Your Councillors

Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transport Committee

11 July 2017

Is the final decision on the recommendations in this report to be made at this meeting?

No

 

Park and Ride Review – Findings and Next Steps

 

Final Decision-Maker

Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transport Committee

Lead Head of Service

Georgia Hawkes – Head of Commissioning and Business Improvement

Lead Officer and Report Author

Georgia Hawkes – Head of Commissioning and Business Improvement

Classification

Public

Wards affected

None

 

 

This report makes the following recommendations to this Committee:

1.   Note that an invitation to tender for the Park and Ride service will be published in July 2017 in light of the forthcoming expiry of the current contract for the service.

2.   Note the invitation to tender for the Park and Ride service will request bids for a contract of approximately 7-10 years, specify the need for vehicles that meet or exceed Euro VI standards, explore the costs of other improvements to the service and encourage innovation from the potential suppliers.

3.   Note that further consultation will be carried out with users and non-users of Park and Ride regarding potential changes to the charging structure and possible changes to the service.

4.   Note that the results of stage 1 of the tender exercise should be known during September and will be reported to Committee in October 2017, to coincide with the findings of the tri-study on Maidstone bus interchange, Park and Ride and parking and to allow flexibility around the future of the service.

 

 

This report relates to the following corporate priorities:

·         Keeping Maidstone Borough an attractive place for all – One of the objectives of Park and Ride is to improve air quality, through reducing car travel into the town centre

·         Securing a successful economy for Maidstone Borough – Park and Ride is part of the borough’s transport network and supports the delivery of the Integrated Transport Strategy.

 

 

Timetable

Meeting

Date

Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transport Committee

11/07/17


Park and Ride Review – Findings and Next Steps

 

 

1.        PURPOSE OF REPORT AND EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

1.1     This report summarises the key findings from the review of the Park and Ride service and details the next steps required in light of the forthcoming expiry of the current contract.

 

1.2     The review found that the Park and Ride service provides a valuable service to those who use it, but, in its current form, is not particularly effective in contributing towards the key objectives of the Integrated Transport Strategy (ITS) to reduce peak time congestion and improve air quality.  However, the review found that the service could become more cost effective and support the ITS better if changes to contract length, service provision and charges were made.  Therefore, the service will be re-tendered.  Further public consultation will also be carried out on potential changes to the charging structure and service, to ensure that any changes encourage behaviour change that is supportive of the ITS without damaging the council’s financial position.

1.3     Before any new Park and Ride contract is awarded, the results of stage 1 of the tender exercise and the recommendations on Park and Ride charges will be reported to Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transport Committee to coincide with the results of the tri-study in October 2017. 

 

 

2.        INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

 

2.1     The council has to make savings in the region of £4.2M in the next 4 years.  In order to deliver those savings, areas of large spend, both in-house services and outsourced contracts, are being reviewed.  There is currently an assumption in the council’s Efficiency Plan that £75,000 will be saved from the service.  This could be through reduced costs or increased income.  The current Park and Ride contract with Arriva has been extended by a year to allow the review to be completed and is due to end on 31 May 2018.

 

2.2     There is a statutory requirement for the council to support sustainable transport, but the council does not have to do this through the provision of a Park and Ride service.  Park and Ride is mentioned in the ITS as a form of sustainable transport, but there are no performance targets for the service in the ITS, other than to encourage more people to use forms of sustainable transport, including Park and Ride.

 

2.3     Park and Ride was introduced in Maidstone in the early 1980s and has run from four sites over that that time: Coombe Quarry, Sittingbourne Road, Willington Street and London Road.  The Coombe Quarry site was closed in 2007/8 and the Sittingbourne Road site was closed in February 2016 as the cost of leasing the site had become financially unviable following a substantial increase in rent from the landowners. 

 

2.4     The Park and Ride service now operates from 2 sites: Willington Street and London Road.  The council owns the Willington Street site and leases the London Road site at a cost of £10,000 per annum.

