Minutes of The Isle of Wight Bus and Rail Users Group Annual General Meeting
held on the 22nd February 2020 in the Methodist Church Hall, Newport, Isle of Wight.

In attendance the following Executive Committee members – Stuart
George (SG), Robert May (RM), Dina Jung (DJ), John Yunnie (JY), James
Nevell (JN) and 12 ordinary members.

The Chairman opened the meeting at 11:15 apologies were noted from David Rogers, Mary Ward, Terry Jones, Richard Steele, Gilly Steele and Sarah Innes.

Chairman’s Report (SG)

IW bus services have been stable over the past year.

The Department for Transport has opened the Supported Bus Services fund to bids from local authorities, for awards in 2020-21. The IW

Council can bid for up to £56,721. The IWBRUG has suggested the following options to the IWC for possible inclusion in a bid:

Local routes

Ventnor town route 31: continuation of service after Ventnor Town Council subsidy finishes, and possible extension to Niton

Ryde town route 37: increase to every 30 minutes (from hourly) at busy times

New route: Ryde – Haylands – Havenstreet – Briddlesford – Wootton – Newport (2-hourly), instead of route 37 increase.

Tourist routes

Route 6: increase to hourly (from 2-hourly) in summer – instead of extending route 31 to Niton

Route 8: extension of the additional summer only Newport – Sandown services through to Ryde

Route 12: extra journeys at busy times in summer holidays and Bank holiday weekends

Route 27: extend to Alum Bay and add more journeys - instead of extra route 12 services.  

Island Coaster extra journey departing Yarmouth around 10:30 – Tapnell Farm – Brighstone - Blackgang Chine – Ventnor – Shanklin - Sandown Zoo.

Not all of these could be funded for £56,721, however.

Ventnor Town Council is to reduce the number of operating days of route 31 to 3 days/week due to low patronage and high costs.

The proposed Island Line timetable (30 minute interval with the Brading loop) is likely to be problematic.

Railfuture Wessex branch is holding its AGM in Southampton on 18th April. After the AGM, there will be an opportunity for a trip on the
freight-only line to Fawley, on which they are campaigning for passenger services to be reinstated.

Membership Secretary’s Report (JY)

Membership is slightly down on last year: 64 (2018) to 58 (2019).

Some new members joined at the Public Meeting on 18th January, while others have moved away.

Bembridge Parish Council has not renewed its corporate membership.

Treasurer’s Financial Report (JY)

Financially 2019 was a good year. A £15 monthly payment is made for the hire of the Methodist Church Hall. The room is fully accessible by disabled and mobility impaired people – so that IWBRUG meetings match the requirements for public transport, whose users we represent.

The Nationwide are to close all “Treasurer’s Trust” accounts, so IWBRUG will have to make new arrangements. The balance at the end of
2019 was £687.46 compared with £564.70 at the start of 2019.

A vote of thanks was proposed for JY for his work as Treasurer and Membership Secretary, and all present agreed.

Secretary’s Report (JN)

At the Public Meeting on 18th January Richard Tyldesley, Southern Vectis manager indicated that schedules for routes 9 (Ryde-Newport) and 2/3 (Ryde – Shanklin/Ventnor – Newport) would be extended to allow for traffic delays from summer 2020. The extra resources will push up costs, and hence fares, which will be changed in 2021. A combination of higher fares and longer travel times could badly affect passengers and discourage bus travel. IWBRUG should therefore campaign for traffic management measures, such as bus lanes, to reduce bus delays, particularly on these routes.

Elections

Elections were due for all of the Executive Committee (EC) positions, but no additional nominations were received. 

Phil Jelly (PJ) is to join the EC. His background is as a Civil Service customer service officer, working at benefits offices. He also has a
PCV license and drove buses for Badgerline in Bath, before it was taken over by First Group. Until 2019 he did voluntary work as an
adviser at Shanklin Tourist Information centre. He represents “foot” (non-vehicle) passengers on the IWC/Wightlink liaison committee,
where he campaigns for better rail-ferry connections at Ryde and Portsmouth. He is also a volunteer conductor at the London bus
museum at Weybridge.

A vote to elect the EC members unopposed for 2020 was 100% in favour.

The AGM was then closed, and the Ordinary Meeting opened.



Member’s questions

PJ mentioned continuing issues at Fishbourne where Wightlink staff are not directing foot passengers from the car ferry to the route 9 night bus. Richard Tydlesley said that drivers are detailed to wait up to 5 minutes for a late ferry. 

Action:
PJ to raise at Wightlink liaison meeting on Tuesday.

SV are currently reviewing the stop names. Could the stop names, and the next stop announcements refer to nearby visitor attractions? Specific requests include the following:

Godshill Hollies/Griffin to Godshill Village;
Daish’s Hotel to Shanklin Old Village; and
Devonia to Stop for Brading RomanVilla.

Action:
SG to forward these suggestions to SV or raise at next liaison meeting.

Orchard Street will be closed for resurfacing and buses diverted to temporary stops on Church Litten.  Other than a notice in the County Press newspaper there is little information for passengers.

The possibility of making travel on the winter Sunday services on route 6 (Newport – Ventnor) free is being discussed by the parish councils which fund the services.

Could a reintroduction of the route from Newport – Porchfield – Thorness - Newtown be suggested to the IWC for possible inclusion in a bid for Supported Bus Services funding?

Action:
SG to forward suggestion to IWC.

The Island Observer newspaper reported that Island Roads resurfacing programme is only 70% complete. A survey is being conducted.

PJ proposed a vote of thanks for the Executive Committee.

Meeting closed at 12:14.

Next Members Meeting will be held on 28th March 2020 in the Methodist Church Hall, Newport.



Minutes of The Isle of Wight Bus and
Rail Users Group Public Meeting held on the 18th
January at Newport Methodist Church Hall, Quay Street, Newport.

