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Issue - meetings

Update on Bus Services in York

Meeting: 19/03/2020 - Executive (Item 113)

113 Bus Services Update pdf icon PDF 523 KB

The Director of Economy & Place to present a report which sets out progress on a number of bus-related initiatives being taken forward by the council and seeks Executive support for proposals to continue with, or make changes to, existing policies.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved:  (i)      That it be noted that Clean Air Zone upgrade grant has been allocated to meet the requirements of York’s Clean Air Zone and that operators are now procuring new buses or fitting existing buses with upgrade kits.

 

Reason:     To support delivery of the Clean Air Zone programme, in line with Council Plan objectives.

 

                   (ii)      That the current trial of retro-fitted electric tour buses be ended and discussions entered into with DEFRA to re-allocate the funding within the York bus network.

 

Reason:     The trial of retro-fitted electric open top buses has fallen short of the operators’ requirements and exploring the scope for re-use of the funds will allow a new approach to be identified which will best achieve air quality objectives in York.

 

                   (iii)     That the council submit an Expression of Interest to the Department for Transport’s Electric Bus Tour Fund on 30 April.

 

Reason:     A successful bid would improve air quality in York by increasing the proportion of the bus network operated by electric buses.

 

                   (iv)    That the council not submit an Expression of Interest to the Superbus Fund, but instead monitor Department for Transport (DfT) activity for future bidding opportunities to similar funds and develop projects in conjunction with the LTP refresh.

Reason:     Enquiries with the DfT have confirmed that York is not eligible for Superbus funding; however, attracting funding for a similar project in the future would be an opportunity to improve York’s bus network.

 

                   (v)     That the council support ongoing provision of services 3A and 12 using monies from the council Bus Service Operator Grant (BSOG) allocation, and allow expenditure of BSOG in York on other supported bus services at the discretion of the Executive Member for Transport.

 

Reason:     To allow continuation of a well-used service that would otherwise not be affordable within the council’s supported bus services constraints, and to allow the council flexibility to subsidise other bus services as and when required to support Council Plan objectives.

 

                   (vi)    That the council claim an £83.5k allocation from the DfT to support additional tendered bus services, noting the delegated decision about which routes to support that was taken by the Director of Economy & Place in consultation with the Executive Member for Transport and submitted to the DfT.

 

Reason:     To increase the number and variety of bus services available to York residents in line with the objectives of the DfT administered fund.

 

                  

Minutes:

Members considered a report of the Director of Economy & Place which set out progress on a number of bus-related initiatives being taken forward by the council and sought Executive support for proposals to continue with, or make changes to, existing policies.

 

The report detailed the investments in, and improvements to, bus services in York since the policies were adopted in 2012.  The focus now was on continuing to develop these services while managing their environmental impact. Much of this work was already under way and a more general ‘York Public Transport’ study, considering how to serve the new development proposed in the Draft Local Plan, was due to start soon. 

 

Paragraphs 7 to 57 of the report set out options and recommendations in those areas where an Executive decision or endorsement was required in advance of the Local Transport Plan refresh; namely: York Clean Air Zone (CAZ), Tour Bus electric retro-fit conversions, Electrification of Bus Network Fund, Superbus Fund, supported services 3A and 12, and Better Deal for Bus Users supported services funding.  In respect of the tour bus conversions, it was noted that the current mix of electric and diesel buses could not be continued as this would not meet the requirements of the CAZ.  In respect of services 3A and 12, the options were to cease providing the services, as they were not affordable within the current support budget, or to allocate funding from the devolved Bus Services Operators Grant (BSOG).

 

The Executive Member for Transport thanked officers for their work and bus operators and drivers for maintaining essential services in the current circumstances.  Having also noted the comments of the Labour Group on this item, it was

 

Resolved:  (i)      That it be noted that Clean Air Zone upgrade grant has been allocated to meet the requirements of York’s Clean Air Zone and that operators are now procuring new buses or fitting existing buses with upgrade kits.

 

Reason:     To support delivery of the Clean Air Zone programme, in line with Council Plan objectives.

 

                   (ii)      That the current trial of retro-fitted electric tour buses be ended and discussions entered into with DEFRA to re-allocate the funding within the York bus network.

 

Reason:     The trial of retro-fitted electric open top buses has fallen short of the operators’ requirements and exploring the scope for re-use of the funds will allow a new approach to be identified which will best achieve air quality objectives in York.

 

                   (iii)     That the council submit an Expression of Interest to the Department for Transport’s Electric Bus Tour Fund on 30 April.

 

Reason:     A successful bid would improve air quality in York by increasing the proportion of the bus network operated by electric buses.

 

                   (iv)    That the council not submit an Expression of Interest to the Superbus Fund, but instead monitor Department for Transport (DfT) activity for future bidding opportunities to similar funds and develop projects in conjunction with the LTP refresh.

 

Reason:     Enquiries with the DfT have confirmed that York is not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 113


 

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