 

2.5     European emission standards define the acceptable limits for exhaust emissions of new vehicles sold in the EU.  The buses used on the current contract are Euro III standard, which was introduced in 2000, and are reaching the end of their working life.  The current Euro VI standard was introduced in 2013.  Euro VI buses emit about one tenth of the nitrogen oxides and particulate matter (the main toxic pollutants from diesel engines) emitted by Euro III standard buses.

 

2.6     The London Road site has 518 spaces and 17 disabled bays.  Willington Street has 352 spaces and 16 disabled bays.  Buses run to and from the town centre from each site every 20 minutes between 7.00 and 18.30 Monday to Friday and 8.00 to 18.30 on Saturday.  It costs £2.60 for a peak time return before 9.00am Monday to Friday and £1.60 for a non-peak return any time after this and all day Saturday.  Discounts are available for those making 10 single trips or who purchase a 12 weekly or annual season ticket.

 

2.7     Park and Ride now costs about £584,000 per year to run (about £400,000 of this is for the contract with Arriva to deliver the service) and generates an income of about £342,000, which is made up predominantly of income from fares (details shown at 2.14) plus a very small rent income.  Therefore, in 2016/17 Park and Ride cost the council about £242,000. £218,000 of this cost was funded from the Civil Parking Enforcement Fund. Surpluses from Civil Parking Enforcement activity are strictly controlled through legislation under Section 55 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and this allows any surplus fund to be used to meet the cost of provision and maintenance of off-street parking, environmental or highway improvement or in the provision or operation of public passenger transport services, which includes Park & Ride.

 

Review Methodology

 

2.8     This review was carried out to look at the operational short to medium term future of Park and Ride, looking only at making the best use of the current assets used for Park and Ride within financial plans.  Therefore, it did not consider options like changing the location of the Park and Ride sites.  The review has been carried out to be complementary to the separate tri-study commissioned by the Spatial Policy team, which covers Maidstone bus interchange, Park and Ride and Parking at a more strategic level and over a longer term. 

 

2.9     The review of Park and Ride started in October 2016.  The main objectives were to:

 

1.   Review and assess whether the current Park and Ride service offers value for money

 

2.   Review and assess the impact the service has in supporting the ITS, specifically in terms of reducing peak time traffic congestion and improving air quality

 

3.   Identify any other benefits Park and Ride delivers

 

4.   Ensure the review is complementary to the strategic study looking at Park and Ride provision in the long term

 

5.   Explore different uses for the funding and assets that are currently used for Park and Ride

 

2.10 It should be noted that there are no specified town centre peak travel times in the ITS.  Previous studies carried out for the council looking at traffic have identified highest peak hours at junctions 5, 6, 7 and 8 of the M20 as slightly different, between 07.15 and 8.30 and 16.30-18.15.  Both Park and Ride sites are nearer to the town centre than the motorway junctions.  Therefore, a decision was made to use 07.30-08.30 and 16.30-18.00 as peak traffic congestion times in the town centre for the purposes of this review.

 

2.11 The following actions were carried out:

 

·         Best practice research with other authorities who provide Park and Ride services

 

·         Analysis of Park and Ride budgets: expenditure and income

 

·         Analysis of Park and Ride user data

 

·         Soft market testing and market exploration with Arriva (the current supplier) and several potential suppliers

 

·         Public consultation with users and non-users of the Park and Ride service (online survey and officers issued paper forms to some Park and Ride users)

 

·         Stakeholder consultation with One Maidstone, Kent County Council concessionary fares team and services across the council e.g. Environmental Health, Planning etc.

 

·         Financial modelling of alternative charging structures

 

·         Other potential uses for the resources currently used for Park and Ride

 

Key findings from the review

 

2.12 The key findings from the workstreams are detailed below.

 

2.13 Best practice research

 

1.     There are 7 elements for a successful park and ride service.[1]  The Maidstone service meets most, but not all, of these:

a.    Proximity to the strategic highway network.

b.    Safe and easy access and egress.

c.    Outside the congested area to maximise the potential advantage.

d.   Sufficient adjacent land for expansion.

e.    In keeping with surrounding land uses and meets planning requirements, in particular, green belt.

f.     The ‘ride’ element needs to be frequent, reliable and affordable.

g.   The journey time should be competitive with the alternative car journey.

