South East Wales Regional Forum
Date: 05 November 2020
Time: 10:00 – 12:30
Location: Microsoft Teams
Adam Keen, Managing Director, NAT Travel (AK)
Brian Morgan, Cardiff Metropolitan University (BM)
Christian Schmidt, Monmouthshire County Council (CS)
Clare Cameron, Cardiff Capital Region City Deal (CC)
Clive Campbell, Caerphilly County Borough Council (CC1)
David Beer, Transport Focus (DB)
Gareth Stevens, Operations and Commercial Director, Cardiff Bus (GS)
Gemma Hayne, Employability Team, Bridgend County Borough Council (GH)
Jason Dixon, Team Leader of Transport Policy, Cardiff Council (JD)
John Gibson, Cardiff Council (JG)
Kelly Young, Cardiff Metropolitan University (KY)
Kevin Mulcahy, Bridgend County Borough Council (KM)
Kevin Sales, Bridgend County Borough Council (KS)
Kyle Phillips, Vale of Glamorgan Council (KP)
Leanne Waring, Business Development Manager, Cardiff and Vale College (LW)
Michelle Mitchell, Group Leader of Integrated Transport, Torfaen County Borough Council (MM)
Owen Williams, First Group (OW)
Paul Carter, Cardiff City Borough Council (PC)
Rachel Mason-Jones, Cardiff Metropolitan University (RMJ)
Rebecca Smith, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Borough Council (RS)
Rhys Roberts, Coleg Y Cymoedd (RR)
Richard Cope, Monmouthshire County Council and Newport City Council (RC)
Robert Gravelle, Transport for Wales Rail Services (RG)
Tracey Messner, Network Rail (TM)
Vera Mdrecaj, Cardiff Metropolitan University (VM)
Andrew Gainsbury, Rolling Stock Manager (AG)
Arron Bevan-John, Community Engagement Officer – Mid & West (ABJ)
Carolyn Hodrien, Community Engagement Officer – Mid & North (CH)
Ceri Taylor, Stakeholder Manager – South East Wales (CT - Chair)
Dafydd Williams, Performance Analysis (DW)
Huw Morgan, Head of Integrated Transport (HM)
Geraint Morgan, Community Rail Manager – South (GM)
Gethin Jones, Business Support Manager (GJ)
Helen Dale, Community Engagement Officer – South East Wales (HD)
James Price, Chief Executive (JP)
Kelsey Barcenilla, Community Engagement Officer – South East Wales (KB)
Lewis Brencher, Director of Communications (LB)
Lois Park, Head of Stakeholder and Community Engagement (LP)
Louis Mertens, Community Engagement Officer – Wales & Borders (LM)
Lowri Joyce, Stakeholder Manager – North & Mid (LJ)
Mike Harvey, Project Manager (MH)
Nichole Sarra, Stakeholder Manager – Wales & Borders (NS)
Paul Chase, Strategic Transport Analysis Manager (PC)
Gwyn Smith, SE Wales Area Manager, Sustrans
Charlie Nelson, Transportation Manager, RCT CBC
Kyriaki Flouri, Cardiff Metropolitan University
Julia Fallon, Cardiff Metropolitan University
Selyf Morgan, Cardiff Metropolitan University
Michelle Roles, TransportFocus
Hugh Evans, Head of Community Rail, Transport for Wales
Heather Myers, South Wales Chamber of Commerce
Paul Jones, Head of City Services, NCC
Jane Reakes Davies, Acting Managing Director, First Cymru
Derek Jones, Special Adviser, Cardiff University
Paul Dyer, Managing Director, Cardiff Bus CEO
Natalie Curtis, SEW Regional Engagement Team, BCBC
Nicola Somerville, Taskforce Member, Valleys Taskforce
Sian Rees, Associate Dean, Enterprise - Cardiff School of Management, Cardiff Metropolitan University
Andy Johns, Vice Principal, Coleg Y Cymoedd
Adrian Field, ForCardiff
Sam Hadley, Network Rail
Roger Waters, RCT CBC
Gemma Lelliott, CTA SE Wales, South Wales
Heather Anstey, South Wales Chambers
Nigel Winter, Managing Director, South Wales, Stagecoach
Steve Whitley, TfW Rail
Katie Powis, Stakeholder Manager, Transport for Wales
Alexia Course, Director of Rail Operations, Transport for Wales
Note: The following minutes were collated by the secretariat for this forum which was Kelsey Barcenilla, Community Engagement Officer.
The below is a summary of the presentations and subject matters discussed/questions raised – and not intended to be verbatim of the session.
Item no. 1
Introductions & Apologies
CT welcomed all attendees and introductions were conducted. General housekeeping and technical guidelines were also stated.
KB and HD introduced and provided a brief overview of the new community engagement roles for the South East Wales region.
Item no. 2
Latest travel restrictions and timetabling – Dafydd Williams (DW) Transport for Wales
DW presented the ongoing changes to travel restrictions in Wales due to the impact of Covid-19 and the resulting changes to rail timetabling. A range of updates were highlighted including the impact of the firebreak lockdown, the influences on timetable changes, and variance on service demand compared to 2019. Stakeholder feedback has been key to providing a new flexible approach and best quality service, particularly from schools and colleges. Timetabling updates for 2021 were also presented.
DB enquired when Transport for Wales communication channels would be updated to provide advice to the public following the First Minister's announcement of post-firebreak measures. (CHAT) CT confirmed website content was being updated and further updates would be provided during agenda item 7.
CS queried the map referred to in the presentation, as it did not include Abergavenny / Chepstow as part of the Metro. CT added this would be fed back to colleagues.