On the platform were: IWBRUG Executive members – Stuart George (SG), John Yunnie (JY), and James Nevell (JN). 
South Western Railway: Andrew Mundy (AM), Programme Manager for the Island Line Upgrade
Southern Vectis: Richard Tyldesley, General Manager (RT)
Isle of Wight Council (IWC): Ian Ward, Cabinet Member for Transport (IW) and Stewart Chandler, Client Manager for Transport (SC)

35 members of the public attended.

The meeting was opened by SG at 11:00.

Southern Vectis from RT
RT listed the following changes for the summer (April – October) 2020 timetable. Traffic congestion and roadworks delayed buses
considerably in summer 2019, and many routes have extra buses added to maintain existing service frequencies and punctuality.
Route 1: an extra bus is added to maintain punctuality during the St Mary’s roundabout works. After works completion, buses will be added on Sundays and evening for punctuality.
Routes 2/3 were badly affected by roadworks in Sandown Bay area in 2019. Longer journey times and extra buses will be added to maintain punctuality.
Route 5: no change, but more frequent service under consideration if demand is sufficient.
Route 8: More time allowed in Sandown area for punctuality. Extra evening journeys will be added on Mondays-Fridays to provide the same services as on Saturdays.
Route 9: Longer journey times and extra buses will be added to maintain punctuality.
Routes 22/24 Minor changes for these community bus services.
Route 27: Extra journey added from Yarmouth, as an extension of the Coaster route.
Needles Breezer was badly affected by queuing traffic approaching Alum Bay in 2019. 3 buses will run from April 2020 and extra time added. Following problems with trees, after Freshwater Bay it will divert via Totland to avoid Highdown Inn area. All Breezer fares are
increased to £12 from £10, with a £2 Breezer supplement from multi-day tickets.
New buses with Euro 6 standard emission controls will be introduced on routes 7 and 8, possibly in later 2020. Fares will be revised in
early 2021 to reflect rising costs, including the extra buses needed to maintain service frequency and punctuality with increased
congestion delays. Singles and Rover ticket prices have not changed since 2010.

IWC update from Ian Ward
Island Roads (IR) are working through the PFI core resurfacing programme. Primary routes are 90% complete and town roads 50%. IR are upgrading all roads to a common standard. 
Utilities are also digging up roads to repair/renew old pipes/cables, causing traffic delays. However, following recent legislation, utilities
will have to obtain an IWC permit for non-emergency roadworks from 2020. Hopefully completion of the IR core resurfacing works and IWC control of utilities works will reduce congestion delays affecting buses.
The St Mary’s roundabout works are intended to provide extra capacity to accommodate expected traffic from new housing to be built on the former HMP prison estates. Works are is currently ahead of schedule and within budget. Future Newport traffic plans will involve Coppins Bridge junction.
IWC update from Stuart Chandler
The proposed reduction in disabled persons’ concessionary travel availability, which IWC consulted on in 2019, remains under discussion following postponement of a decision on 2nd January. Options are being considered and SV/IWBRUG will be consulted on the outcome.
The bid for DfT Transforming cities Fund for Ryde Interchange scheme was submitted in December 2019.

Bus stops requiring infrastructure improvements have been identified. IR as developing plans, and these should be funded before March 2020. More details to follow.

SWR update from Andrew Mundy  

The Island Line upgrade, as announced in September 2019, is being progressed with AM as manager. 
Some gauge enhancements on bridges are needed to allow the new trains to pass. Platforms heights will be raised, or the track lowered as required to provide level boarding. Rowborough power sub-station is being renewed. A passing loop will be installed at Brading, with
both platforms will be used. 
Provision of a Train Protection and Warning System is being considered between Ryde St John’s Road and Sandown stations to allow a 20-minute interval service to be run.
Construction works will require 7,000 tones of material to be moved. Design work is 75% complete. Line closures from Ryde St John’s Road – Ryde Pier Head (4 weeks) and Smallbrook Junction – Shanklin (8 weeks) will be needed in Autumn 2020 to complete the trackwork before Christmas.

The logistics of transferring the rolling stock (5 x 2-car trains) is challenging. The new trains will need 700 miles of test running and should start passenger service in May 2021.

Questions from the audience

Could IWC revenue from parking charges be used to fund continuation of the disabled travel concessions? (Vix Lowthion). IW replied that the consultation responses are being analysed, but a decision has not yet been made.

Couldthe Island Line be extended to Newport and/or Ventnor? Could a feasibility study be made? 

IW replied that the feasibility of extending Island Line to Newport is being considered and the IW MP (Bob Seely) is seeking Government funding for this. RT indicated that as bus route 9 (Ryde – Newport) carries many passengers, funding infrastructure to reduce journey times might be better value for money. SC stated that a modal shift from car to public transport would be desirable, and that a wider IW transport strategy is being drawn up, and detailed plans could follow this.

Could electric buses replace diesel vehicles to reduce CO2 emissions?

RT replied that new diesel buses with Euro-6 standard emission controls produce only a eighth of the CO2 per passenger-km travelled of a new car. However, electric buses cost twice the price of a diesel bus and have only a 100-mile range between charging – while a normal service bus covers around 200 miles/day. Currently the finances are against electric buses, but this is expected to change in future.

Will wheelchair users be able to access the platforms at Brading and Ryde St John’s Road stations after the upgrade? 

AM indicated that a footway connection from Brading station northbound platform to “Jones’ Crossing” will be installed to give for access to the southbound platform by persons with reduced mobility. Network Rail is considering the possibility of making Ryde St John’s Road station fully accessible to passengers with reduced mobility, using funding from its “Control Period 6” budget.

Could route 6 services on winter Sundays (Oct-Feb), which is funded by Whitwell, Niton, Chillerton and Chale parish councils, be made free for all passengers?

RT replied that the fares revenue reduces the cost to the parish councils. If they desire a free service, the cost will need to be revised.

Could rail replacement taxi/minibus services be provided on Ryde Pier when trains are not running? 

AM replied that he will raise this issue with SWR.

