Agenda item


Report of the Joint Officer Steering Group


Chris Carter, Service Manager for Transport Strategy, presented the report of the Joint Officer Steering Group, which updated the Committee on:


o  East Midlands Rail Franchise Prospectus.

  The first stage for bidding will soon be released and a 12 week public consultation will start in December. Whereas previously, Jim Bamford – County Council Rail Officer, provided a valuable contribution to the Committee with his in-depth knowledge and scrutiny, he has left the Authority and the post no longer exists. However, the East Midlands Council (EMC) will engage a consultant expert in franchising to assist with and help with consideration of the implications of the new Franchise on behalf of all East Midland’s Authorities, and provide a collective response;


o  Midland Mainline Electrification.

  MPs debated Midland Mainline Electrification on 7 November 2017 and a statement was issued confirming that electrification would be achieved to Kettering and Corby by 2019, but there was no indication of the timescales for electrification to Nottingham and Sheffield.

  There is serious concern that existing rolling stock is coming to the end of its life and new stock will need to be compatible with Midland Mainline electrification. However, if electrification is delayed beyond the initially proposed schedule of 2023, this could have a significant impact on the purchase and operation if new trains are provided within the new franchise.  Councillors are requested to consider lobbying Central Government and promoting the benefits of electrification beyond Kettering and Corby;


o  High Speed 2

  Station locations and the east line route have been announced and are different to the initial proposals in 2013. However, Central Government is undertaking consultations until 9 March 2017 on route refinement and property schemes. Until the scheme is finalised, Local Authorities have been requested to safe guard land initially identified along the preferred route;



o  DEFRA Air Quality Grant Bid.

  The outcome of the Joint DEFRA Air Quality Grant Bid application for £200,000 is due to be announced in January 2017 and if successful, will need to be spent by March 2018;


o  Autumn Statement.

  The Autumn Statement included an announcement that there is to be a significant increase in infrastructure funding, including that for Local Authority roads. The full details are yet to be released, but £1.1 billion has been allocated nationally for local roads and local transport funding, with a further £390 million to support ‘transport for the future’.


Members of the Committee commented as follows:


(a)  it would be beneficial for members of this Committee to have access the EMC report and even meet with the consultant  regarding the case to be presented on the implications on the East Midlands Rail franchise, particularly if electrification of the Midland Mainline is delayed;


(b)  Members of the Committee and the respective elected members with transport responsibility need to lobby local MPs on the electrification issue and a letter emphasising the importance of not delaying it should be sent from the Committee;


(c)  with regard to low/no emission vehicles and the ‘clean air zone’, care should be given to the phrasing of  ‘charging points’ as this indicates a cost/toll;


(d)  there is concern as to how the allocation of funds for local roads will be calculated. Hopefully there will consideration of the volume of traffic using roads and not merely the length of roads.




(1)  to note the report;


(2)  for the Transport Strategy Head of Service to request (and facilitate) a meeting of members of this Committee with the EMC Franchise Consultant;


(3)  that once there is a clear understanding of the approach to be taken by the EMC with regard to the franchise and electrification, members of the Committee consider sending a letter of support for electrification to Central Government, with signatures invited from the respective Council Leaders and elected Members responsible for Transport.


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