 

2.     In order to be successful, park and ride must be part of a cohesive transport strategy.  A park and ride scheme should be part of a set of measures that includes:

a.    Bus priority into the city centre

b.    Re-allocation of road space

c.    Pedestrianisation

d.   Reduced availability and/or increased cost of parking in the town/city centre

e.    Readily available travel information[2]

 

3.     Very few councils that are similar to Maidstone run a Park and Ride service: looking at all the district authorities across Kent, Essex and our 15 CIPFA nearest neighbours, only Canterbury operates a Park and Ride service.  In two tier authority areas, park and ride services are normally run by the county council e.g. park and ride services in Chelmsford and Colchester are run by Essex County Council. 

 

4.     Most park and ride services operate on a pay to ride (each passenger pays to ride the bus) rather than a pay to park basis, with many offering discounts for group travel.  This is probably because any income from car parking is subject to VAT, whereas income from bus fares is not.  A few charge both to park and to ride. 

 

5.     With buses running every 20 minutes, Maidstone’s service is far less frequent than most other services, which tend to run every 8-15 minutes.

 

6.     Maidstone’s Park and Ride service finishes earlier than most other park and ride services.

 

7.     Most park and ride services run Monday – Saturday.

 

8.     Most other Park and Ride services do not offer different prices for peak and off-peak travel.

 

9.     The cost of £2.60 for a peak return is about average when compared with other park and ride services, but the cost of £1.60 for a non-peak return is one of the cheapest in the country.

 

10. Based on feedback from the councils we contacted, it is possible to run a Park and Ride service to make a profit, but this probably will not be a large profit.  Most park and ride services are subsidised by the councils that run them.

 

2.14 Analysis of budgets

 

1.     Park and Ride income comes from ticket sales, plus a very small rental income.  The tickets that bring in the largest proportion of income are concessionary fares.  Those with an older person’s bus pass travel for free on Park and Ride and the council is reimbursed about 52% of the fare from Kent County Council.  The income details for 2016/17 are shown below:

 

Ticket Type

Fares (£)

Passengers

Total Annual Income

Peak Fares

      2.60

      9,734

           25,308.40

Off Peak

      1.60

    63,849

         102,158.40

Single

      2.60

         885

             2,301.00

10 Trip ticket

    10.30

      8,044

           82,853.20

Concessions

      0.82

  132,677

         108,808.41

Season tickets

  206.00

           97

           19,982.00

Total

 

  215,286

         £341,411.41

 

2.     Looking back to 2011/12, Park and Ride income has generally fallen slightly year on year.  Comparing 2016/17 with 2015/16, when the Sittingbourne Road site closed in February 2016, income was down by 37%.  Comparing 2014/15 (when the Park and Ride service was running from three sites for the whole year) with 2016/17, income has decreased by 44%, from £609,200 to £341,975.  However, it is important to remember that the closure of Sittingbourne Road left the council in a better financial position overall because of the approximately £300,000 reduction in cost from not running the service from the Sittingbourne Road site.  Although income was greatly reduced, the service was within budget in 2016/17 as projections were made on the assumption that customers would not migrate to the two remaining sites.

 

2.15 Analysis of Park and Ride usage data

 

1.     On average, over 800 people use the service on a week day and about 700 every Saturday.  More people travel into town using Park and Ride than travel from the town centre back to the sites.

 

2.     55% of users travel from Willington Street and 45% from the London Road site.

 

3.     Assuming week day peak congestion times of 7.30-8.30 and 16.30-18.00, every week day about 170 people use Park and Ride in the morning peak and 210 use it in the evening peak. 

 

4.     In both the morning and afternoon peak congestion times, Park and Ride takes about 170 cars off the road.

 

5.     Approximately half of all Park and Ride journeys are undertaken by people using concessionary fares.  The vast majority of these are from people using older person’s bus passes.

 

6.     About 1 in 4 week day Park and Ride users travel into town before 9.00.  On Saturdays this is more like 1 in 11.

 

7.     Buses from both sites into town are busiest between 7.40 and 11.30 on weekdays, when between 20 and 35 people ride each bus.  For both sites, the busiest bus is the first one that leaves after 9.30, when concessionary fares can travel for free.  On Saturdays, buses into town are busiest between 9.40 and 12.10, when between 18 and 27 people ride each bus.

