MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND TRANSPORT SELECT COMMITTEE HELD AT RYDE THEATRE, LIND STREET, RYDE, ISLE OF WIGHT ON TUESDAY, 25 MARCH 2003 COMMENCING AT 7.00 PM
Mrs T M Butchers (Chairman), Mr J R Adams, Mr M J Cunningham, Mr J H Fleming, Mr V J Morey, Mrs E Oulton, Mr I R Stephens (deputising for Mrs B D Clough)
Mr C B W Chapman, Mrs B D Clough, Mrs M J Miller, Mr D J Knowles
Portfolio Holders :
Mr E Fox, Mrs B Lawson
Also Present (non voting) :
Mr A A Taylor
THAT the minutes of the meeting held on 30 January 2003 be confirmed.
72. RYDE MULTI MODAL INTERCHANGE
The Chairman welcomed Mr A White - Managing Director of Southern Vectis; Mr R Box - General Manager of Hovertravel; Mr S Wade - Manager of Islandline; Mr T Dickinson - Station Manager Ryde Esplanade and Mr R Willegers - General Manager Port Operations Wightlink to the meeting.
The Head of Engineering Services reported on the background to discussions since 1992 on improving the transport interchange on Ryde Esplanade. The proposal to undertake such a scheme had subsequently been included in the Local Transport Plan (LTP) 2001-2006. A bid for £5.56m had been submitted to the Government Office for South East (GOSE) in July 2002 and the Council had been notified in December 2002 of the provisional acceptance of the bid for a commencement in 2004-05.
The details contained in the bid had been the result of consultation with a range of relevant organisations and stakeholders. It was indicated that the £5.56m approved by GOSE was specific to the project and could not be utilised until all statutory approvals had been received. The Local Transport Plan indicated that similar bids could be made in future years to improve interchange facilities at Cowes, East Cowes and Yarmouth.
The Head of Engineering Services outlined that the following steps would be involved before the scheme could commence :
• discussions with GOSE on the process for appointing consultants;
• invitation for consultants to express an interest in tendering for the project;
• shortlisting of consultants;
• consultation with stakeholders and key partners leading to detailed design brief;
• submission of schematic proposals by consultants including provisional costs and timescales;
• full public consultation;
• approval of consultants for design and build of interchange.
The representatives of the main operators at Ryde Esplanade were invited to comment on the project. One area that required clarification related to the future franchise of the Island’s Railway. It was noted that the existing franchise expired in February 2007. The Strategic Rail Authority had however given provisional commitment that some form of facility would still be operated beyond that date.
The operators were committed to service improvements. Southern Vectis had purchased a number of new vehicles, Hovertravel was nearing the completion of a new terminal building, Wightlink had upgraded its facilities at Ryde Pier Head and Islandline were jointly funding, with the Council, park and ride facilities at its other main stations. The operators stressed the close working arrangements between services so that customers enjoyed an integrated transport system. Although through ticketing was available there was a need for additional publicity.
The Chairman then allowed members of the public to express views on the proposed scheme and seek clarification of some of the issues raised. With regard to the future of Ryde Pier the representatives from Wightlink and Islandline stated that the structure was sound and maintenance was undertaken on a regular basis. Wightlink, who owned the listed promenade section of the Pier, were interested in a public private partnership for improvements to that section of the Pier and associated facilities.
Issues relating to general traffic management in the area would be addressed and this included the operation of residents parking schemes. Arising from discussions the Select Committee
(i) THAT the Select Committee be advised of the timetable for the scheme and this be made available to the stakeholders.
(ii) THAT reassurance be sought from the Strategic Rail Authority on the future of the Island Railway System in order to ensure that the Government grant for Ryde Multi Modal Interchange can be effectively utilised.
(iii) THAT all costs for this scheme be contained within the £5.56m funding allocation.