Agenda item

Sustainable Public Transport Third Monitoring Report

To receive and consider the report of the Director of Planning and Development.


Zoe Whiteside, Service Lead – Spatial Planning presented the final Monitoring report for Sustainable Public Transport.


18 of the recommendations were completed or close to completion, 5 were in progress, and a number of recommendations would be ongoing within the team due to progress and development of the local plan, which were routinely monitored by the Local Plan Working Group and the Central Lancashire Strategic Planning Joint Advisory Committee.


Key recommendations were highlighted by Zoe and Members.


Recommendation 1 - Chorley Council to proactively lobby and engage with Lancashire County Council to encourage a greater role on bus route tendering, service enhancement and communication between all parties.


Details provided by the County Council of their Enhanced Partnership plan, and it aimed to deliver key objectives which included lower fares, simplified ticketing, and a customer charter and in place from 1 April 2022. The partnership contained a governance structure, with a management board and a forum of stakeholders.


Members wished for the Enhanced Partnership to be monitored, in respect to the impact on Chorley, it was noted that fares increased due to Greater Manchester’s proposed clean air zone, and again with franchising in Greater Manchester on cross border routes.


It was highlighted that monitoring the Enhanced Partnership would be a considerable piece of work and Chorley Council would be unable to influence decisions, but an update could be provided in the future.


Members praised the potential of the offers, incentives and support available but  expressed concern with the logistics of discount for jobseekers and claimants of Universal Credit, and did not run the risk of any benefit claimants being humiliated on the bus by requiring proof, and desired the process to frictionless.


Recommendation 3 - Spatial Planning to invite Lancashire County Council to participate in a Member Learning session on the Central Lancashire Highways and Transport Masterplan draft proposals


The County Council were still in the early stages of the Masterplan and commissioned Jacobs. Lancashire County Council to run a Member Learning Session 14 November 2022. The session to provide details on public transport, the work undertaken, funding, the local plan and the model used to identify investment in transport. Details to be provided to the County Council to ensure the session was not too broad.


Recommendation 7 - The Council engage with Greater Manchester Combined Authority/Lancashire County Council on cross boundary routes should the Greater Manchester Combined Authorities instigate franchising and request to be consulted on how bus services are run across cross boundary routes and be included in their integrated ticketing scheme.


Members noted that the County Council would not engage with Chorley Council but a follow up would be beneficial.


It was highlighted that as it was a County responsibility, it was not information that would be collected, however concerns could be vocalised and fed back. Members expressed concern about the implications for Chorley with the integrated ticketing scheme.


Recommendation 9 - The Council continues to progress discussions with Lancashire County Council to take over the Chorley Interchange.


Members wanted this to be returned to the Council and were disappointed that this was not progressed due to viability.


Recommendation 16 - The Council should explore the feasibility of attracting a community car share club to the borough.


Members raised that following Covid-19, it would be important to gain a greater understanding as to whether  the time and investment required for such a scheme would see results and use. 


Recommendation 18 - The Council will work with all transport partners to improve accessibility, timetable and facility provision across the borough including an Oyster card for all journeys.


Members expressed disappointment that this recommendation was closed. It was stated that there was a grant approved by central government, but the progress was uncertain. Progress to be sought from Mark Lester, Director (Commercial Services) Members agreed that it would be damaging to the town if the main station closed. It was explained that the County Council had no interest in an Oyster type scheme, and backed their Enhanced Partnership.


Recommendation 20 - Establish a Cycle Task Group to look at cycle opportunities, and cycle routes in the borough


It was agreed that the cycling package of work would be developed and reported to the Climate Change Working Group. The first update was given 26 July 2022, the next report was to be given at the end of November. There were five or six actions that related to cycling, such as the dedicated cycling storage, e-charging for bikes, and a cycling survey. Four bike shelters located at Bengal Street were installed, however they have not been used despite high demand from staff. It was hypothesised that the unfamiliarity with the depot deterred their use, in addition to the rise of hybrid working, staff may only attend the Town Hall or Union Street for meetings. Further promotion of the bike shelters to encourage staff participation before consideration was given to locate them in the town centre.


Resolved: That the report be noted.




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