 

8.     Buses from town to both sites are generally busiest on weekdays between 16.10 and 17.40, with between 17 and 41 passengers on each bus.  The buses that leave at 17.10 (to Willington Street) and 17.16 (to London Road) are the busiest, with an average of around 41 and 25 passengers respectively.  On a Saturday, journeys from town are much more spread evenly throughout the day, with the buses becoming busier about 12.00 with similar passenger numbers (13-21 passengers on each bus) until about 16.15.

 

2.16 Soft market testing

 

1.     6 companies responded to the soft market testing.

 

2.     All the companies who mentioned contract length thought that around 5 years was the minimum.  One stated that around 7 years would probably be the optimum.  A longer contract would also mean the costs of purchasing new buses would be spread over a longer contract period, making the annual cost cheaper for the council.

 

3.     One company suggested that they might like the opportunity to run the service as a commercial enterprise.  This means the council would potentially not pay them anything but would have much less control over how the service was run.

 

4.     Two companies suggested that increasing the frequency of buses at peak usage periods was important and that bus frequency could be reduced at non-peak periods.

 

5.     All suggested buses of a Euro V or VI standard, which are the highest specification of diesel engines that are least polluting in terms of nitrogen oxide emissions.  Euro VI buses are newer and more expensive than Euro V buses and cost about £170,000 each.

 

6.     Larger organisations generally felt that they would be able to buy buses at a better price than the council could, but some of the smaller companies were more interested in just bidding to run the service with the council providing the buses.

 

7.     Suppliers would require a 6 month lead in before the start of any new contract, meaning an award would need to be made by 30 November 2017.

 

8.     It might be possible to increase the frequency of the buses to every 15 minutes using the same number of buses and drivers as we have currently, just with a small increase in fuel costs.  However, this could impact on the service level, particularly in terms of buses running on time at certain times of the day if they meet congestion.

 

9.     Arriva might consider stopping at the Park and Ride sites on Saturdays as part of their normal routes if the council decided not to run a Saturday Park and Ride service. 

 

2.17 Public consultation

 

1.     1,493 people responded: 723 Park and Ride users and 770 non-users.

 

2.     Users of Park and Ride were much more likely to be 65 or over than non-users (44% of users were 65+ vs 19% of non-users) and more likely to be female (64% of users were female vs 54% of non-users).

 

3.     Of those using the service before 9.00, 92% are travelling to work.  After 9.00, 63% are going shopping and 18% travelling into town for personal errands.

 

4.     42% of respondents who use the service said they travel to the Park and Ride sites alone and 51% said they travel with at least one other person.  People travelling before 9.00 and those travelling to work are more likely to travel alone.

 

5.     The most common reason respondents give for using Park and Ride is that they don’t like driving/parking in town – 1 in 3 said this.  Those aged 75 or older are more likely to say this than other age group.

 

6.     90% of users said they are satisfied or very satisfied with the service. The over 65s, users travelling into town at non-peak times after 9.00 and those using older person’s bus passes were more likely to say they are satisfied with the service.  Users who travel into town before 9.00 were much less likely to say they are satisfied with the frequency and the punctuality of buses than those travelling after 9.00.

 

7.     If there was no Park and Ride, half of users said they would drive and park in town.  1 in 6 said they would not come into town at all, but the percentage who said this increases with age, with 1 in 3 of those 75 and over saying they would not come into town if there was no Park and Ride.

 

8.     Most users (59%) said they only use Park and Ride as it is cheaper than parking in town.  However, a similar proportion (57%) also said that they would continue to use Park and Ride even if it cost the same as parking in town.

 

9.     Half of users (47%) said they would struggle to get into town without Park and Ride.  Those travelling into town before 9.00 and those aged 75+ were most likely to say this; 66% and 72% respectively.

 

10. 9 in 10 non-users of Park and Ride are aware the service exists.