Item no. 3
Rolling stock – Andrew Gainsbury (AG) Transport for Wales
AG provided a detailed presentation on rolling stock, with an update on the role Covid-19 has played on unforeseen supply chain challenges and delays with new fleet however, confirmed the fleet enhancement programme has continued. AG discussed how crew training has now been restarted, at a limited capacity. AG also provided a comprehensive update on the types of fleet and progress on development for each region.
CS queried whether there was enough rolling stock to run the promised hourly service to Chepstow & Cheltenham. (CHAT) AG responded that with the current challenges at Canton depot, along with the delays in getting the cascaded fleets into service, there’s currently no possibility of increasing the Cheltenham service within the next year.
DB raised that gauging will be a key challenge with regard to new fleet. He queried how plans were progressing and are if there were likely to be any issues that will impact on planned delivery and introduction. (CHAT)
GM queried which fleet will be used on the Coryton line. (CHAT)
Action: AG to provide an update to DB.
AG to provide a response to GM.
Item no. 4
Update on the Future of the Wales and Borders Contract – James Price (JP) Transport for Wales
JP provided an update on the future of rail contract in Wales and its consequences. JP discussed the financial impact of COVID on TfW and the impact this had on the contract. The decision was made to provide security to the project and TfW employees for the medium term. JP also discussed the previous and new operating model as part of the contract.
CS queried who now needs to agree changes that pose a potential revenue risk, given Welsh Government now has the whole revenue risk. (CHAT) JP proposed that Welsh Government will hopefully provide a budget envelope to TfW, where decisions will be ours to take. Politicians will continue to be informed and have a clear view of decisions. The Stakeholder forum, among other panels will also be key contributors to future decisions.
Item no. 5
Cardiff Central Interchange – Mike Harvey (MH) and Huw Morgan (HM) Transport for Wales Rail Services
MH presented the bus station fit out project, with HW inputting on the operational considerations. MH displayed the proposed interchange building and the process for hand over with TfW to proceed with the operational decisions. Key stakeholders have been consulted during the process on the design element and will continue to do so until handover in October 2022.
HW discussed that the retail assessment and potential tenants/ income and had been completed. TfW have also completed an operational safety review, an operational and long-term sustainability plan. Steering groups had been set up internally to discuss developments.
AK raised concerns over the small scale of the station compared with the number of services proposed. He queried what services were intended to use the interchange and what communications plan was in place to ensure passengers reached their correct departure location. (CHAT) HW confirmed plans were smaller than original proposed station, however Central Square is proposed to become an interchange area, with additional stops on St. Mary’s and Woodgate Street.
RG was pleased with the consultations already facilitated and asked for further insight around accessibility and inclusion. (CHAT)
DB asked how passenger perspectives, experience and best practice were being included in the design process - both for practical use and for multi-modal information capabilities? (CHAT) HM confirmed there had been consultation previous completed by Cardiff Council and the importance of engaging with various organisations and customers in the next phase. HM will continue to work closely with the Stakeholder team on communication and feedback from stakeholders.
GM queried whether the new bus station, along with Cardiff Central would provide real time train running information. (CHAT) HM confirmed that real time train departures would be on screens in the bus station and we would need further discussion on how this can link with the Central station.
CS raised whether TfW have a bay allocation strategy. (CHAT) HM responded that TfW aim to have a mix of services from the bus station and the importance of utilising stands as efficiently and intensively as possible. To achieve this, TfW will mix services and operators, in a way that’s clear to passengers. HM confirmed it’s too early to confirm the allocation of services, due to the current operating environment, but TfW will continue to work with customers and operators to achieve the right balance.
Action: CT to share HM and MH details with RC.
Item no. 6
Car Parking Strategy – Paul Chase (PC) Transport for Wales
PC presented the park and ride strategy for the South Wales Metro, discussing the previous workshops held in 2019 with Stakeholders that helped to shape the strategy. PC confirmed the strategy is in draft and TfW are awaiting further information on the overall Wales Transport Strategy, to ensure they align. The presentation also touched on the need for the strategy, the aligned solutions, optimal locations and how schemes should be delivered.
DB asked what mitigations and measure are in place for the loss of car parking spaces at existing stations, particularly Radyr and Treforest. (CHAT) KB responded with an update to the use of North Radyr car park and the current capacity in the overflow car park. Provided KB and CT’s details if DB has further queries.
Item no. 7
Rebuilding passenger confidence in public travel postCOVID-19 – Lewis Brencher (LB) Transport for Wales
LB provided a short presentation, discussing the importance of feedback from our stakeholders to support with building back demand for public transport post-Covid. LB discussed the Sensemaker insight which led on to workshop discussions led by stakeholder participants. Stakeholders were asked to discuss the major barriers for passenger returning to transport and what can we do as a sector to increase demand.
Feedback to major barriers includes; working collaboratively with voluntary groups, communication needs to be clear on/ off trains, building passenger confidence in cleanliness, flexible ticketing, encouraging leaders in Welsh Government to be visible on transport and communication on overcrowding.
Feedback on increasing demand in the sector includes; collaboration with public facing stakeholders, working with large employers to discuss staggered starts to reduce capacity at peak times, regional travel planning, linking with local authorities and bus services to demonstrate overall safety across Transport and real time information.
Action: Stakeholder feedback will be utilised to help shape plans. A separate feedback report that collates the input from this specific workshop and its repeated sessions with other stakeholder groups will be available in early 2021 and shared at future forums.
Item no. 8
Future forum items/AOB
CT stated that TfW would welcome suggestions from forum members for agenda items at the next forum and future forum meetings.
CT thanked forum members for their attendance and wished everybody well.
The next forum is proposed to be held in February/March 2021.