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Agenda item

Update on the Provision of Subsidised Bus Services

This report asks the Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and Sustainability to consider 4 specific issues relating to the provision of subsidised bus services in York. Following consideration of this report, the approved recommendations will be presented to the public for consultation.

Decision:

RESOLVED:       (i)      That the Cabinet Member agreed to:

 

(ii)      Support the re-tendering of services on routes 21 and 35 and, subject to the resulting tenders being within budgetary constraints, agree to the award of contracts for these routes.

 

(iii)     Note the comments made by the registered speakers in relation to routes 5 and 13 and asked officers to make representations to First York, particularly in relation to the reported cutting short of routes.

 

(iv)     Support the re-tendering for replacement services on revised routes 24/26/627/637 and to provide a Monday to Saturday hourly daytime service to the South Bank area of York. Subject to the resulting tenders being within budgetary constraints, agree to the award of contracts for these routes. The Cabinet Member also asked that a plan be in place to solve the issues surrounding the route 15 should Council funding not be available.

 

(v)      Support the withdrawal of Council subsidy for services on route 14 due to poor usage.

 

(vi)     Work with First Group to deliver reliability improvements across their network of services.

 

(vii)    To work with First Group, Yorkshire Coastliner and the other York bus operators to increase the number of people using local bus services, to improve the commercial viability of bus services and to meet the Council’s wider transport policy objectives.

 

(viii)   To consult with the general public on the recommendations listed above, both online and at a public meeting.

 

REASON:                     This course of action will allow the Council to continue to work towards its stated aim of delivering a significant improvement to the bus network whilst at the same time ensuring that resources are spent in line with the Council’s stated criteria.

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Transport Planning & Sustainability considered a report which presented four specific issues for consideration which related to making general improvements to the bus network in York.

 

The issues were as follows:

 

a)   the re-tendering of routes 21 (Colton–Acaster Malbis–Askham Bar–York) and 35 (Holme on Spalding Moor–Wheldrake–York).

b)   the future of two services procured on an ‘emergency’ basis that commenced operation on 7th October 2012.  These are routes 14 (Beckfield Lane–Boroughbridge Road–York) and 15 (South Bank–Bishopthorpe Road–York).

c)   the future of routes 24 and 26 (Askham Bar–Acomb Leeman Road–York-Fordlands Road, Fulford).

d)   what action the Council should take in response to four petitions lodged concerning First Group’s commercially operated bus network:

                       i.       Route 5 (Strensall–Huntington–York–Acomb) from Huntington residents;

                     ii.       Route 12 (Woodthorpe–Tadcaster Road–York–Heworth–Monks Cross) from Woodthorpe and Dringhouses residents;

                    iii.       Route 13 (Copmanthorpe–Tadcaster Road–York–Haxby–West Nooks) – two petitions have been received, one from Copmanthorpe residents, the other from Haxby residents.

It was reported that there were 4 registered speakers.

Mrs Nicholls had registered to speak in relation to the route Numbers 12 and 13. She advised that since the services were changed 18 months ago there has been problems, in particular the number 12 has been having problems completing its new route and the number 13 is always running late since it changed to an hourly service. She advised that elderly people in Haxby and other outlying areas require half hourly services to help them get to appointments on time.

Jean Wallis had registered to speak regarding the number 13  service. She advised that problems occur on the route from 7am. The earliest service is too early for people starting work and college between 9am and 10am. She pointed out that an independent panel had carried out a survey in August which is holiday time, when it would of been better to conduct the survey between September and December.

Councillor Richardson spoke as Ward Councillor for Haxby and Wigginton Ward. He advised that he had received a number of complaints from residents regarding the old number 12/new number 13 route and that a regular and reliable service was required for the area. He stated that it is unacceptable that people are being asked to get off buses before their journey is complete. He also suggested that a 12 mile route in the allotted timescale was unrealistic due to traffic problems in the city centre. He stated that real time displays would help.

 

Councillor Orrell spoke as Ward Councillor for Huntington and New Earswick Ward in reference to the Number 5 route. He advised that he was disappointed that First York were not in attendance at the meeting. He acknowledged some improvements had been made to the Number  5 but there was still a problem of overcrowding between 7.30 and 8.30am and people were unable to get to work on time. It was also problematic for people with prams or people in wheelchairs to access the service at peak times.

 

Officers outlined the report and advised that the Council will continue to work with First York to monitor the services highlighted by the speakers. An additional  08:25 service was due to be added to the schedule for the number 13. As part of the better bus fund, Haxby would be getting real time displays and the addition of shelters where possible. In reference to the number 5, the service had seen some improvement recently and it was a single decker only route due to the railway bridge on Leeman Road.

 

The Cabinet Member commented that it was unacceptable for any bus service in York to be stopping short and turning around. In relation to routes 13  and 5, as they are commercial routes the Council does not have any control over them and due to a lack of funding it is not possible to procure additional services. He advised that the issues outlined at the meeting would be reported back to First York and further monitoring undertaken.

 

RESOLVED:       (i)      That the Cabinet Member agreed to:

 

(ii)      Support the re-tendering of services on routes 21 and 35 and, subject to the resulting tenders being within budgetary constraints, agree to the award of contracts for these routes.

 

(iii)     Note the comments made by the registered speakers in relation to routes 5 and 13 and asked officers to make representations to First York, particularly in relation to the reported cutting short of routes.

 

(iv)     Support the re-tendering for replacement services on revised routes 24/26/627/637 and to provide a Monday to Saturday hourly daytime service to the South Bank area of York. Subject to the resulting tenders being within budgetary constraints, agree to the award of contracts for these routes. The Cabinet Member also asked that a plan B be considered to solve the issues surrounding the route 15 should tenders exceed the Council funding allocation for the simple service continuation.

 

(v)      Support the withdrawal of Council subsidy for services on route 14 due to poor usage.

 

(vi)     Work with First Group to deliver reliability improvements across their network of services.

 

(vii)    To work with First Group, Yorkshire Coastliner and the other York bus operators to increase the number of people using local bus services, to improve the commercial viability of bus services and to meet the Council’s wider transport policy objectives.

 

(viii)   To consult with the general public on the recommendations listed above, both online and at a public meeting.

 

REASON:                     This course of action will allow the Council to continue to work towards its stated aim of delivering a significant improvement to the bus network whilst at the same time ensuring that resources are spent in line with the Council’s stated criteria.

 

 

 

Supporting documents:

 

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