 

11. 60% of those who don’t use Park and Ride said nothing would make them use the service as it was out of their way.  However, those who currently drive and park in town were less likely to say this, with 50% saying nothing would make them use Park and Ride.  Non-users were most likely to say that more frequent buses and cheaper tickets would make them more likely to use Park and Ride.

 

12. A short follow up survey with a small number of respondents who did not use Park and Ride showed that:

·         Most people thought the prices should stay as they were, with a few suggesting they should be increased

·         Most thought the service should be more frequent, especially in peak travel times

·         Most thought the service should run later

·         Most would not be encouraged to car share if the charge was per car rather than per passenger

 

2.18 Internal and external stakeholder consultation

 

1.     It costs £3.50-£4.00 to park in a council-run town centre car park for up to 4 hours.  The Mall costs £3.50 and Fremlin Walk costs £4.00 for up to 4 hours, but costs from Fremlin Walk rise to £5.00 for 2-4 hours on Saturday.  It costs £6.50 to park for over 5 hours in council-owned long stay car parks.

 

2.     Arriva buses run by both Park and Ride sites and buses travel into town.  Unlike Park and Ride, the buses stop at a number of stops on the way into town and the bus from Willington Street takes a much less direct route to and from town.  A single journey costs around £2.00 and a return is a daily travel ticket costing £4.00-£4.50, which allows the user to travel all day on any bus routes within the travel zone. 

 

3.     Maidstone has areas of poor air quality due to high concentrations of nitrogen dioxide associated with road traffic and has designated the urban area of the borough as an Air Quality Management Zone.  It is not possible to split out the data to look at whether the air quality issues are worse on a weekday or weekend.

 

4.     Euro V buses would meet the early aims of the Low Emissions Strategy, but Euro VI would be ideal and the standard we would want others to adopt.

 

5.     The Integrated Transport Strategy is mainly focussed on weekday congestion.  Ideally, any interventions to ease congestion (like Park and Ride) would operate on a weekend too, but weekdays are more important to delivering the strategy.

 

6.     A discussion with One Maidstone showed that businesses are generally more concerned about availability and cost of town centre parking than Park and Ride.  However, the view from businesses was that to be successful and useful to town centre businesses and their employees, Park and Ride would have to have to tackle the following things:

·         Lack of knowledge of businesses about the service – better research and marketing is required

·         Cost – the gap in cost between parking in town and using Park and Ride is not enough

·         Frequency and timings – the service is not frequent enough and does not offer enough flexibility outside of office hours

 

7.     A number of businesses were approached directly to see if they would be interested in offering park and ride to their employees.  The majority said they had no use for the service as their business had parking in the town centre anyway.

 

2.19 Financial modelling

 

1.     Continuing with a Pay to Ride charging model seems to be the safest option for the council in terms of limiting to risk to income the service generates and potentially bringing in additional income to help meet the £75,000 savings/income assumption.  It also means that those using concessionary fares can continue to use the service for free after 9.30.

 

2.     Assuming that ticket sales remain the same, just increasing the off peak return fare to £2.00 (an increase of £0.40) could generate an additional £37,000.  Standardising all fares at £2.40 (£0.80 increase on an off-peak fare and £0.20 decrease on a peak fare) could generate an additional £75,000.

 

3.     A pay to park charging model could work if the charge per car was in the region of £2.50 - £3.00; a charge of £3.00 could generate an additional £100,000 income if the same numbers of passengers used the service.  It would also support the ITS if it encouraged more people travelling in groups to use Park and Ride rather than driving into town and parking.  However, this would be a large increase in cost to those using concessionary fares who currently travel for free, as well as an increase in cost for any peak and non-peak users who travelled to the car park alone.  Therefore, although the increase in income could be greater, the risk that Park and Ride usage, especially for concessionary fares, will drop and the potential income will not increase as much as envisaged is greater than for the two pay to ride options detailed above.

 

4.     Only running a week day service or a more frequent peak time only service is likely to save less than it will cost the council in loss of income from fares.

 

2.20 Other options

 

1.     Although other options for the current resources were considered, none would have had a larger positive impact on delivering the objectives of the ITS than Park and Ride.

 

2.     The things that are likely to have a larger impact on delivering the objectives of the ITS than Park and Ride are outside the scope of this review e.g. increasing the cost of car parking in the town centre, introducing a congestion charge etc.

