To approve the draft Strategy for publication and consultation.
Lead: Tom Jarvis / Tim Foster
6.1 Members received the report from the Senior Evidence & Analysis Officer who outlined the key elements of his report.
6.2 Cllr Edwards stated that TfN should be mindful of this piece of work when putting together business cases for future infrastructure investment and this should be considered in those business planning processes. A number of suggestions were made as to how transport can be made more socially inclusive including; cheaper fares on bus and rail, and car insurance and why this is more expensive in the North. He also suggested that the report should have greater focus on the issues experienced in rural communities.
6.3 Mr. Peter Kennan raised the issue of buses and stated that this work is a good example of how TfN can help local areas in discussions with Government on this issue. He believes that the figures quoted in the report continue to worsen as a result of continuing cuts in bus services.
He stated that whilst it is a vital piece of work it now needs to be used in order to help influence the required changes.
6.4 Mayor Driscoll was pleased to see safety included in the strategy and believes that if public transport is to be grown then this is a vital issue. He also suggested that the safety of staff should also be included.
6.5 Cllr Duncan expressed concern about the methodology used within the strategy and how it appears to be presenting a better view than is in fact the case in rural areas regarding social exclusion.
6.6 Cllr Little highlighted the importance of the car in enabling the public in rural areas to go about their business.
6.7 Mr. Amir Hussain highlighted the importance of walkable neighbourhoods to unlocking social inclusion.
6.8 Cllr Hannigan suggested that the officer group consults with Directors of Public Health and wider integrated health services. He also raised the issue of buses in rural areas and suggested looking at communal transport.
6.9 Mr. Mark Rawstron highlighted the great economic benefits in addressing this issue and asked for the report to address it in stronger terms. He also requested that consultation take place with the business community.
6.10 Cllr Robinson raised the issue of affordability of public transport and stressed the importance of having the correct funding packages in place for the rail and bus industries as well as a regulatory framework. He believes that this piece of work should present an opportunity to argue for a price regulator in the bus industry.
6.11 In response to Members’ comments the Senior Evidence & Analysis Officer stated that data sharing is now available. On the issue of rural areas he commented that it is an analytically complex issue to address. He explained that the urban rural fringe category is the most at risk and that he would change the presentation of the data around this as well as considering changing the presentation in the data tool. He confirmed that a revised version of the strategy will be taken to consultation based on Members’ feedback.
That the Board approves the Socially Inclusive Transport Strategy for public consultation.