10 Integrated Responsive Transport Pilot PDF 512 KB
To consider the report of the Service Manager
Regeneration and Development.
Consideration was given to report of the Services Manager Business & Regeneration.
The Business and Regeneration Manager presented the report which sought Members views on the scope of the Integrated Responsive Transport Pilot project, and approval for the project to progress in Blaenau Gwent.
The Officer spoke to the report and highlighted points contained therein. He said the project would pilot a new way of delivering bus services in Blaenau Gwent, working closely with the existing commercial service providers and plugging gaps within these services. The project would also work with Job Centre Plus to improve access to employment for those without access to a car. However, during times in the day when the demand for the IRT service was lower, the buses may be available for journeys for shopping trips or other community provision. There was also scope for the project to support provision for school transport where this was needed, as this would help support the viability of the project long term.
He confirmed that 2 buses would be procured as part of the project and would initially operate in the Ebbw Fach and Ebbw Fawr valleys. This pilot route was supported by transport data. As a result of Covid-19, what were once deemed commercially viable routes for operators were increasingly seen as ‘un-commercial’. The precise timings and coverage of the service was still being determined in consultation with commercial and other operators.
A Member asked how the routes and areas for the pilot would be decided. He said the last bus in Brynithel was 5 p.m. which made travel for work very difficult, and he asked that this area be considered as part of the pilot.
In response the Officer confirmed that data relating to transport routes and demand was currently being examined. Challenges have been identified in the Ebbw Fach and Ebbw Fawr valleys, but there may be scope to adapt the pilot to other areas where demand was identified, in accordance with existing timetables and resources from existing operators; and also looking to make routes as flexible as possible for people travelling for work.
A Member said he welcomed the report and hoped the pilot proved a success.
In response to a question raised by a Member regarding provision of a bus service to the new hospital at Llanfrechfa, the Officer said this was the intention. Work was being undertaken to gain a clear understanding of existing commercial routes in the short and medium term in order to shape the pilot project into that service directly or linking with another provider.
The Committee AGREED to recommend that the report be accepted and the Council progress with the pilot project and introduce an Integrated Responsive Transport pilot to Blaenau Gwent (Option 1).