Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item.
To answer any written public questions about matters which are within the powers and duties of the County Council.
The closing date for receipt of questions was 10am on Monday, 15 May 2023.
However, questions that relate to reports on the agenda may be submitted up to 10am on Wednesday, 17 May 2023.
Please send questions to the Chief Executive marked for the attention of Stephen Bace (email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Questions received and proposed responses do not accompany this agenda but will be circulated prior to the meeting.
Forty-four public questions had been submitted prior to the meeting. The following supplementary questions were asked:
Question 3 – Paul Lilly stated that from his and the community’s perspective, the current Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) was not fit for purpose. He asked whether the Cabinet Member would agree to a site visit to resolve residents’ issues.
Cllr Dom Morris agreed to visit the site and suggested inviting representatives from the police to discuss enforcement.
Question 4 – David Redgewell asked whether a date had been set for a bus forum consultation with passengers.
Cllr Philip Robinson said that a date had not been set and that a draft Enhanced Partnership Agreement would need to be published in advance of any such consultation. He explained passenger groups would certainly be involved in the Enhanced Partnership Forum once established.
Question 5 – David Redgewell asked whether it would be possible to talk with South Gloucestershire Council and the Mayor for West England about the 84 and 85 bus services.
Cllr Philip Robinson explained they were looking into the 84 and 85 service problems. He could liaise with the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), but it was ultimately their decision what happened with the services. The Cabinet member was hopeful that new funding could be used to support initiatives in the local area, but he could not make any commitments at this time.
Question 6 – David Redgewell raised concern over the nearly £30,000 worth of damage that had been done to bus infrastructure in Cheltenham in the last 2 months. He asked whether more conversations could be had around prosecuting those causing this damage.
Cllr Philip Robinson explained he was disheartened to see this behaviour, particularly given budget restraints. He explained it was a matter for the police and he would seek to have a conversation with the Police and Crime Commissioner about solutions.
Question 7 – David Redgewell asked whether the lost bus link from Tewkesbury to Worcester could be looked at again.
Cllr Philip Robinson explained that the service had ended several years ago. The Cabinet Member’s focus was on maintaining the current network rather than expanding it. He also explained that the train from Ashchurch to Worcester would reduce the feasibility of re-introducing a Tewkesbury-Worcester bus service.
Question 9 – David Redgewell asked what progress was being made on Mass Rapid Transit across the County.
Cllr David Gray explained that the County Council had made funds available to study Mass Rapid Transit and that public consultation would be carried out in due course.
Question 10 – David Redgewell asked whether more effort could be made to market transport links, perhaps in co-ordination with tourist organisations.
Cllr Philip Robinson explained that as the train companies were privately owned, they were primarily responsible for their own marketing. Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) did try to signpost and promote services and he was happy to explore what more could be done.
Question 23 – Anthony Smith explained that the 781bus service was not sufficient for residents and asked whether it could become a regular timetabled service. He also asked if Cllr Robinson would agree to meet with residents to discuss this further.
Cllr Philip Robinson explained that he had spoken with local Councillors on this matter. Following the recent Stagecoach service withdrawals, resources needed to be focused on areas that had absolutely no alternative transport. This was already creating an overspend of £1.1 million. The Robin service was there to support residents and officers were looking at re-routing the 27 bus route to pass through the villages of Ruspidge and Soudley for better connection once it no longer needed to serve the Dilke Hospital.