Could bus stop laybys be provided to reduce traffic queuing?

RT replied that buses get stuck in laybys, delaying services. 

SC indicated that IWC policy is not to use laybys in order to reduce delays to buses.

Could IWC provide subsidies to increase bus services? 

SC replied that IWC has insufficient resources to fund bus services at present. Ideally bus services should be commercially sustainable.

When will the Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS) be introduced on Island Line? 

AM replied that funding for TPWS is not included in the upgrade budget, but this is being investigated.

Could IW bus timetables be charged for? 

RT replied that this is not necessary. Many passengers now use the SV mobile phone APP and fewer timetables are printed. Many timetables are now recycled, with collection bins at ferry terminals.

Is the £26m funding for the Island Line upgrade secure against the failure of the SWR franchise? 

AM replied that the funds (£11m trains and £15m infrastructure) is Department for Transport money and is protected in the event of the SWR franchise terminating early.

The Island Line timetable says tickets are needed prior to boarding, but most tickets are sold on trains – could this be clarified? 

AM replied that tickets will be sold on trains and at ticket vending machines to be installed at some stations. The possibility of using solar power for energy supply is also being investigated. 

Meeting closed at 12:18


IWBRUG MEMBERS MEETING 23rd NOVEMBER 2019 AT 11:15

Minutes of the meeting held in the Methodist Church Hall, Newport.

In attendance: the following Executive members – Stuart George (SG), Robert May (RM), Dina Jung (DJ), John Yunnie (JY), and James Nevell (JN), plus 11 ordinary members. 

The Chairman (SG) opened the meeting at 11:15, apologies were noted an un-named member.

SG gave the Chairman’s report, covering meetings in November 2019 with the IW Council (IWC) and Southern Vectis (SV). The main points are summarised as follows.

IW Council meeting 

Road gritting in winter 2019/20 will cover all bus routes – a reversal of IWC’s previous position

IWC will not introduce automatic renewal of bus passes to avoid the risk of causing distress to relatives by accidentally sending cards to deceased persons.

The Bus Service Operators’ Grant, formerly known as fuel duty rebate, is being used to improve bus stop infrastructure, including the provision of hard standing areas where necessary.

A possible new shelter at Godshill Hollies stop could be funded by the parish council. IWBRUG could also ask Island Roads if any resources are available to provide it.

IWBRUG asked IWC to consider providing traffic priority measures to reduce delays to buses in areas where congestion occurs.

Major traffic delays caused by Wight fibre roadworks have affected buses in the west Ryde area in November 2019. Delays have also affected Green Lane, Sandown (route 2) and will affect Shanklin High Street (routes 2&3) in December. IWBRUG asked IWC to manage this more effectively and to provide more advance information to SV to enable mitigation measures to be implemented. IWC may change the rules for utilities’ roadworks in 2020.

IWC would like to introduce Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI) systems but has issues with funding and systems compatibility.

IWC did not respond to IWBRUG’s request for concessionary passes to be made valid for travel between 23:00-midnight on Fridays. No information is available for the likely costs of this, but IWC remains under financial pressure.

A decision regarding the outcome of the 2019 consultation on the reduction/withdrawal of disabled persons’ travel passes is expected to be made by April 2020.


Southern Vectis meeting

Future timetable changes may include the following:

An hourly evening service on route 8 (Ryde – Bembridge – Sandown – Newport); 

Extra time allowed on route 9 (Ryde – Newport) due to traffic delays; and
Frequency increase on route 9 to every 7.5 minutes – 8 buses/hour from 2021.

Vehicle purchases could include new double decks for route 9 and cascading to remove the remaining Scania buses.

Fare increases for multi-trip tickets in November were noted. However, information was provided online but not elsewhere.

RTPI at stops and at Newport bus station will not be provided in the short term.

Tourist Information is to be relocated to Newport bus station travel office, from the former TI centre in the Guildhall.

Road works disruption: IWBRUG asked SV to provide information at Ryde bus station.

SV will consider retiming route 38 but will not provide an evening service due to low demand.

Seasonal services in 2020 will be unchanged from 2019.

Electric/hybrid buses are being operated by Go Ahead in Brighton. DJ asked if they could be used on the IW to reduce carbon emissions. 

Action: ECM to consider contacting Andrew Wickham to discuss future Go South Coast use of electric/hybrid buses.

NOTE: This was done and a copy of the correspondence is below.

Hi Stuart,

We don’t have a policy on electric buses, but our wider strategy
is to keep working with suppliers to review and trial appropriate
alternative fuel vehicles. Locally, in the New Year we have a
3-bus trial starting in Salisbury with electric single decker's,
which will give us some more knowledge on operational capabilities
as well as medium/long-term costs. At present, an electric bus is
in the region of double the cost of the latest diesel engine
version, but it is the charging infrastructure that is most costly
and uncertain, and this can run into the millions. We have
benefited from some funding from the green bus fund to help offset
the additional costs in Salisbury, but at present there would be
no commercial case for replacing diesels with electrics without
any outside funding to assist.

Perhaps more importantly for the island, whilst there are quite a
few single deck options on the market, there is yet to be a fully
tested double decker capable of carrying out a full day's work on
the kind of geography we have on the island. I'm sure that in 3-5
years battery technology and capacity will improve, and there
might be one that would be able to replace one of our buses.
Hopefully costs will reduce too.

In the meantime, new euro-6 low carbon buses are both cost
effective and have are significantly better on emissions than
previous versions. Also, given the stricter regulation of bus
engines, a euro-6 diesel bus emits in the region of 8-times less
than an equivalent car, bus it can obviously carry many more
people.

Hope this help, but don’t hesitate to ask should you have any
further queries.

Many thanks.

