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Agenda item

Report of the Head of Commissioning and Business Improvement - Park and Ride Review - Findings and Next Steps

Minutes:

The Head of Commissioning and Business Improvement presented the Park and Ride Review to the Committee.

 

Councillor John Perry, present as a Visiting Member, spoke on this item.

 

The report highlighted that:

 

·  The Park and Ride service was an area of large spend within the Council and that the contract was being reviewed.

 

·  The current Park and Ride contract with Arriva had been extended by a year to allow the review to be completed and was due to end on 31 May 2018.

 

·  The Council proposed to tender for this service in July. In order to provide innovative solutions the procurement method used would provide the opportunity for a two stage process. The process included a requirement for initial tender returns by early September and then a potential second stage negotiation to ensure the contract was awarded by 30 November 2017.

 

·  Park and Ride costed around £584,000 per year to run. £400,000 of this figure consisted of the contract with Arriva to deliver the service. The service delivered £342,000 of income in 2016/17 and therefore cost the Council £242,000 to run. £218,000 of this cost was funded from the Civil Parking Enforcement Fund.

 

·  Nearly 1500 people responded during the public consultation period and the results showed that the Park and Ride service was highly valued by its users.

 

·  The Park and Ride service took around 170 cars off of the road at peak congestion times on weekdays and therefore the service was currently not providing good value for money.

 

·  There would be consultation with both users and non-users about possible service improvement and potential changes to the charging model for the service.

 

The Committee discussed charging the passengers who were using an older person’s bus pass 50p for a return journey, which would generate extra income for the Council. The Head of Commissioning and Business Improvement agreed to carry out further research into this proposal, as it was not clear if these passengers could be charged for the service.

 

The Committee suggested that, in the next consultation with members of the public, the consultees were asked: “would you consider paying more to keep the Park and Ride service running, as it is currently at risk?”

 

The Director of Regeneration and Place confirmed that officers had delegated powers to go out to tender for the contract as a result of a previous decision made by this Committee to run this service.

 

The Committee considered whether there would be any merit in looking at shorter term contracts in addition to contract lengths of 7 and 10 years, that were currently being considered in the working draft of the tender specification. But, officers informed the Committee that this might make the tender too complex, meaning that smaller companies might be put off bidding for the contract as the resources required to prepare the bid would be too high.

 

In discussions, the Committee considered having a trial to test a new charging model with the current service users before the contract was awarded.

 

The Committee were keen for officers to update them at the earliest possible opportunity, in order to be kept up to date with the tender process.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted and further updates be brought back to this Committee at the earliest opportunity.

 

Voting: Unanimous

 

Note: Councillor English left the meeting during discussion on this item (at 7.37 p.m.) before the voting took place.

 

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