Agenda and minutes

Consultation Call, Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 21st November, 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 is being streamed live.  Apologies were received from Cllrs Hammond, Dixon, Meling, Davison and Hudson.

The Chair apologised to Members for two of the reports being circulated late and explained that this was due to the nature of the papers and that Officers wanted to provide the most up to date information to the Committee.


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              Cllr Merrett declared that he is a member of the Your Bus Forum, Action for Yorkshire Transport and on the Northern Transport Activists Round Table all of which are non-pecuniary.

2.2              Cllr Fletcher declared that he is Vice Chair of the Public Transport Consortium.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 136 KB

To note the minutes of the meeting held on the 5 September 2023 (including updates on agreed matters as appropriate).

Lead: Chair

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3.1              The minutes of the meeting held on 5 September 2023 were considered and their accuracy as a correct record confirmed. The minutes were proposed by Cllr Salter and seconded by the Chair.


That the minutes of the meeting held on 5 September 2023 be noted as a true and accurate record.



Transforming the North pdf icon PDF 134 KB

To consider the implications of the Government’s recent policy statement ‘Network North’ in the context provided by Transport for the North’s role to prepare and publish the Strategic Transport Plan.

Lead: Martin Tugwell

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4.1             In introducing this item, the Chair stated that this issue is one of the most critical that the Committee is likely to have to review and help shape. He explained that the report is presented because of the Government’s announcement on the scrapping of the HS2 leg to Manchester and the subsequent announcement on Network North.  The Committee was asked to consider the options in the report and look at how TfN’s approach will be led, issues around appropriate governance and the role that TfN will play.  He then highlighted that not all the potential work programmes have been released and emphasised the importance of giving priority and focus on delivering for the North.

He stressed the importance of actions needing to be congruent with future developments as well as the need for due process with the Roads and Rail strategies expected imminently.

He explained that the report maps a path through these issues and that the Committee is asked to input in order to shape the final document that will go to Board.

4.2          Members received the report from the Chief Executive who before highlighting the key aspects of his report apologised for the lateness of the report. He explained that since the Prime Minister’s announcement at the beginning of October many questions have been asked and people wish to understand how TfN’s approach fits with the national, regional and local position.


4.3          The Chair raised the issue of decarbonisation and suggested that action could be included on the need for modal shift in order to achieve these decarbonisation goals.

The Chief Executive replied that this is implied within the Decarbonisation Strategy which sets out a pathway to achieving nearly net zero by 2045 and the scale of the challenges associated with it. He outlined the work which has taken place on future travel scenarios, which recognise the need to grow the rail offer by between double or triple. He also highlighted the importance of continued investment in the road network as this is a key part of the transport system, not only for private vehicles, but also for public transport, freight and logistics and cycling. 

He further explained that within the Strategic Transport Plan (STP) there are headline metrics on growing public transport and maintaining and managing demand on the road network in a way that reflects overall travel. 

4.4          Cllr Parish sought clarity on what Network North and what “NPR in full” means. He highlighted the impact that the cancellation of HS2 will have on Warrington which would have been central to the line from Liverpool to Manchester via the airport. He suggested the inclusion of Warrington in paragraph 6.5 of the report.


4.5          Cllr Firth raised the issue of connections to the Midlands on the Penistone line where connectivity is poor.  He stated that a twin track line as well as electrification on the Calderdale line would rectify this issue.


4.6          Cllr Fletcher asked whether the costs of the Liverpool to Manchester part of HS3  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Strategic Transport Plan Update pdf icon PDF 107 KB

To consider the update on the development of the second Strategic Transport Plan  (STP), and the revised timescale for adoption given recent government announcements.

Lead: Katie Day


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5.1             Members received the report from the Director of Strategy, Analysis and Communications who highlighted the key points within it.


5.2          Cllr Salter highlighted that there is mention in the report of HS2 needing to be built in full and questioned whether this needed to be removed.

In response the Director of Strategy, Analysis and Communications explained thatthe position of Board has been NPR and HS2 are needed in full and that position is the one that features in the Strategic Transport Plan (STP). As a result of the Government’s announcement the Board, the previous paper (presented by the Chief Executive) is intended to clarify the next steps and the position in the STP will be adjusted accordingly. n  

5.3          Cllr Merrett referenced a possible change of Government in the next year and whilst stating that Labour hasn’t committed one way or the other, he believes that TfN should continue to support HS2.


1)   That the committee endorses the decision to defer the adoption of the STP (until March 2024) to enable TfN to work with  partners to fully consider the implications of the Network North announcement.

2)   That the Committee notes the work to date to amend the document post consultation.


Strategic Transport Plan Implementation pdf icon PDF 166 KB

To consider the update on the Strategic Transport Plan.

Lead:  Katie Day

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6.1             Members received the report from the Director of Strategy, Analysis and Communications who then highlighted key aspects of the report.


6.2          Cllr Merrett addressed the issue of the need to double or treble rail freight over the next 30 years or so and enquired about how detailed the look at the implications of this has been.  He expressed concern that such an increase may cause additional bottle necks in the system. He asked when this work is likely to be complete in order to have that strategic view of what needs to be delivered.

The Director of Strategy, Analysis and Communications explained that the ambitions set within the STP on the doubling or tripling of rail freight over the long term comes from the work that been done on through the TfN future travel scenarios, which look at use of the transport system across different plausible futures  Additionally, the TfN Strategic Rail Report, which forms part of the evidence base for the STP, has identified a lot of the key bottlenecks and issues on the network and where those would need to be addressed, including the need for additional capacity. 

The Rail and Road Director stated that in order to achieve a doubling or tripling in rail freight capacity across the North other things would need to happen in order to achieve this and freight needs to be brought more into the mix.  He stated that the rail network is heavily constrained and there are difficult choices to be made.  He added that it is not viable to continue tosqueeze more and more traffic through the same infrastructure.


That the presentation be noted.


Date and Time of Next Meeting

Tuesday 27 February 2024


Manchester City Council Town Hall Extension

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Tuesday 27 February 2024