

13.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on 11 June 2019, for confirmation

Minutes:

The Committee confirmed the minutes of the meeting held on 11 June 2019 as a correct record and they were signed by the Chair.

 

The quorum for the Committee is three members (of a membership of five City Councillors, five County Councillors and seven members from user representative bodies), which is reflective of other City Council committees. If unable to attend a meeting, Committee members are able to send substitutes, and should do so when possible. Committee members can also provide their views on any agenda item to the Chair in writing. The Committee carries out a scrutiny role, making recommendations to the City Council on issues concerning the operation of the tram system, rather than acting as a decision-making body.

14.

NET Operational Update

Verbal update

Minutes:

Constantina Samara, Customer Services Manager at Nottingham Trams, gave a verbal report on the operational performance and progress for NET from the beginning of May to the end of August 2019. The following points were discussed:

 

(a)  the reliability (98%) and punctuality (95%) of the tram service remained strong, and service was largely unaffected by the very high temperatures during August, which reached 36 degrees centigrade on some days;

 

(b)  as part of Nottingham Trams’ planned track renewals programme, repairs were carried out between The Forest and High School tram stops for 14 days from Sunday 4 August, with preparation works carried out three weeks before the start date. Due to the proximity of the High School, the repairs were timetabled to take place during the school holidays. The work included the removal and replacement of the northbound rail and points at The Forest and the removal and replacement of the rails across Forest Road. Services between The Forest and Old Market Square tram stops were replaced by buses using equivalent street routes, and a traffic management plan was put in place for the necessary road closures;

 

(c)  a range of measures were introduced to limit noise and vibration during the repairs as much as possible, including noise blankets and shielding on loud equipment, while restrictions were placed on the work that could be carried out at night. One incident of inappropriate noise during the night was reported, which was raised with the contractors to ensure that it did not happen again;

 

(d)  a full communications plan was implemented across all available channels to give clear information about the repairs, and the opening hours for Customer Services were extended for the period. Residents in the area were given three weeks’ notice before both the preparatory and the main works, while local businesses and passengers were given three weeks’ notice before the main works began;

 

(e)  information on the replacement bus service was in place at all affected stops. The timetable ensured that buses and trams were always available at stops to enable customers to continue their journeys swiftly, and there was enough provision to manage the volume of customer traffic effectively. Although the buses had full accessibility measures in place, taxi provision was available for any tram passengers with large mobility aids (or any other special access requirements) that meant they were not able to embark onto a bus;

 

(f)  regular testing is carried out across the network to ensure that the noise level of the tram is compliant with the legal requirements. This includes the testing of the noise created by the wheels running on the track (both of which are steel), and the effectiveness of the lubricants used to mitigate this;

 

(g)  the Customer Service Team has been expanded and strengthened over the last year, which has enhanced its capacity for responding to customers quickly and effectively. NET’s presence and following on social media has increased, and the Team has received a growing number of positive comments and commendations.

15.

NET Safety and Accessibility Update

Verbal update

Minutes:

The following points were discussed:

 

(a)  the Committee felt that deeper consideration should be given to accessibility issues relating to the trams and the tram network, and to how users with particular accessibility requirements could be better represented on the Committee. The Chair encouraged members to suggest possible points of contact, to begin discussions – such as the City Council’s Disability Involvement Group;

 

(b)  the lift from the tram platform to street level at Nottingham Station has been out of order for two weeks, and the stairwell has become run-down. The lift will be repaired before the end of the week, with the delay to its being brought back into operation caused by the need to completely replace the lift doors. Repair and renovation works will be carried out to the stairwell during the week of 16 October;

 

(c)  the traffic control system at the Central College junction is designed to ensure that the junction operates safely when trams are travelling through it in both directions at the same time;

 

(d)  the Committee noted that, due to space constraints on the platform, cyclists on the cycle lane through the Ruddington Lane tram stop pass in front of the platform shelter, rather than behind. It recommended that the interaction between cycle and foot traffic at this stop is reviewed, to ensure that it was as safe as possible for people entering and leaving the tram.

 

RESOLVED to:

 

(1)  engage with relevant involvement groups to increase representation on the Committee on issues related to accessibility;

 

(2)  recommend that the interaction between cycle and foot traffic is reviewed at the Ruddington Lane tram stop, to ensure that the platform is as safe as possible for passengers entering and leaving the tram.

16.

Correspondence from Members of the Public

Verbal update

Minutes:

Constantina Samara, Customer Services Manager at Nottingham Trams, gave a verbal report on how correspondence from members of the public is addressed by NET. The following points were discussed:

 

(a)  the Customer Services team can be reached by emailing info@thetram.net or calling 0115 824 6060, or through social media, live chat or a web form. There are fifteen people in the team and lines are open from 6:00am to 10:00pm Monday to Friday, and 9:00am to 5:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays;

 

(b)  any complaints received are first addressed at team level. If the complaint cannot be addressed by a member of the team, or if a customer is not satisfied with the response, the issue is escalated first to a supervisor, and them to the Customer Services Manager. If a resolution cannot be reached with the Customer Services Manager, the complainant is advised that they can write to the Committee. If the complainant decides to do this, the Council’s NET team will compile a report on the issue, for submission to the Committee for review. Where Committee members are approached directly by a member of the public with an issue, they can forward these to the NET team directly, for investigation.

17.

Future Business and the Forward Planner pdf icon PDF 206 KB

Discussion item

Minutes:

The Chair introduced the Committee’s Forward Plan for the coming municipal year. The following points were discussed:

 

(a)  the Committee considered that it would be positive to investigate accessibility issues relating to the tram network in more depth, in addition to how users with disabilities could be further represented on the Committee. It also felt that it would be positive to see the wider statistics from Nottingham Trams on the cases handled by its Customer Services team and their outcomes, in addition to the figures on the number of complaints received and the stage they reached in the process before achieving resolution;

 

(b)  the next meeting, to be held on 25 November 2019, will take place at the Wilkinson Street NET Depot, to give members the opportunity to see how the operation of the tram network is managed on a daily basis.

 

RESOLVED to:

 

(1)  add the review of NET’s customer satisfaction statistics to the work programme for the 25 November 2019 meeting, to include data on the number of complaints received and the point in the process that each complaint reached before it was resolved;

 

(2)  add the review of accessibility across the NET system, and the effective representation of tram users with a disability, to the work programme for 16 March 2020.