New Anglia Transport Board
Assessing impact and Recovery Plan
Meeting Note
9.30-11.00am, Tuesday 2nd June 2020 - Virtual Teams meeting
Board attendance:
Ali Clabburn
Andrew Chillingsworth
GT Railway
Andrew Harston
AB Ports
Andrew Reid
Suffolk County Council
Andrew Summers
Transport East
Andy Walker
Suffolk Chamber of Commerce
Carmen Szeto
Carolyn Barnes
East Suffolk
Chris Soule
David Cumming
Norfolk County Council
Doug Field
New Anglia LEP
Graeme Mateer
Suffolk County Council
Cllr Graham Plant
Norfolk district representative
James Bradley
Network Rail
Jonathan Cage
Norfolk Chamber of Commerce
Jonathan Denby
Greater Anglia
Jonathan Rudd
New Anglia LEP
Karen Chapman
Suffolk Growth Programme Board
Laura Waters
New Anglia LEP
Cllr Martin Wilby
Norfolk district representative
Nova Fairbank
Norfolk Chamber of Commerce
Paul Ager
Associated British Ports
Paul Davey
Hutchison Ports
Paul Horne
Suffolk County Council
Paul Martin
First Buses
Cllr Phil Smart
Suffolk district representative
Richard Pace
Norwich Airport
Richard Perkins
Suffolk Chamber of Commerce
Simon Amor
Highways England
Steve Bryce
Ipswich Buses
Suzanne Buck
Suffolk County Council
John Dugmore
Suffolk Chamber of Commerce
Jonathan Oates
Patrick Ladbury
GT Railway
Sara Noonan
West Suffolk
Steve Wickers
First Buses
Stuart Clancy
Norfolk district representative
Minutes and matters arising
The previous minutes were accepted as a true record.
An update was provided on the action from the February meeting to develop an influencing strategy for Ely. The
Strategic Outline Business Case has been submitted to Government with a decision on funding to progress to next
stage likely to be announced in July. Communications is on the agenda to be discussed at the next Ely taskforce
meeting and the New Anglia LEP and Transport East will also be attending the next meeting of the Ely
communications working group. Network Rail are working with the DfT on making the case to the treasury but there
is a need for coordinated pressure over the summer to accelerate activity.
Impact of Coronavirus
LW presented paper summarising the impacts Covid-19 has had on various modes of transport, which will help in
understanding the most critical areas and identify interventions for restart and rebuild phases of recovery planning.
Key updates and feedback:
Transport will need to adapt to how businesses operate differently with working from home and staggered working
hours with the need to understand new commuter patterns. We need to balance the reopening of the economy with
maintaining the benefits seen during the lockdown such as improved air quality.
Increased working from home has demonstrated need for better broadband. Market towns and cities are
implementing measures to reopen safely on June 15th including guides/helpers to give confidence to shoppers.
NCC received £400k towards these measures and Local Authorities have also received funding.
All three ABP ports at Ipswich, Lowestoft and Kings Lynn have operated normally throughout the period since the
end of March and this had also been the case at Felixstowe.
Major issue for airports is the 14-day quarantine restriction, lobbying is taking place to refine the parameters of this
including air bridges and testing on arrival. Domestic flights restarting in July. Opportunity around regional
connectivity, currently public service obligation routes are focussed around London, but this is an opportunity to
connect all regions.
Bus operators are facing challenges, number of passengers reduced to 10-15% of normal levels and services have
been reduced to reflect this. Key routes for employment and access to hospital have been maintained. Peak
services will be increased to align with easing of lockdown restrictions. Social distancing measures do significantly
decrease capacity and will now have to see if buses can cope with passenger numbers.
All that can be done in terms of funding and support for buses is being undertaken and similar to other operators in
not knowing what patterns will look like as lockdown restrictions are eased. Difference between rail and buses,
government has an obligation in worst case to step in support rail, but this is not the case for buses. Based on this
we should lobby for grants and support for buses.
Can the bus and rail operators be financially supported until such a time when passenger numbers make services
viable? There is a definite need for a rural transport network in our area, but could some modelling work be
undertaken to understand the level of support needed? Reports that businesses may want to relocate from London
to areas such as Norfolk and Suffolk. As noted above it is a positive that cycling has increased but with cars
returning to the roads a communication/safety campaign is needed around cycling safety on the roads.
Active travel will be a key part of recovery; Ipswich needs improved cycle lanes which has been discussed with
Transport East.
