Agenda and draft minutes

Consultation Call, Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 2nd March, 2023 11.00 am

Venue: Virtual

Contact: Gary Rich 


No. Item


Welcome & Apologies

The Chair to welcome Members and the public to the meeting.

Lead: Chair

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1.1          The Chair welcomed all in attendance and informed Members that the meeting was a Consultation Call and was being streamed live.  Apologies were received from Cllr Hughes and Cllr Southward.


Declarations of Interest

Members are required to declare any personal, prejudicial or disclosable pecuniary interest they may have relating to items on the agenda and state the nature of such interest.

Lead: Chair

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2.1          There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To note the minutes of the meeting held on the 23 November 2022 (including updates on agreed matters as appropriate).

Lead: Chair

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3.1              The minutes of the meeting held on 23 November 2022 were considered and their accuracy as a correct record confirmed.


That the minutes of the meeting held on 23 November 2022 be noted as a true and accurate record.



Budget and Business Plan 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 259 KB

To consider the 2023/24 Business Plan and budget.

Lead: Martin Tugwell and Paul Kelly

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4.1             Members received the presentation of the Finance Director.  The Chief Executive and Finance Director then highlighted the key points in their presentation.


4.2          Cllr Jones requested more information on the Centre of Excellence and its funding.

The Chief Executive explained that as well as the core funding Transport for the North has been granted an additional £700,000 for each of the next two years to develop its offer.  He commented that the organisation is already a centre of excellence which has good quality data that is evidence-led with clear policy development and a strategy that flows from it.  He added the additional funding is an evolution of the current role rather than something new and was pleased to see that additional funding.

4.3          Regarding Great British Railways Transitions (GBRT) Cllr Fenton requested further information on the Northern Proposition and  asked when there is likely to be an announcement on the location of the GBR Headquarters.


The Chief Executive replied that he has no information on when the announcement regarding the headquarters will be.

On the Northern Proposition he stated that across the North a degree of devolution is already in place through the Rail North Agreement provides a role for TfN alongside the DfT overseeing delivery of the Northern and TransPennine contracts as well as, allowing Transport for the North to establish sub–Regional Business Units. 

He explained that a number of activities have been identified by the Rail North Partnership as opportunities going forward including taking account of revenue as well as costs when undertaking business planning and building on the stations as a place initiative.  He then went on to state his belief that there are some aspects of rail reforms that can be moved forward in the North at pace due to the devolution that exists.

Addressing the specific issue of the proposition he explained that work is taking place through a sub group of Members to help develop a detailed proposition about utilising the opportunities created by GBR of having a single guiding mind for the rail industry and how Transport for the North would like this to work.

4.4          Cllr O’Hara asked about support for smaller areas if all the money is to be directed into the bigger locations.


The Chief Executive explained that the evidence base shows that there needs to continue to be investment in growing the railway if strategic outcomes are  to be delivered for the North as well as economic growth that is sustainable and provides people with access to opportunities and services.  He added that in order to do this it is important to continue to make the case for revenues to be considered as well as costs as the strength of the recovery means that there are revenues for services.

He stated that there needs to be continued pressure in support of maintaining the delivery of services that are needed now, as well as being supportive and helping to deliver the investment that is already in the pipeline.

4.5  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Draft Strategic Transport Plan 2 pdf icon PDF 129 KB

To consider the development of TfN’s second Strategic Transport Plan.

Lead: Lucy  Jacques/Tim Foster

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5.1             The Chair informed Members that a public consultation will be taking place and stated that having Members’ ideas about how the consultation can be undertaken would be beneficial. 


5.2          Members received the report from the Acting Head of Policy and Strategy who highlighted the key points of her report.


5.3          Members suggested several ways to engage with the public in their constituent areas during the consultation period including using libraries to help the public access the consultation room, attending council seminars, using area people’s panels, engaging with Councillors and local authority committees and using Town and Parish Councils.  The Committee was also keen to stress the importance of using social media and the need to manage expectations and ‘keeping things sensible.’