Richard Tyldsley | General Manager | Bluestar, Southern Vectis
& Unilink

the go south coast family is Bluestar | Damory | Excelsior | Hants & Dorset Trim | morebus
| Salisbury Reds | Southern Vectis | Swindon's Bus Company | Tourist | UNIBUS | Unilink


Richard,

We discussed this subject at a recent members' meeting and
resolved to find out more about the Go South Coast policy
regarding it. In particular we would like to hear how Southern
Vectis fits into this, together with the costs associated with
replacing the fleet with electric buses. It might be helpful if a
senior figure from GSC could give a short presentation at the
January public meeting and then answer any questions arising from
it.

Stuart George.

JY had contacted Simon Moye of SV by email regarding route 9 late evening connections at Fishbourne car ferry terminal. Buses are to wait up to 5 minutes for late ferries. This allowance is too little, and scope for improved connections will be raised with SV.

JY reported in Island line issues. Service reliability has been poor since September due to train failures. Notices have only been provided at Ryde Esplanade and Shanklin stations, and insufficient information provided on the SWR website. Rail tickets are accepted on SV bus routes 2 and 3 for Ryde – Shanklin travel. However, no alternative provision is made on Ryde Pier – unlike during weather disruption in the 1980s when taxis were chartered – this may be a breach of contract.

Action: JY/SG to write to SWR raising these issues.

The IWBRUG Public Meeting will be held on 18th January 2020 in the Methodist Church Hall, Newport. Guest speakers are to be invited from SWR, SV and IWC. A member asked if IWBRUG questions for guest speakers could be provided in advance. This will be considered.

Meeting closed at 12:40. Next meeting – the public meeting on 18th January 2020.



IWBRUG MEMBERS MEETING 26th OCTOBER 2019 AT 11:15



Minutes of the meeting held in the Methodist Church Hall, Newport.

In attendance: the following Executive members – Stuart George (SG), Robert May (RM), Dina Jung (DJ), John Yunnie (JY), and James Nevell (JN), plus 11 ordinary members. 

The Chairman (SG) opened the meeting at 11:15, apologies were noted from Mary Ward.

JN gave the Secretary’s Report. This recapped the Historic England regeneration report, which included recommendations for the pedestrianisation of St James’ Square Newport, Union Street Ryde and the closure and relocation of Ryde bus station. These proposals could, if implemented, cause longer bus journey times, longer walking distances to/from stops and inconvenience to passengers. David Rogers (DR) suggested that IWBRUG write to the IWC informing them of our views on this issue.
Action: EC to discuss

The Secretary’s Report also included recent disruption to routes 4 and 9 by roadworks on Queen’s Road and Argyll Street by Wightfibre. No prior notice was given, and long traffic queues rapidly built up causing delays of over 1 hour to buses in both directions. Route 4 was cancelled on 1 day with Ryde – East Cowes passengers forced to change at Binfield Corner, where pedestrian safety is unsatisfactory. Route 37, which is inter-worked with route 4 was cancelled on another day, leaving some areas of Ryde unserved. Many passengers were severely delayed.

Action: SG to ask Richard Tyldesley (RT), manager at Southern Vectis (SV) about reserve plans to maintain services in the event of future road disruption.

SG presented the Chairman’s Report. This covered the announcement of 16th September of DfT approval for the South Western Railway “Costed Option” for the Island Line. SG had asked some questions by email but had not received substantive replies. [The questions included whether the new trains will stop closer to the ferry terminal at Ryde Pier Head station.]
JY has asked SWR if they plan to restore a third train to operable condition, to provide a reserve train to maintain services when other unit(s) break down. SWR have not responded yet.
At Shanklin rail station the telephone box has been removed to facilitate the installation of a bench and possible shelter. This is to be funded through the SWR Community Infrastructure Fund, resulting from a successful bid by IWBRUG.
Also, at Shanklin rail station, some repair work appears to be in progress on the toilets, which have been out of use for several months.

SG is to contact to arrange a liaison meeting with IWC.
Action: SG to contact Stewart Chandler to arrange meeting.

The IWC road gritting programme for winter 2019/20 is to omit some roads used by bus routes 7, 8, 12, 31, 32 and the FYT minibus services in the west Wight. RT has indicated that this will result in services being suspended during icy weather and possibly after dark in cold weather leaving some villages unserved.
IWBRUG complained to IWC.  Cllr Ian Ward, Head of Transport, replied that savings of £4.5m are required owing to budget cuts. 
Action: SG to respond if IWC position remains unchanged.

Phil Jelly (PJ) asked if the lack of operation of the Shanklin Shuttle route between 15:00-16:00 during September, despite it being in the published timetable, could be raised at the next SV liaison meeting.
Action: EC to discuss

The new SV timetable does not mention fares or include routes 51 and 52.
Action: Raise at next SV liaison meeting.


DJ reported that customer service at Newport bus station enquiry office is unsatisfactory, with staff unhelpful, although it is good at Ryde bus station. Other members suggested that a roaming “customer care” assistant is needed at Ryde and Newport to help visitors in summer.

DJ also reported that the IWBRUG grant application has stalled, and that GDPR related information is required to progress it.
Action: SG/JY to provide information.

A member raised the recent “The Future of the Bus” report by the Campaign for Better Transport. This report featured SV route 6 but did not mention the financial contribution made by some of the parish councils to help secure its continued operation. 


Meeting closed at 12:15. 

Next Members Meeting is on 23rd November 2019 at 11:15 in the Methodist Church Hall, Newport.



IWBRUG MEMBERS MEETING 28th SEPTEMBER 2019 AT 11:00


Minutes of the meeting held in the SVOC Sports and Social Club, Newport.

In attendance: the following Executive members – Robert May (RM), Dina Jung (DJ) and James Nevell (JN), plus 12 ordinary members. 
The Deputy Chairman (RM) opened the meeting at 11:00, apologies were noted from Stuart George, John Yunnie and Don Vincent.

RM presented the Chairman’s Report. 

JN gave the Secretary’s Report. This covered the following issues

The announcement by South Western Railway that DfT funding has been secured for its “Costed Option” package of improvements including replacement trains, a passing loop at Brading, stretches of continuous welded rail and station ticket machines. 

