Agenda and draft minutes app available
View upcoming public committee documents on your iPad, Android Device or Blackberry Playbook with the free app.

Venue: The Lancastrian, Town Hall, Chorley and Microsoft Teams

Contact: Matthew Pawlyszyn  Email:


No. Item


Minutes of meeting Thursday, 5 November 2020 of Overview and Scrutiny Task Group - Sustainable Public Transport pdf icon PDF 102 KB


Decision: The minutes were approved as a correct record.


Declaration of any interests

Members are reminded of their responsibility to declare any pecuniary interest in respect of matters contained in this agenda.


If you have a pecuniary interest you must withdraw from the meeting. Normally you should leave the room before the business starts to be discussed. You do, however, have the same right to speak as a member of the public and may remain in the room to enable you to exercise that right and then leave immediately. In either case you must not seek to improperly influence a decision  on the matter.


There were no declarations of interest.


Verbal Update on Green Agenda in relation to Sustainable Public Transport

Zoe Whiteside, Spatial Planning Service Lead to provide verbal update on the Green Agenda in relation to Sustainable Public Transport.



Zoe Whiteside Service Lead - Spatial Planning Early Intervention and Support provided a verbal update on the progress of the Green Agenda in relation to sustainable transport.


Chorley Council declared a Climate Emergency November 2019 and made a commitment to reach carbon zero by 2030. To achieve this ambitious goal, an Overview and Scrutiny Task Group made a series of recommendations, and the Council committed to 20 actions across all sectors and areas. 


A Programme Officer is to be recruited into the post at the start of 2021, the candidate is to have expertise and experience of management, the ability to handle and manage projects for delivery and the capability to drive the Council to achieving the commitments made. Their key role would be in driving the agenda, delivering the Action Plan and to maximise best practice within the Council. The Officer would also be responsible for coordinating and applying for funding and grants to further the Green Agenda.


On 10 December 2020, a meeting of a new Working Group will discuss the way forward with the Leader of the Council, Deputy Leader, Portfolio holder. With decisions made about its structure, the Chair, terms of reference, frequency. The date of the first meeting is expected early 2021. At every meeting, the Climate Change Programme officer will report progress of the committed targets.


The Council intends to explore renewable energy sources and the options to develop and adopt a clean air strategy.


The Council currently licensed 10 hybrid Hackney Carriages, and only vehicles with Euro 5 Emissions were granted licenses. Further work is being completed to ensure there are enough charging points in the area for electric vehicles.


Within the Action Plan, the Council is to establish dialogue with Lancashire County Council for Sustainable Transport schemes. Issues are to be raised with transport planners, and within the Greater Lancashire Plan, including net carbon neutrality. It was understood that progress would take cooperation of all boroughs and authorities.


There will be a scoping paper highlighting active travel, this includes walking, cycling in addition to public transport.


Members asked if the Council was looking at alternative fuels for buses, e.g. HVO, hydrogen or electric.


Zoe Whiteside clarified that nothing had been ruled out, but there had not been any option or appraisals completed and the Council would look to the County Council, exploring the economy of scale and ensure best practice. It was too early to favour one fuel source over another.


Zoe added that the Council intended to work closely with the County Council’s highway authority and intended to seek timescales and answers related to the Masterplan.


Decision: The report was noted






Verbal Presentation by Stagecoach Regional Managing Director Matt Davies and Regional Commercial Director James Mellor

Stagecoach Regional Managing Director Matt Davies, and Regional Commercial Director James Mellor, to provide a presentation to members.


The Chair welcomed Matt Davies, Managing Director, James Mellor, Commercial Director and Nick Small, Head of Strategic and Built Environment.


The Task Group heard that due to the pandemic, the economics of bus operations have been reset and new challenges have emerged. In March 2020, Stagecoach had 10% of expected passenger numbers. The figures since March varied and peaked at 60%, it was hoped that the figure would remain between 60 and 80%. Other factors that have affected bus use includes a lack of bus priority, the decline of the high street, the rise of internet shopping and the increase in employees working from home. The increase in car ownership has correlated with the decreased demand for buses. Each year, the bus industry declined 2 – 3% while car ownership continued to rise. A significant issue recently had been the policy to freeze fuel duty at the pumps and that fuel at present was 13% lower than it would be without the freeze.


If just 1% of motorists used the bus, that would see 10% rise in bus use.


Chorley Area Operations.


The main depot was in Preston, but a smaller depot is located in Chorley that housed 25 buses and employs 70, including drivers, cleaning staff and engineers.


The busiest route in the area was the 125, that was recently extended to the Royal Preston Hospital.


There were services operated on behalf of Lancashire County Council.


Customer Satisfaction


Pre-pandemic there was high level of operation with 99.9% of scheduled mileage operated. 92.9% of all journeys started on time.


There was a wide range of tickets available to customers depending on their needs.


Due to Covid-19, there had been an accelerated increase in customers paying contactless or through the app. 60% of all transactions were now contactless.


The dedicated app provided the user up to the minute information about the buses, track times, and enables customers to plan their journeys more efficiently.




The Act allowed Stagecoach to exist. With deregulation, the market decides which of the services are commercially sustainable. The revenues collected covers the operating costs with aspiration for profit. 95% of Stagecoach’s operations are commercial. Where there were gaps in the network, or routes deemed to be socially necessary but not commercially viable, the County Council can contract and tend the routes. The routes were awarded to the lowest bidder and can lead to a service operated by one company in the day and another in the evening and weekends. 


Franchising was a potential option for Mayoral Combined Authorities to request. It is currently in place in London, but it does not solve all issues and requires a significant level of financial input.


In the deregulated market, the timetables, routes, and fares are not created in isolation. Consultation and cooperation occurred with the County Council, customers, and stakeholders.


Process behind creating, maintaining, or discontinuing a bus route


The majority of the bus network was long standing. Some routes have grown and expanded, such as the 125, whereas  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.OS14


Date of Next Meeting

Thursday, 7 January 2021 18:00


Thursday 7 January 2021 at 18:00