5.4          The Chair stated that all constituent local authorities will be happy to assist in whatever way possible.


1)   That the proposed overarching narrative for STP2 agreed by the Transport for the North Board be noted

2)   That the remaining process to complete and consult on the draft STP be noted.


Road Investment Strategy (RIS) pdf icon PDF 324 KB

To consider the approach to developing TfN’s recommendations for investment in the Strategic Road Network.

Lead:  Owen Wilson

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6.1             Members received the report from the Head of Major Roads who highlighted the key points.


6.2          Cllr Cooper asked about the network drivers and enquired if they are robust enough to help with the long term rebalancing of the North.


6.3          Cllr Salter commented that the report comes across as “anti-car”.  He highlighted the fact that decarbonisation has always been a key focus for Members and for the organisation and suggested that this should be done by having hydrogen and electric vehicles rather than reducing the number of cars on the road.


6.4          Cllr Jones requested an update on North West quadrant project study which is aimed at alleviating congestion on the M60 Junctions 8-18.


6.5          Cllr Davison expressed his concern about the lack of electric vehicle chargers and infrastructure. 

6.6          In response to the Committee’s comments the Head of Major Roads explained that this work provides an initial view as on there is the greatest need for interventions on the Strategic Road Network, also that conversations on the priorities for investment were ongoing with local authority officers. And explained that this work does not focus on specific solutions at each location, which would need to be developed in partnership with local stakeholders and which should deliver Place based outcomes appropriate to the location.

In response to Cllr Cooper’s question on network drivers and specifically the connectivity metric he explained that it is important to consider the relative importance of roads both in terms of traffic flow and the level of service in terms of connectivity, the latter being a particular issue for more remote areas often particularly reliant on road connectivity to access goods and services.  a

Addressing Cllr Salter’s comments on being viewed as anti-car he explained that TfN is carefully considering how to communicate messaging on roads. This needs to reflect the ambitions set out in the emerging Strategic Transport Plan and find the right balance in highlighting the importance of road investment to underpin good transport connectivity, whilst promoting the benefits of supporting modes other than the car as the first choice, wherever practicable. 

He explained that electric vehicles need to be part of the solution and stated that Transport for the North has undertaken significant work with partners and local authority officers on evidencing the requirement for electric vehicle charging.

With regards to the Manchester North West Quadrant he stated TfN and TfGM have been updated on National Highways work exploring a package of potential interventions for consideration, and potential delivery in the RIS3 or RIS4 periods. ( e.g. junction improvements, additional capacity on sections of the M60). 


6.7          In summarising the Chair highlighted the importance of messaging on this issue.  He informed the Committee that just under 2,000 people a year die on roads as a result of physical accident whilst 10,000 die from emissions attributed to road traffic.  Additionally, he highlighted the importance of a good road network for those in more rural areas that are not as well connected.


That  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


NPR Co-Sponsorship pdf icon PDF 97 KB

To provide an update on Northern Powerhouse Rail, specifically the development of the NPR co-sponsorship Memorandum of Understanding.

Lead: David Hoggarth

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7.1             Members received the report of the Strategic Rail Lead.  The Head of Strategic Rail highlighted the key areas of the report.


7.2          Cllr Davison is pleased that the organisation continues to promote the importance of delivering HS2 in full; however he was critical that the project had been sold on speed rather than capacity, and explained that without capacity it is difficult remove freight from the roads;  getting connectivity for passengers can only be done with HS2.  


7.3          Addressing the issue of the Eastern leg, the Head of Strategic Rail expressed the importance of the Leeds Area Study which is part of the co-sponsorship work, with the brief still awaited.  He explained that the previous Eastern leg HS2 proposal is one of the ways of connecting Leeds into the network and will be pushing this as part of the work looking at a variety of options. 

He highlighted the importance of starting this work and stated that Transport for the North haves a strong input into this work using its evidence base.  He explained that there are two aspects to the co-sponsorship, being the local detail and the network.    


That the Committee notes that the Board will be asked to endorse the Northern Powerhouse Rail Sponsorship Agreement at the Board meeting on 23 March 2023.


Date of Next Meeting

Thursday 1st June


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1 June 2023