The Historic England report on possible initiatives to regenerate the town centres of Newport, Ryde and East Cowes. This included recommendations for the pedestrianisation of St James’ Square Newport, Union Street Ryde and the closure and relocation of Ryde bus station. These proposals would, if implemented, cause longer bus journey times, longer walking distances to/from stops and inconvenience to passengers.

Diana Conyers (Head of Planning, Ryde Town Council) said that the aim at Ryde Esplanade was to reduce the amount of space occupied by bus station, but that the stops and interchange with rail would be retained.

The reduction in Island Line train services to one per hour from 18th September, and consequent crowding on the remaining service was
discussed. Bogie parts are being sought and 3 trains are needed for a 2 train/hour service. Members had obtained possible dates for
reinstatement ranging from 19th October to 30th November. 

The poor condition of the remaining usable Island Line trains was discussed. Concern was expressed that they might be allowed to deteriorate further, and the service be suspended before the replacement trains are delivered.  It is unclear if SWR would have to operate a replacement bus service in this case. A possible letter of complaint, stressing the urgency of measures to maintain the service, to SWR was suggested.
Action:
EC to discuss.

The Shanklin Shuttle finished for 2019 at the end of September. Phil Jelly (PJ) reported that few passengers had travelled on it during September. PJ also reported that the service had not run between 15:30 and 16:30 during September, contrary to the published timetable. Martin Mullins suggested that IWBRUG raise this SV. Other suggested a letter of complaint.
Action:
EC to discuss.

Concern was expressed about possible cuts to route 12 (Newport – Freshwater – Alum Bay) following the expected reductions in concessionary pass availability by IWC. 

Action: to be raised with SV at the next liaison meeting.

Meeting closed at 12:00. 

Next Members Meeting is on 26th October 2019 at 11:15 in the Methodist Church Hall, Newport.


IWBRUG MEMBERS MEETING 27th JULY 2019 AT 11:00

Minutes of the meeting held in the SVOC Sports and Social Club, Newport.


In attendance: the following Executive members – Stuart George (SG), Robert May (RM), Dina Jung (DJ), James Nevell (JN), John Yunnie plus 9 ordinary members. 

The Chairman (SG) opened the meeting at 11:00, apologies were noted from David Barnard, Mary Ward, Tony Jones and Sarah Innes.

The Secretary (JN) reported on the Community Rail Partnerships conference held at the Southampton Harbour Hotel on 15th July. JN and DJ had attended representing IWBRUG. Many of the projects being promoted by CRPs (new station facilities) are being held up pending DfT authorisation of funding. The focus of CRP efforts had shifted to engaging with various social groups to encourage rail use and maintain stakeholder interest. However, Bobby Lock, chair of the Island Line CRP, said that funding for the seat outside Shanklin station for rail-bus changing passengers (proposed by IWBRUG) had been agreed.

SG reported on the SV liaison meeting held on 19th June. The Scania double deck buses are to be retained until 2020 to cover for the recently delivered Enviro 400 MMCs being temporarily withdrawn for warranty modifications. 

SG reported on the Island Line Stakeholder Conference on 8th July attended by SG and JY. There is no news on the funding of the
SWR proposal for improvements to Island Line to help secure its future, which is awaiting DfT approval. However, Network Rail is to
undertake renewal works on Ryde Pier in 2020 to enable trains to continue to run to Ryde Pier Head. The IWC has submitted a joint
bid for Transforming Cities Funds for improvements to Ryde bus station, Ryde St Johns Road station and to provide walkway on the
former tramway pier. The outcome of this bid will be announced in November 2019.

Members’ questions

Several members reported disappointing low loadings on route 27 (Newport – Tapnell Farm), particularly the 14:05 departure from Newport. Travel demand to/from this attraction may prove not to be sufficient to warrant a dedicated route. 

DJ reported a member’s complaint about declining (and variable) bus driving standards in recent months. Hard braking has resulted in passengers being thrown forward in their seats and standing passengers being at risk of falling over. Phil Jelly (PJ) suggested that instances of poor driving should be reported to SV, who would take remedial action including driver training. 
Action: all members to report any experiences of bad driving to SV.

Concern was expressed regarding passenger information provision when buses were unable to reach Newport bus station during the recent carnival. 

David Rogers encouraged members to respond to the IWC consultation on their proposed reduction in concessionary fares for disabled passengers. The loss of revenue could result in service reductions – affecting other passengers. RM indicated that routes 6 and 12 could be reduced to peak period only services. Don Vincent questioned the IWC claim that £450,000 annual savings could be achieved, although this includes withdrawal of the New Islander cards. Roger Fordham (RF) said that carers’ passes would also be affected, which would further restrict travel opportunities for elderly/disabled persons.
Action: SG to draft and submit an IWBRUG response which will mention the impact on non-concessionary passengers of any resulting service reductions.

DJ reported that the Local Access Fund programme of improvements at rural bus stops is going ahead.

PJ reported on problems with the Wightlink Ryde-Portsmouth passenger ferry. One of the vessels is currently out of service resulting in service reductions in the peak season period.

JY canvassed members’ views on a change of venue for IWBRUG members’ meeting to the small hall at Newport Methodist Church. Access would be step-free – unlike the SV Sport & Social Club – which would enable IWBRUG to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. A fee would be charged (the current venue is free) but this could be met from an increased subscription. The possibility of grant aid is also being investigated. A vote on this proposal will be taken at the August 2019 members’ meeting.

RF complained about poor connections between services on Newport town routes 38 and 39 at Newport bus station.
Action: to be raised with SV at the next liaison meeting.

Meeting closed at 12:00. N

Next Members Meeting is on 24th August 2019 at 11:00 in the SVOC Sports and Social Club, Newport.



 Minutes of The Isle of Wight Bus
and Rail Users Group Public Meeting held on the 29th
June at Newport Methodist Church Hall, Quay Street, Newport.

