Agenda item

Transport Update

Report of the Joint Officer Steering Group


Chris Carter, Head of Transport Strategy at Nottingham City Council, presented a report on transport, highlighting the following points:


(a)  the government has announced the results of bids to the Housing Infrastructure Fund. Nottingham City Council’s bid was not successful; however Rushcliffe Borough Council has been awarded £9.9million for the site south of Clifton;


(b)  Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council have both been successful in bids to the Clean Bus Technology Fund, using a coordinated approach with good cross boundary working. The fund will help to retrofit some of the buses currently in operation which will still be in operation in 2020;


(c)  work is taking place relating to future ring fencing of the Road Fund License for improvements to major roads. Councils are required to designate a major route network, and Nottingham City Council has been working closely with all Midlands Councils and Midlands Connect, in order to coordinate a Midlands response. Both Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council have agreed to use the Midlands response as the basis for their individual responses;


(d)  there is an upcoming issue related to the doubling of routes on the Thameslink service south of Bedford. This will result in a greater number of trains on the line south of Bedford, with a potential knock-on effect on the speed or frequency of faster inter-urban Midland Mainline services. Some planned infrastructure works to the route may mitigate the effect, but these improvements will not be completed by the time the new Thameslink services are introduced. As there are only 4 platforms at St Pancras station for East Midlands services, some trains may be split. One possible positive outcome may be a reduction in overcrowding for services south of Bedford on the Midland Mainline. Overall it is not particularly good news, but Councils continue to fight to protect services and fight for improvements;


(e)  station improvement works are planned at Derby station over the summer, which will have a knock on effect for Nottingham. This will need appropriate communication to Nottingham citizens and rail users. Once the works are complete there will be journey time improvements, it is a positive scheme overall;


(f)  in February 2018, the Secretary of State gave approval for improvements on the Hope Valley line on the route to Manchester and Sheffield. This will allow better connectivity on the line and better connectivity on continued services through to Leeds. Rail North has now formally merged with Transport for the North;


(g)  the recent fire at Nottingham railway station was a considerable event with significant disruption. It was a fairly major fire with a large amount of damage. The damage was contained to the toilet block and connecting bridge, so services were running again by the Monday after the fire. East Midlands Trains and the emergency services did an excellent job getting the station up and running again so quickly.


There followed a number of questions and comments from the Committee, and some further information was provided:


(h)  a concerted effort will be required from all politicians along the Midland Mainline, to work together to give the Midland Mainline a voice and make the case for line improvements;


(i)  the 3 local villages closest to the airport are not serviced by the SkyLink bus. 14,000 local jobs are being created, yet local residents cannot reach them by public transport. As it is a commercial service, requests can be made by the relevant councils, but the company can run whichever route they choose. Pollution levels on the surrounding roads are worse than those at the airport.


RESOLVED to thank Chris Carter for the report and note its contents.

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