Minimal rail services at the start of lockdown these have now increased since Mid-May. Similarly, to buses social
distancing at its current levels does create a capacity issue. Since February, all new trains in place which has
provided increased capacity. Once the restrictions are lifted there is a shift from discouraging anything but essential
travel to encouraging journeys, these journeys are going to involve public confidence measures such as face
DfT acted quickly for rail with all operations since March on emergency arrangements with the provision to extend,
working with DfT to anticipate changing patterns and take the opportunity to plan positively.
Thameslink and Great Northern lines: minor step-up in service on 15 June and bigger increase in services from
early July.
Need increased uptake of broadband, Government has bought in grants for businesses/homes for full fibre to
premises, which the county councils will lead on. A focus on strategic road projects and more improvements are
needed on smaller roads to support businesses in these areas. Norfolk County Council just received £22m from the
Pothole Fund which will be used to improve all our roads including rural ones.
Given the reduced capacity on public transport and messages about its usage, it is likely that increased car use at
least temporarily is likely during the recovery period. Currently the safest option to maintain social distancing is to
use your own car and a strong communications strategy is needed to get people using public transport again. The
communications will also need to stress that short trips can be undertaken by walking/cycling, especially in towns.
Social distancing has also had a big impact on viability of services and airlines have no direct support from
government. Agree with the opportunity mentioned earlier about the draw from London to Norfolk and Suffolk and
promoting the Norwich to Amsterdam gateway.
Liftshare has undertaken a survey of members which found: a significant increase in working from home, car use
returning to 60% of normal levels and in longer term up to 80%, public transport usage not picking up until later in
the year and car sharing levels have remained steady. Liftshare are working with businesses in getting staff back to
work using data to mobilise the workforce.
Action: ACl to circulate Liftshare commuter survey
The Chair welcomed these comments and how these will feed into the New Anglia LEP recovery plan work.
Transport East Update
AS briefly introduced himself and his role as strategy director of Transport East. AS summarised the Transport East
100-day plan, four proposed work packages and next steps for activity. The priority is to get a strategy in place,
which clearly sets out the uniqueness of the East to government.
Need to focus on delivery, authorities have campaigned and successfully secured funding for road schemes, but
these are not being delivered. The A47 schemes are a priority for HE and this was reaffirmed in the RIS2.
The County Council is frustrated about the lack of delivery of committed schemes and that no new priorities were
allocated in RIS2. Positively in May 2020, the Department for Transport (DfT) approved the Strategic Outline
Business Case for the Western Link, meaning the project has conditional entry into DfT’s ‘Large Local Majors’
funding programme and awarding us more than £1 million of development funding for the project in the 2020/21
financial year. In securing the funding and delivery of schemes we need to be one strong voice.
The number one objective should be to secure funding for this region and Transport East needs to be outward
looking and strategic in its thinking. This region needs its share of the levelling up debate. Need to ensure
businesses are aware of Transport East and the Chambers can help promote its role and activities to the wider
business community. We are clear on the rail priorities for the New Anglia area but need constructive and effective
pressure to get projects delivered.
Engagement with Transport East on airports would be welcomed.
AS: Welcomes this feedback and the investment/delivery part of the strategy will be key and agrees Transport East
needs to project itself as a substantial body, increasing its profile with ministers to focus on this region.
Action: Transport East to be added as a standing update item
New Anglia LEP Recovery Plan
LW presented paper setting out the approach to preparing the plan and the phases of response, restart and
recovery. The economic recovery plan will be circulated the 8th June and due to tight timescales comments will
need to be received by mid-day on the 11th June.
In the evidence base section it sets out that the statistical impact on the economy will not be available for some time
and baseline data will start to be available from Spring 2021. Can we gather data sooner than this to inform
recovery plan? New Anglia LEP are utilising Metro Dynamics to provide a small amount of specialist support,
particularly to look ahead to how emerging trends but will check when this will be available.
Board supports the development of the plan.
Action: LW to check with economic impact lead when emerging trends data will be available and what it will cover
Action: LW circulate economic recovery plan on the 8th June
Action: All to provide comments on the plan by mid-day 11th June to LW
New Anglia LEP Sub Board Reporting
LW presented paper on the New Anglia LEP Sub Board reporting process and proposed updates on activity.
Needs to be updated to include Transforming Cities Fund bid was resubmitted last Friday, seeking £32m in funding
and should hear if successful in July.
Board agreed (once updated to reflect updates from today’s meeting) to the table of activities and actions.
Any other business
Forward plan - Connecting the East, Accessing the World: Ports and airports, Strategic road network and Strategic
Date of next meeting - 9.30am, 25 August 2020, virtual meeting or at Endeavor House