On the platform were:
IWBRUG Executive members – Stuart George (SG), John Yunnie (JY), and James Nevell (JN). 
Southern Vectis: Simon Moye, Operations Manager (SM)
Isle of Wight Council (IWC): Stewart Chandler, Principal Transport Officer (SC)
20 members of the public attended.

The meeting was opened by SG at 11:00.

IWC update by SC
A bid for £15m under the Transforming Cities programme has been developed for improvements at Ryde Interchange. The scheme would deliver:
Bus station improvements including remodelling of the “drive in-reverse out” layout;
Better waiting facilities for bus and rail passengers;
A new footbridge with lifts linking the rail station and Hovertravel terminal;
A pedestrian and cycleway along the former tramway pier; and Improvements to the Park and Ride facilities at Ryde St John’s Road station.
This package would form part of the wider £250m “East Hampshire Rapid Transit” programme.
The initial draft bid was submitted on 20th June and the final bid will be submitted in November 2019.

IWC is to use the Bus Service Operators’ Grant funds (formerly known as fuel duty rebate) to provide improvements to rural bus stops. This programmed will cover the most used stops and be completed by March 2020. 

IWC is to consult on its proposed withdrawal of funding for the discretionary elements of the English concessionary bus fares scheme. This would make One-Islander travel cards not valid for use before 09:30 on weekdays.

IWC is to review its “home to school” transport provision. 


Southern Vectis update by SM
The winter 2019/20 timetable will not have any service reductions compared with the winter 2018/19 timetable.

New routes to replace withdrawn IWC “home to school” buses will be:
51 Newport – Cowes Enterprise College (already introduced in April 2019)
52 Carisbrooke High School to Cowes

Additional resources will be provided to maintain service frequencies on route 1 (Newport – Cowes) during the forthcoming remodelling of St Mary’s roundabout.


Questions from the floor

Review of locations of little used stops. SC stated that the locations of some stops are being reviewed to improve access, but no stop

closures are planned. SM indicated that drivers are permitted to stop in safe places away from stops when necessary.

Could a lift be provided at Ryde St John’s Road station to access the platform used by southbound trains? Funding might be provided from the Access for All programme.

Action: SC to raise with South Western Railway.

Co-ordination of route 9 services with night ferries at Ryde and Fishbourne to improve connections. 

Action: SM to liaise with Wightlink when producing the timetable, where possible. Drivers will be instructed to wait up to 5 minutes for late ferries. 

Drivers changing their destination screens prior to completing routes. SM has instructed drivers not to do this.

Could electric buses be used on the IW? SM stated that Go South Coast are trialling a battery bus in Salisbury and, subject to its success, could use them on the IW. Only short routes without major hills are suitable for operation with current batteries. Routes 5 (Newport – East Cowes) and 38 (Newport town) are being considered.

Signage for passengers changing from rail to bus at Ryde Esplanade. SC stated that this would be improved, and Real Time Information
provided, as part of the Ryde Interchange scheme. 

Could Ryde bus station signage and/or bus destination displays indicate route 9 as “Newport direct” to prevent visitors using other
indirect routes? A similar issue occurs at Sandown. SM stated that the Traffic Commissioners require the final destination to be
displayed in a larger font than intermediate stops. 

Action: SM to consider providing signs indicating “route 9 Newport Direct” at Ryde.

Could routes be split into A/B variants? SM stated that the Go South Coast approach is to maintain network simplicity.

Assurances were sought that the printed timetable will continue, as some other UK operators are ceasing to provide them. SM stated that there are no plans to stop it. It is particularly valuable to tourist visitors as information on attractions and how to reach them by bus is provided.

Is the use and cost of New-Islander cards during the discretionary period monitored and itemised separately? SC confirmed that it is. 

Could early buses be run on route 8 on Saturdays for commuters? 

Action: SM to investigate the possibility of earlier route 8 services on Saturdays.

Could handrails be installed on Ryde Esplanade footbridge? SC replied that as the Interchange project would include a new footbridge, no improvements to the existing structure would be made.

Could a new bus route be provided to link Ryde with Appley?

Action: SM to investigate the possibility of a Ryde – Appley route.

Could planned diversions be announced on the Next Stop Announcements system?

Action: SM to investigate the possibility of diversion announcements.

Could a bus priority lane be provided westbound on Fairlee Road, where buses are often delayed? SC replied that there are “pinch points” where an extra lane could not be provided, and delays at these could negate any gains from a bus lane. However, the IW Transport Plan states that measures will be taken to reduce bus delays.

Action: SC to investigate how delays to buses on Fairlee Road can be reduced.

Could delays to buses on route 8 in Bembridge, caused by parked vehicles, be reduced? SC replied that a local traffic plan is under

development by Bembridge parish council and IWC, and this issue will be considered.

Could route 38 be run every 30 minutes throughout Saturdays? SM replied that the gap in service is to enable schedules to be regained following delays on weekdays. Adding resources to this route would affect its viability.

Action: SM to investigate if the gap in route 38 scheduled is needed on Saturdays.

Could 39 be reallocated to Stand D in Newport bus station to reduce congestion? SM replied that Newport bus station capacity is
insufficient for current needs, and that route 5 currently using stand D is often delayed so the stand usage varies.


Councillor Ian Ward addressed the meeting and stated that IWC finances are severely constrained, with total budget cuts of over £3m being required in 2019-20. The transport/highways department has to compete with statutory functions such as Social Care for funds. Any new schemes are therefore unlikely to receive IWC funding in the short term at least. Southern Vectis are also subject to financial constraints. Public expectations regarding improvements should therefore be realistic. 

He also suggested that some costs currently allocated to the Transport budget, such as the New Islander card concessionary travel, might be transferred to other departments such as Social Care.

SG closed the meeting at 12:25.



