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Agenda item

Report of Executive Member

To receive a written report from the Executive Member for City Strategy, and to question the Executive Member thereon, provided any such questions are registered in accordance with the timescales and procedures set out in Standing Order 8.2.1.


A written report was received from Cllr Steve Galloway, the Executive Member for City Strategy.


Notice had been received of ten questions on the report, submitted by Members in accordance with Standing Orders.  The first seven questions were put and answered as follows:


(i)         From Cllr Merrett:

“With regard to local bus patronage remaining stable overall, would theExecutive Member indicate the numbers of fare paying passenger tripsin each year of Local Transport Plan 2 (LTP2)?”


The Executive Member replied:

“With regard to local bus patronage remaining stable overall, would theExecutiveMember indicate the numbers of fare paying passenger tripsineach year of Local Transport Plan 2 (LTP2)?”

Total patronage

2009/10                    14,774,492

2008/09                    15,334,448

2007/08                    14,853,143

2006/07                    15,144,371

2005/06                    14,493,549

Unfortunately I am unable to provide a breakdown of the actual percentage of concessions for each of these years at this short notice, suffice it to say that our figures show that slightly over 50% of bus patronage is made up of concessions.”


(ii)        From Cllr Holvey:

“With reference to the Local Transport Plan, what powers does the Council have to prevent operators from choosing the type of bus used on commercial services in the City? In particular could the Executive member confirm that when the current ftr usage agreement expires in June 2011 it will be a matter to First to decide whether to continue to use the vehicles or to make changes to the number of ftrs used in the City?”


The Executive Member replied:

“The Council has very limited powers to specify vehicle types on commercial services. If a Low Emission Zone was put in place then this may be used to restrict access to certain vehicles including buses. Height/weight/length restrictions can be applied which would limit vehicle types. First could remove the ftr fleet at the end of the current agreement.”


(iii)       From Cllr Merrett:

“With regard to the substantially reduced 575 homes a year target figure and the up to 1000 jobs a year growth figure in the proposed LDF, would theExecutive Member indicate what the consequenceswill be of high job growth and low new housing provisionon already high house prices and private sector rents in York, on pressure for town cramming in the main urban area,on displacement of low earning indigenous residents toWest, South andEast Yorkshire, and also on additional long distance commutingand transport related greenhouse gas emissionsand local congestion?”


The Executive Member replied:

“The 1000 figure is a maximum. Over the last 10 years around 300 new (additional) jobs have been created in the City on average each year. The 575 new homes is more than adequate to deal with such growth.

If there are those that think that the City can grow by 1000 jobs every year then they envisage a very major change which would see the City change beyond recognition. It would involve massive immigration to fill the vacancies and York has only a small pool of unemployed labour within the indigenous population..

In response to all Council consultations residents have indicated that they do not support the Big City Big Growth option.”


(iv)       From Cllr Firth:

“With reference to the Local Transport Plan, what are the Council’s priorities for further expansion of the cycle network in the City?”


The Executive Member replied:

“The Council’s priority is to improve the urban cycle network including:

Clifton Moor to Haxby Road (along side of A1237) being progressed in the Local Sustainable Transport Fund Bid.

North End of Fulford Road including Fishergate Gyratory (included in the Capital Programme in 2011/12).

University of York area and links through Heslington to maximise the benefits of the improvements introduced as part of the University expansion (included in the Capital Programme in 2011/12).

Hungate link to maximise the impact of the new bridge over the River Foss and enable a cross city route via Deangate, Aldwark, Navigation Road and Hope street avoiding the Footstreets and away from the Inner Ring Road.

Southern End of Huntington Road to improve continuity to city centre,

Holgate Road to improve links to the Station and city centre from the south west of the city.

Subject to availability of funding connections to surrounding villages will also be improved. E.g. Strensall, Rufforth, Elvington.”


(v)        From Cllr Merrett:

“In terms of LTP2’s original ambitions, what lessons have officers learnt from its delivery and outcomes, including how much shift there has been from private car to alternative modes of transport?”


The Executive Member replied:

“Officers will be producing an outturn report on LTP2 which will be made available to all Members shortly.”


