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APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Jamie Fraser, Sarah-Jane Potter and Simon Speller (due to a Mayoral commitment).
It was also noted that apologies for absence had been submitted by the Stevenage Rail user Group.
There were no declarations of interest.
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Environment & Economy Select Committee meeting held on Thursday 31 January 2019.
It was RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Environment & Economy Select Committee meeting held on31 January 2019 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
STEVENAGE RAIL STATION SERVICE UPDATE
Following the Committee’s meeting on 18 October 2018 it was agreed that a follow up meeting would be held in February 2019 to assess how well the 9 December 2018 full timetable update went and to look forward to the May 2019 timetable change and developments for the 5th platform at Stevenage and Hertford Loop bus replacement service. Representatives of Network Rail, Govia Thameslink Railways, HCC Transport Unit and Stevenage Rail User Group have been invited to the meeting.
The Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and Network Rail representatives gave a presentation on performance statistics, enhanced services (including the summer timetable), proposals for the future, and the plans for the Stevenage Turnback Facility.
During the course of the presentation, the following issues were considered:
· The Cambridge Rail User Group had engaged effectively with Network Rail and GTR over network/timetabling issues; Network Rail / GTR had arranged two meetings with the Stevenage Rail User Group, but unfortunately the Group had cancelled on both occasions.
· Pocket size fold out timetables would be produced, but there were no plans to produce timetable booklets.
· The regrettable problems experienced following the introduction of the May 2018 timetable had largely been addressed, including the issue of driver training and operatives being in the right place at the right times.
· The GTR representatives would respond to Members of the Committee regarding a query raised in respect of the 82% Public Performance Measure relating to the percentage of trains which had run to schedule.
· With particular reference to Finsbury Park station, the Network Rail/GTR representatives acknowledged the difficulties caused by last minute platform changes. They explained the reasons for such changes, and would be working to improve communications so that the process in future was much slicker.
· The Select Committee was advised of ticketing promotions, such as Key Go / Key Card / Oyster Card, together with the possibilities for extending the use of these forms of ticketing.
· It was noted that the King’s Cross Signalling facility was over 40 years old, and that plans were in progress for the remodelling of this facility, which would entail disruptive weekend works from late June 2019, with peak disruption from December 2020 to March 2021.
· In terms of the works relating to the Stevenage Turnback facility, the GTR representatives undertook to respond to Select Committee Members on the possibility for the replacement buses to be adapted to take full size bicycles, and possible discounted fares for those using replacement buses during the construction works, and to clarify the situation with regard to the use of replacement buses during weekends throughout that period.
It was RESOLVED:
1. That, notwithstanding the absence of representatives from the Stevenage Rail User Group, the developments in the timetabling of trains be noted, and it be hoped that Network Rail and Govia Thameslink Railway’s continue consultation with users and SBC Members over future timetabling development.
2. That Network Rail’s plans for the Stevenage Turnback Facility (5th Platform), including the temporary replacement bus services whilst works take place and the escalated plans for completion of the project, be noted.
3. That the Select Committee continue to take note of events and outcomes relating to GTR timetabling issues and the Stevenage Turnback Facility.
4. That the GTR representatives provide responses for circulation to Select Committee Members in respect of the following outstanding issues:
· Public Performance Measure (PPM) Targets and actual performance;
· Buses – possible adaptation to take full size bicycles;
· Fares – possible discounted fares for ... view the full decision text for item 3.
URGENT PART 1 BUSINESS
To consider any Part 1 business accepted by the Chair as urgent.
EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC AND PRESS
To consider the following motions –
1. That under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as described in paragraphs1 – 7 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act as amended by Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006.
2. That Members consider the reasons for the following reports being in Part II and determine whether or not maintaining the exemption from disclosure of the information contained therein outweighs the public interest in disclosure.
URGENT PART II BUSINESS
To consider any Part II business accepted by the Chair as urgent.