IWBRUG MEMBERS MEETING 25th MAY

2019 AT 11:00

 Minutes of the meeting held in the SVOC Sports and Social Club, Newport.
In attendance: the following Executive members – Stuart George (SG), Robert May (RM), Dina Jung (DJ), James Nevell (JN) plus 8 ordinary members.

 1)  The Chairman (SG) opened the meeting at 11:00, apologies were noted from John Yunnie, Mary Ward and Tony Jones.

2)   The Secretary (JN) reported on the successful movement of crowds by shuttle buses to/from the “Walk the Wight” events. 
Also, the recently opened consultation by Transport for the South East on its proposed acquisition of transport powers covering rail franchises, local buses and trunk roads.

3)    SG opened a discussion about a letter from IWC Cllr Michael Lilley to Cllrs Michael Buxton, Ian Ward and David Stewart (leader), recommending that the IWC use powers given by the Bus Services Act 2017 to take control/ownership of IW bus services.  This letter was sent in response to a communication from the Minister for buses (Nusrat Ghani) to all English local authorities reminding them of their powers under this act. 
David Rogers (DR) doubted that any move to control/franchise bus services by IWC would result in any benefit to passengers.  The
IW enjoys the best service of any semi-rural area in the UK.
Martyn Mullins (MM) indicated that IWC is unlikely to be interested in involvement in non-statutory areas.
DJ stated that London buses, which are controlled by a public authority, are very successful.  SV is not addressing the IW tourist travel market effectively. Mottistone Manor is an example of a poorly served attraction (32,000 visitors p.a. & 5 buses/day).  Route 12, which serves Mottistone should have an hourly, or even a half-hourly service.
Phil Jelly (PJ) drew attention to the information about visitor attractions provided in SV’s timetable.
Don Vincent (DV) suggested that Cllr Michael Lilley might be directed to discuss his ideas for IWC control of bus services with Stewart Chandler (IWC Public Transport officer), who could inform him of IWC policy concerning new obligations.
DR warned that route 12 could be withdrawn if concessionary travel schemes were removed.
MM commented that fewer visitors travel by bus due to the reduced popularity of the Sandown Bay area.

Action: enquiries on SV’s view of route 12 to be made at the next liaison meeting.

4)   SV is currently reviewing the stop names.
DR said that DfT rules state that stops cannot be named after the road in which they are located.
SG revealed that Sandown Post Office stop is renamed “Pier Street” as the P.O. has moved.
RM stated that a review of the “Downs Breezer” stop names is needed to aid visitors.
DR said the Ryde bus station stops display “Newport” in bold type and other places in soft type, confusing visitors unfamiliar with the routes.
DJ stated that the map at Wootton Cedars stop shows route 9 in the wrong direction.

Member questions
5)    Chris of the Blind Society complained that provision of “Next Stop Announcements” (NSA) is patchy and unpredictable, with volume sometimes inaudible.  The NSA roll out must be completed.

6)    PJ asked about the availability of through tickets from the Shanklin Shuttle (SS).
These are available but not publicised. The operation of some SS services during September is unclear: the timetable and website are contradictory. 

Action: SG to check Shanklin Shuttle services in September with SV.

7)    Godshill bus stop shelter: funding to be requested from the parish council.

8)    RM asked why Shanklin Rail Station toilets have been closed.

Action:SG to raise with SWR.

9)    Accessible bus stops.  SG stated that Island Roads have £30K budget for improvements (e.g. hard standing areas).  IWBRUG has suggested 6 stops and will add more. 
A member suggested the provision of a footway from Wootton Common Crossroads stop to Briddlesford Farm, a visitor attraction with evening events.

10) SG mentioned issues regarding the conveyance of mobility scooters on Island Line.

11) PJ outlined information obtained at a recent East Wight Forum meeting with Wightlink ferries.  Portsmouth-Ryde ferry maintenance will be rescheduled to January 2020 to minimise its impact on visitor traffic.  There were problems during Easter weekend with only 1 vessel available, and the “Blue Funnel” not available for hire, resulting in some passengers waiting for over 1 hour. 
The recently announced night service on the Ryde-Portsmouth route (FSO) could affect usage of the night bus on route 9 which serves Fishbourne harbour.  No Island Line night trains will be run to collect the ferry passengers, however.
DJ suggested asking SV to retime the night route 9 services to connect with the night ferries.
DR asked for route 8 (hourly) services to be retimed to better connect with Wightlink ferries.

Actions: Bus/ferry connections at Ryde to be raised with SV at the next liaison meeting.

 Meeting closed at 12:00.

 Public Meeting is on 29th June 2019 at 11:00 at Newport Methodist Church hall

 Next Members Meeting is on 27th July 2019 at 11:00 in the SVOC Sports and Social Club, Newport.

 
Addendum
After the meeting DJ raised an issue concerning the renewal of multiday ticket bundles.    If you renew after having started to use a day's ticket the next journey starts another day's ticket and does not continue with the first one as it should.    It is then necessary to visit a bus station enquiry office to claim it back.

 Action: issue to be raised with SV at the next liaison meeting.


IWBRUG MEMBERS MEETING 27th APRIL 2019 AT 11:00

Minutes of the meeting held in the SVOC Sports and Social Club, Newport.

In attendance: the following Executive members – Stuart George (SG), Robert May (RM), James Nevell (JN) plus 9 ordinary members.

The Chairman (SG) opened the meeting at 11:00, apologies were noted from John Yunnie, Dina Jung, Don Vincent, Mary Ward, Roy Daath, Chris Byles.
The Secretary (JN) reported on overcrowding on route 7 and the Island Coaster over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, owing to large numbers of visitors travelling to/from Alum Bay. SV’s response included additional route 7 services and a duplicate Coaster service on
Easter Sunday.

The Chairman (SG) reported that:
The long-awaited DfT decision on whether to approve South Western Railway’s bid for funding to renew the Island Line trains/infrastructure has been delayed again. As part of this programme, the IW Steam Railway services could run into Ryde St John’s Road station. A decision is expected within weeks.
SV is to hold a “Tech Day” next Wednesday 1st May 15:00-17:00 to inform the public on how to use their new website, at Ryde and Newport travel centres.