(vi)       From Cllr Hyman:

“With reference to the Local Transport Plan, would the Executive Member confirm the current estimates of the cost to local taxpayers of seeking to implement a Quality Bus Contract in the City?”


The Executive Member replied:

“The financial implications of introducing a Quality Contract Scheme should not be underestimated. The issue was last reported in 2009. The current bus network is sustained through a combination of fare-box revenue, Bus Service Operators Grant (from Central Government), Concessionary fares reimbursement and Council subsidy.  If the Council decided that an increase in the level of service (or reduction in fares) was required, then there would be likely to be an increase in cost. Overall cost estimate for the set up of a contract would be approximately £3m. In addition there would be an annual revenue cost of approximately £250k.”


(vii) From Cllr Merrett:

“In terms of the proposed LTP3, and its aim to seek to persuade more people to use alternative forms of transport, why, relative to the anticipated increase in number of total trips made, do the target figures for alternative modes of transport imply a modal shiftto private car usage rather than away from it?”


The Executive Member replied:

“The intention of LTP3 is to achieve a modal shift away from private car usage rather than to it. It is not easily apparent in LTP3 to suggest that there should be anything contrary to this assertion. The Themes, Aims and Objectives of the strategy and the measures/interventions in the Implementation Programmes are directed at achieving a modal shift away from the car.

The targets contained in LTP3 do not include one specifically for modal split, as the only reliable and consistent performance measure is the 10-year National Census, which is too infrequent for LTP3 monitoring purposes. As a proxy, targets have been set for limiting increases in traffic volumes (vehicle mileage) and for increasing the use of other modes. Furthermore the targets have been set for the next four years (2011-2015) to reflect the Comprehensive Spending Review period and the funding levels likely to be realised over the short term. It is anticipated that the first review of LTP3 will be undertaken to coincide with the end of this 4-year period and the targets will be refreshed to take into account progress made and any changes in the future funding levels that might be available at that time.”


The time limit having expired for this item, written answers were circulated after the meeting to the remaining questions, as follows:


(viii)     From Cllr Sunderland:

“With reference to the Local Transport Plan, what would be the likely cost to taxpayers if the Council were to underwrite a cross ticketing system in the City at the present time?”



Subject to agreement with the operators the cost of introduction of a multi-operator travel card was estimated in 2008 at £187k set up costs plus £130k per year operating costs.

We are currently seeking to negotiate a zero cost (to taxpayers) option with operators


(ix)       From Cllr Waudby:

“With reference to the Local Transport Plan, what powers does the Council have to implement ‘enforceable’ school travel plans?”



The short answer is that we cannot enforce the provision of travel plans apart from those required through planning conditions (although there are also problems for these as the council finds it difficult to take action against itself).

We have to work on an encouragement, incentive basis. Up until 2010 there was a School Travel Grant which provided an incentive for schools to complete a travel plan to receive funding. This is no longer available and therefore the incentive to prepare a travel plan has also reduced.

We work in partnership with the schools to encourage travel plans to be prepared as part of the Safe Rotes to School programme.


(x)        From Cllr Aspden:

“With reference to the Local Transport Plan, would the Executive Member indicate what expenditure there has been on highways maintenance activities in the City over the last 4 years and contrast this with the expenditure that would have been possible if the unsuccessful amendments, moved at each of the last 4 years Budget Council meetings, had been carried?”



Based on the annual highway maintenance report the total expenditure in £k over the last 4 years is as follows:

Year                Revenue            Capital           Total

2006/7          4,098              4,225              8,323

2007/8          4,345              2,798              7,143

2008/9          5,116              4,085              9,201

2009/10        5,267              4,467              9,734

2010/11        5,087              5,085              10,172(includes additional

£1m capital funding)

Included in the 2009/10 and 2010/11 capital figures is £2.15m of DfT detrunking money for the A19 south of York.

I will arrange for the comparative budget figures to be published shortly after officers have had time to check the numbers involved.




Addendum to the above answer:


Had the budget amendments been successful, then investment in highways maintenance would have been affected in the following ways.



Agreed £k


Labour Amendments £k




Gvt potholes



Grnd Tot




Total Difference

Amended Budget






















































































































Cumulative reduction


Supporting documents:


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