Agenda Item No.
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
PLANNING COMMITTEE: 13 FEBRUARY 2014
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 27 JANUARY 2014
C2177 FUNDING AND DELIVERY OF GREENLINKS COMMUNITY TRANSPORT SERVICE 1ST APRIL 2014 ONWARDS (RIPT) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -
Approval was sought for the future funding of the Greenlinks Community Transport service beyond 1st April 2014.
Greenlinks aimed to provide demand responsive transport to those who were unable or did not have access to public transport. Greenlinks offered a transport service primarily for residents of the Vale of Glamorgan.
Not for Profit organisations, (such as the Council) could obtain permits under Section 19 and 22 of the Transport Act 1985. These permits provided exemption to an organisation to hold a Public Service Vehicle operator's (PSV) licence when providing public transport for a charge.
Greenlinks currently operated three vehicles: a 13 seater accessible bus, a seven seater VW Sharan donated by NPower in January 2011 and a 9 seater accessible bus funded via a South East Wales regional transport services grant. The service operates both Section 19 and Section 22 permits. All three vehicles have a Section 19 permit, whilst the two larger buses also hold Section 22 permits. Both buses had been used to deliver local bus routes on both fixed and flexible routes.
The Greenlinks service operated between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday using Section 19 permits and provided a door to door service for passengers who had requested transport by 12 noon the day before travel. The requests were considered by officers and the schedules for the vehicles were drawn up the day before travel to accommodate the most passenger requests. Passengers were subsequently called in the afternoon before travel and were advised of their journey travel times. Not all requests could be accommodated all of the time. The vehicles generally carried 2 or 3 people at any one time.
Greenlinks currently had approximately 976 members, 62 group members and provided on average 600 - 650 passenger journeys a month.
The report outlined that there were several options for Cabinet to consider in respect of the future of the Greenlinks bus service.
Option 1: Stop the Greenlinks service on 31st March 2014 and lose both the Service and also the slippage RDP funding. .
Option 2: Donate the Greenlinks vehicles to other organisations operating within the Rural Vale. The Greenlinks vehicles could be donated to Community Transport organisations such as Dinas Powys Voluntary Concern, VEST or East Vale Community Transport.
Option 3: A Social Enterprise could be set up. This would require the identification of appropriate people willing to set up and continue to deliver the Greenlinks scheme.
Option 4: The Council continued to operate Greenlinks using both Section 19 and Section 22 permits, thereby continuing to offer a Bus Service to everyone in the Vale of Glamorgan. This option was preferred. It was proposed in the first instance to run the new G1 flexible bus service (Llantwit Major to Bridgend via Cowbridge as above) and to continue the G4 flexible bus service (Thursday service to Cardiff from the coastal areas) using Section 22 permits.
The remainder of the Greenlinks service would be delivered using Section 19 permits offering a service for Greenlinks members. In time, there was the option of considering other fixed or part fixed routes with Section 22 permits.
Anyone in the Vale of Glamorgan could become a member of Greenlinks. There was however, a need for the Council to find some £60,122 to fund Greenlinks for the financial year 2014/15 as well as an ongoing need to fund the project.
In order to fund the Greenlinks project next year and beyond it was proposed through negotiations with applicants to top slice all the Section 106 financial contributions for Sustainable Transport by 25%. Therefore this would mean that subject to successful negotiation for proposals that result in the payment of a contribution for sustainable transport, 25% of those contributions would be set aside to fund the Greenlinks Community Transport service as well as providing funding to support other bus services as appropriate within the Vale of Glamorgan.
This was a matter for Executive decision.
(1) T H A T the Greenlinks Community Transport Service be supported by the Council for the financial year 2014/15 in accordance with the details outlined in the report.
(2) T H A T a further report be presented to Cabinet in September 2014 providing detailed analysis of usage and costings of the Greenlinks Service as well as customer feedback.
(3) T H A T with immediate effect all future financial sustainable transport planning obligation contributions (s106) be top sliced through negotiations with developers by 25% to assist in the funding of a Vale-wide Greenlinks community transport service and to provide financial support to other Vale of Glamorgan public transport services unless the Director of Development Services in consultation with Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation determine otherwise.
(4) T H A T the sustainable transport planning obligation contributions already received for the applications listed in Appendix A attached to the report be top sliced by 25% to fund Greenlinks and other Vale of Glamorgan public transport services.
(5) T H A T the Planning Obligation Supplementary Planning Guidance document be updated to reflect the approach as outlined in the report.
(6) T H A T the report be referred to Planning Committee for information.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To provide a flexible means of community transport for residents of the Vale in a cost effective and reliable manner.
(2) To evaluate the usage, cost and customer satisfaction of the Greenlinks Service.
(3) To enable the continuation of the Greenlinks Community Transport Service and to provide financial support to other public transport services and to allow flexibility where site specific and development specific dictates as explained in paragraph 28 of the report.
(4) To ensure that there was funding available from April 2014 for Greenlinks and other public transport services.
(5) To enable the Greenlinks Service to operate during 2014/15.
(6) To advise Planning Committee of the report.
Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 27 JANUARY 2014