SG and JN attended the Railfuture Wessex AGM in Portsmouth on 6th April. JN had enquired about possible improved access from
Portsmouth Harbour station/ferry to Gunwharf Quays, a popular destination for IW passengers. No other IW issues were discussed.
The IWBRUG Public Meeting will be on Saturday 29th June in Newport Methodist Church Hall.

Mark Earp of the IW Local Access Forum (LAF) indicated that Island Roads has some funds for improving rural bus stops and access to them and asked for priorities. Improvements could include off-highway hardstanding area and easier pedestrian access. Member suggestions were:
Newnham Road/Rowlands Lane, near Havenstreet
Gunville, near to traffic lights
Forest Corner
Billingham/Berry Shute
Freshwater Bay opposite public lavatories, towards Compton
Thornton Cross – prevention of flooding in shelter
Whitely Bank south, towards Ventnor.
Carisbrooke, bottom of Cedar Hill, westbound – mitigate obstruction by parked cars.

Priorities for limited funding could in part be determined by usage. SV has boarding/alighting data.
Action:
SG to ask SV for usage data for the stops shortlisted if this becomes necessary.

IWC intend to reduce verge cutting due to lower budgets. This could affect rural stop visibility.

Members’ questions
Martyn Mullins reported overcrowding on Stand B at Newport Bus Station for routes 7/12 to Alum Bay on Easter Saturday (see item 2), causing discomfort and a possible safety issue. Relocating to Stand D in place of route 5 was suggested.

Action: raise with SV at next liaison meeting.

David Rogers (DR) noted that the House of Lords Committee on Intergenerational Fairness had last week recommended that free bus
passes for pensioners should be withdrawn. If implemented, this could result in lower operator revenues and consequent service
reductions and route withdrawals.

Action:
Political developments regarding this issue are to be monitored.

DR asked about the patchy introduction of next stop announcements. SG stated that Richard Tyldesley intends to complete the programme, as indicated at the

Phil Jelly asked if members had any ferry related issue for raising at the East Wight/Wightlink Forum. The availability of only 1 vessel
on the Ryde-Portsmouth service during the busy Easter Bank Holiday weekend, which resulted in 1 or 2 hour waits for some passengers,
will be raised.
DR and other reported low levels of revenue collection and ticket checking on Island Line trains.

Action:
SG to raise with South Western Railway officers.

The possible impact of withdrawal of the Scania buses was discussed. However, Richard Tyldesley had indicated that no major service
changes were expected at the SV/IWBRUG liaison meeting.

Meeting closed at 11:48. Next meeting is on 25th May 2019 at 11:00
in the SVOC Sports and Social Club, Newport.


IWBRUG MEMBERS MEETING 23rd MARCH 2019 AT 11:00

Minutes of the meeting held in the SVOC Sports and Social Club, Newport.

In attendance: the following Executive members – Stuart George (SG), Robert May (RM), John Yunnie (JY), Dina Jung (DJ), James Nevell (JN) plus 15 ordinary members.

The Chairman (SG) opened the meeting at 11:00, apologies were noted from David Barnard.
The Secretary (JN) reported on the proposed loading bay on Garfield Road, Ryde and how parked lorries might obstruct and delay buses on routes 4, 9 and 37 (8 buses/hour) at this point. SV (Richard Tyldesley) have indicated that they will be commenting on this
proposal in the IWC consultation and encouraged IWBRUG to also do so.
Action:JN to respond to consultation for IWBRUG before 31st March deadline.

SG provided an advance copy of the next SV timetable. Changes to routes 8 and 27 services were noted.
SG and JY will be attending the Island Line stakeholder group meeting next Tuesday 26th March. No news has yet been announced
regarding the SWR bid for DfT funding of its costed options to replace the trains, renew the track and electric substations.
SG indicated that the SV liaison meeting has been postponed until 2nd April.
SG is to attend a meeting of the Railfuture Wessex branch in Portsmouth on 6th April representing IWBRUG. Other members are also
invited to attend.
DJ described the process for reporting hazardous bus stops to Island Roads/IWC. These are stops where waiting passengers are at risk
from passing traffic and/or with accessibility issues. Members are invited to report such stops and ask for a hard-standing area to be
provided. DJ provided the necessary forms. SV provides pictures of all stops on its website, which can be used to help with this process

SG indicated that the next Public Meeting is to be held on 29th June, in Newport Methodist Church hall.

Members’ questions

Phil Jelly asked if IWBRUG could help to secure discount admission for bus passengers at IW visitor attractions, to help to reduce car use
during the tourist season. This numbers of attractions providing such discounts has declined in recent years.
Action:to be discussed at next ECM.
Phil Jelly noted that some drivers are changing their destination screens while in motion.
Next stop announcement issues:
Audibility by passengers with poor hearing (David Rogers)
Coverage of parts of route 8 (Mary Ward)
Possibility of drivers manually announcing diversions (Mary Ward)
Progress on installation has stopped with pre-2016 vehicles unfitted (JY).
Action: issues to be raised with SV at liaison meeting.
David Rogers noted that the stands at Ryde bus station all indicate “Newport” in large letters before the other places served,
confusing visitors. Could the passenger information be directed more at visitors unfamiliar with the routes?
Action: issue to be raised with SV at liaison meeting.
David Rogers noted the limited information available from Go South Coast HQ at Poole.
Martin Mullins noted that on-bus monitors do not display information long enough to be read.
Action: issue to be raised with SV at liaison meeting.
David Rogers noted that the proposed withdrawal of the “New Islander” cards by IWC would remove free travel for carers of blind persons,restricting their travel options.
Action: IWBRUG/SG to raise the issue with IWC when appropriate.

Meeting closed at 11:33. Next meeting is on 27th April 2019 at 11:00 in the SVOC Sports and Social Club, Newport.







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