The next meeting of the West of England Combined Authority Committee will take place on Thursday December 7, at 9.30am at City Hall, Bristol City Council, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TR.
The meeting will receive an update on the transport functions of the Combined Authority, and discuss continuing the current arrangements into 2018/19, with concessionary travel, supported bus services, community transport grants and local bus information including Real Time Information being delivered by the constituent councils on behalf of WECA.
The committee will also discuss allocating £6m to the MetroWest Phase 1 railway project. This will be decided, pending a decision by the West of England Joint Committee which will meet following the Combined Authority, at 11.30am.
A report to the Joint Committee will recommend putting in a bid to the Department for Transport (DfT) for £46m in additional funding for MetroWest Phase 1, before December 22. The report says an additional £12m local contribution to the scheme is needed, of which £6m is already agreed by North Somerset Council. This local contribution will help present a stronger case for funding from the Department for Transport. The £6m being discussed by WECA is also dependent on the success of the DfT bid.
The Joint Committee will also receive an update on consultation plans on the new Joint Local Transport Plan (JLTP). The new JLTP will outline strategic schemes and policies to promote cleaner and greener transport whilst supporting economic growth and improving accessibility across the West of England.
The consultation, which will take place in late spring 2018 / early summer 2018, will aim to engage as widely as possible and feedback will help shape the final JLTP.
A meeting of the West of England Combined Authority’s Scrutiny Committee will take place at 10.30am on Wednesday December 6, at The Kingswood Civic Centre, High Street, Kingswood BS159TR, and will discuss key items going to WECA and Joint Committee.
Meetings papers can be found on the West of England Combined Authority website.
The West of England Combined Authority is chaired by the regional Mayor, Tim Bowles, and is made up of the leaders and Mayor from the three authorities in the region – Bath & North East Somerset (Leader, Cllr Tim Warren), Bristol City Council (Mayor Marvin Rees) and South Gloucestershire Council (Leader, Cllr Matthew Riddle). The Interim Chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Professor Steve West, also attends committee meetings.
The West of England Joint Committee is the decision-making body for issues relating to the West of England Combined Authority, Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire councils, and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
Notes to editors:
The MetroWest programme is a package of major rail improvements for the West of England region. The programme is being delivered by the four West of England councils, working in partnership with Network Rail and Great Western Railway.
The MetroWest Phase 1 project is proposing to re-open the Portishead rail line to passenger train services and to enhance local passenger train services on the Severn Beach and Bath to Bristol lines.
The plans include a new rail station at Portishead and the re-opening of the former station at Pill.
The project is led by North Somerset Council on behalf of the four West of England councils: Bristol City; Bath & North East Somerset; North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.
The current capital budget for Phase 1 is £57.8m leaving a funding gap of £58.6m.
Revised costs for Phase 1 are now estimated to be up to £116.4m, including the cost of work to date of £9.7m. This represents a considerable reduction from the previous estimate of between £145m and £175m and follows extensive value engineering work by Network Rail and a reduction from a two train an hour service to hourly.
This is proposing to re-open the Henbury Line to an hourly spur passenger service and increase train services to Yate to a half-hourly service.
The plans include new rail stations at Henbury, North Filton and Ashley Down.
The project is led by South Gloucestershire Council on behalf of the four West of England councils.