 

3.     If the council decides to stop the Park and Ride service, the on street parking and off street enforcement ring fenced budgets could be spent on other things e.g. new ticket machines.  There are various options for the Park and Ride sites, including using Willington Street for additional parking for Mote Park or potentially building on one or both sites.

 

Conclusions

 

2.21 The Park and Ride service is highly valued by its users, who are more likely to be older.  Whilst it is used by about 800 people every day, it is not particularly effective in delivering the objectives of reducing peak time congestion and, therefore, improving air quality, as it only takes about 170 cars off the road during the morning and evening peak time traffic periods.  However, there are over 800 spaces across the two sites, so there is capacity to improve this.  The buses currently being used are also not of a high enough Euro standard to meet the aims of the council’s Low Emissions Strategy.  Therefore, currently, the service is not providing value for money for the £242,000 it costs the council per year.

 

2.22 Whilst Park and Ride is currently not as successful as it could be in meeting the objectives of the ITS in terms of reducing peak time traffic congestion and improving air quality, no other option for use of the current assets and finances seems to contribute to these objectives any better.

 

2.23 With a bus running from each site every 20 minutes, Maidstone’s Park and Ride service runs less frequently and finishes earlier than the vast majority of other park and ride services.  Reducing the service e.g. by just providing a peak time service, is likely to reduce income by a larger amount than the savings it makes.  Therefore, it is difficult to see where reductions in the service could be made to make savings without leaving the service offer so poor that passenger numbers drop further and/or without damaging income from fares so badly that it actually ends up costing the council more. 

 

2.24 Of the £341,000 income received in Park and Ride fares, £211,000 comes from off-peak and concessionary fares.   The council charges one of the lowest off-peak fares in the country.  Increasing the price of the off-peak fare could generate substantial additional income that could meet the savings assumptions in the council’s Efficiency Plan.  If the price of off-peak fares is raised enough, it may even be possible to reduce peak fares slightly, which would support the aims of the ITS by encouraging people to use Park and Ride rather than drive and park in town at peak congestion times, and still meet the council’s financial requirements.  Introducing a pay to park scheme could also generate even higher levels of additional income, although this is more risky in terms of potential loss of users.  However, it is important that prices remain competitive in comparison to town centre car parks.  Introducing a good price for groups travelling together or a pay to park charging structure would support this, but it is currently unclear whether this would encourage people to use Park and Ride more or car share to the Park and Ride sites.

 

2.25 From the consultation carried out with users and non-users, it appears that offering a more frequent service that runs later, like most other councils that provide park and ride services, might encourage more people to use Park and Ride, therefore supporting the objectives of the ITS and increasing income.  A more frequent service could potentially be run without much additional cost, but could impact on service punctuality.

 

2.26 The environmental standards of the Park and Ride buses can be improved by the provision of newer, less polluting buses, which would be support the Low Emissions Strategy.  Euro VI standard buses would be the ideal and would ensure the buses are fit for purpose for the whole life of the contract.  This requirement could be incorporated into a tender specification.  A longer contract period than we have currently, with 7-10 years probably being the optimum, would encourage suppliers to invest in better buses and this cost would be spread over a longer period, making the annual cost cheaper for the council.

 

2.27 Without going out for tender for a new park and ride service, it is not possible to say with certainty how much a similar or improved service would cost in the future, and, therefore, if it would be value for money.  It is necessary to go out to tender in July to ensure that any supplier has sufficient time to get all arrangements in place ready for the expiry of the current contract in 31 May 2018. Similarly, without more consultation with users and non-users of Park and Ride, it is difficult to say how changes to Park and Ride fares might impact the behaviour of users and those who currently do not use the service.     

 

2.28 Therefore, the following next steps are planned:

 

1.   Go out to tender in July, seeking bids for a contract of approximately 7-10 years.

 

2.   Undertake further consultation with users and non-users to explore how changing Park and Ride charges might change their behaviour and better support the ITS.

 

3.   Combine the results of stage 1 of the tender exercise and recommendations on Park and Ride charges with the report on the tri-study coming back to SPST in October.  This will allow the Committee to see the full picture around transport, including the cost (taking into account both expenditure and income) of keeping Park and Ride using the current assets, as well as what the recommendations are for Park and Ride in the long term.  This report will come to committee before any new Park and Ride contract is awarded. 

 

 

3.       CONSULTATION RESULTS AND PREVIOUS COMMITTEE FEEDBACK

 

3.1     The results of the survey undertaken with users and non-users of the Park and Ride service are shown in Appendix I.

 

 

4.       NEXT STEPS: COMMUNICATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECISION

 

4.1     An invitation to tender is being prepared and will be issued in July.  In order to ensure suppliers can provide innovative solutions, the procurement method being used provides the opportunity for a two stage process of initial tender returns by early September and then a potential second stage negotiation with shortlisted bidders.  This process means it is important that the invitation to tender is issued in July as planned to ensure information is available to Committee at the same time as tri-study findings and to ensure that any new contract can be awarded by 30 November 2017, to give the necessary 6 months lead-in time for the supplier (to order buses etc). 

 

4.2     An online survey will be carried out to explore whether any of the potential changes to the charging structure or the service itself would make more or less likely to use Park and Ride.  This will be communicated by email to everyone the council has on its consultation list and will be specifically advertised to Park and Ride users through advertising at the sites and/or buses.  Like the survey that has already been carried out, some paper surveys will be handed out at non-peak times, to make sure we get feedback from non-peak users, who tend to be older and therefore less likely to complete an online survey.  Depending on the results of the survey, focus groups to explore specific issues in more detail may also be carried out.

 

4.3     The results of the tender exercise and the recommendations on Park and Ride charges will be reported to SPST in October with the results of the tri-study.  This will allow the Committee to see the full picture around transport, including the cost (taking into account both expenditure and income) of keeping Park and Ride using the current assets, as well as what the recommendations are for Park and Ride in the long term. 

                                                                             

 

5.       CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES AND IMPLICATIONS

 

Issue

Implications

Sign-off

Impact on Corporate Priorities

Park and Ride supports both corporate priorities by contributing to improving air quality and reducing congestion.

Georgia Hawkes

28/06/17

Risk Management

The risk that the income might be adversely affected by changing Park and Ride prices will be mitigated by consultation with the public, to understand how price changes might change their behaviour.

Going out to tender for a new Park and Ride contract in July helps to ensure  that any supplier is able provide a service from the end of the current contract on 31 May 2018.

Georgia Hawkes

28/06/17

Financial

There is an assumption in the council’s Efficiency Plan that £75,000 will be saved from the Park and Ride budget.  This report shows that this is most likely to be achieved through changing Park and Ride charges and/or increasing passenger numbers rather than reducing the service.

Section 151 Officer & Finance Team

Staffing

No implications.

Georgia Hawkes

28/06/17

Legal

The tender exercise for the new Park and Ride contract will be carried out to comply with legislation and regulation.

 

MKLS can assist in the drafting of the necessary agreement.

Team Leader (Contracts and Commissioning) MKLS

Equality Impact Needs Assessment

An Equality Impact Needs Assessment has been drafted and will be updated with further information from the public consultation. 

Policy & Information Manager

Environmental/Sustainable Development

Park and Ride helps to deliver the objectives of the ITS. 

Georgia Hawkes

28/06/17

Community Safety

No implications.

Georgia Hawkes

28/06/17

Human Rights Act

No implications

Georgia Hawkes

28/06/17

Procurement

The council will go out to tender for a new Park and Ride service in July.  The procurement will provide the opportunity for a two stage process of initial tender returns in September and then negotiation with prospective suppliers.    

Georgia Hawkes

28/06/17

& Section 151 Officer

Asset Management

The council owns the Willington Street Park and Ride site.  

Georgia Hawkes

28/06/17

 

6.        REPORT APPENDICES

 

The following documents are to be published with this report and form part of the report:

·         Appendix I: Park and Ride consultation 2017 – Summary results.

 

 

7.        BACKGROUND PAPERS

 

None.

 



[1] CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy)

[2] CIPFA