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Decision details

Review of Taxicard and Transport Initiatives

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Planning and Infrastructure

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No

Purpose:

The report will provide an update on the revised scheme for existing and new Taxicard members with recommendations for that scheme and for the future provision of Transport Initiatives for the disabled and Bus Subsidies.

Decision:

Matter for Decision

At the June Planning and Transport meeting, the Executive Councillor approved the undertaking of a review in relation to the Council’s Transport Initiatives. This would include the City Council’s Taxicard Scheme, Cambridge City Bus Subsidies and Cambridge Dial-a-Ride.

 

The review was to have been undertaken working with the Council’s partners including the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) but had been completed without input from the GCP due to resource constraints.

 

The report referred to the recommendations in relation to the review.

 

Decision of the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport.

  i.  Approved the proposed changes to the Taxicard scheme for Taxicard members to be implemented from 1 April 2022.

  ii.  Agreed to stop the provision of the City Council’s subsidy for the Citi 1 Night Bus Service from 1 April 2022.

  iii.  Approved the continuation to fund Cambridge Dial-a-Ride with a Grant Agreement for the 2022/23 financial year to the value of £40k.

  iv.  Noted future joined up working with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) and the GCP regarding existing City bus subsidies linked with the Bus Service Improvement Plan and City Access projects.

  v.  Continued to approve the Head of Human Resources’ delegated authority, in liaison with the Executive Councillor for Planning and Transport, and consultation with the Chair and Spokespersons for Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee, to make any changes that may be necessary to support the transport initiatives and schemes going forward, until such time as a wider decision around the policy and strategy decisions is agreed

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable

 

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Head of Human Resources and the Corporate Business & Executive Support Manager.

 

The Corporate Business & Executive Manager informed the Committee there was an error in the report at paragraph 3.2, in respect of the times of operation for the Stagecoach Citi 2 and 3 services, in so far as the times not all being shown as a 24-hour clock.  For the Citi 2, ‘1046’ should have read ‘2246’ and for the Citi 3, ‘1032’ as ‘2232’. To confirm, the Citi 3, 2240, 2310 and 2340 departures from Cherry Hinton Tesco run as commercial services. 

 

In response to comments made by the Committee, the Head of Human Resources, the Corporate Business & Executive Support Manager and Executive Councillor said the following:

  i.  In respect of Citi 2 and 3 bus services the times had not been converted to the 24-hour clock.

  ii.  As the Taxicard scheme continues a report should be brought to committee at a later date to provide an update on how the changes to the scheme had met the original aim of increasing Taxicard membership and to feedback on how the scheme was being promoted which to date had included Cambridge Matters and Open Door.

  iii.  The taxi card scheme is relevant to an individual; if there are two members of a family eligible to qualify for a Taxicard they could apply and receive vouchers in their own right.

  iv.  Would hope there would be an increase in the number of individuals using the scheme when the next report was brought to Committee.

  v.  Noted the comment that the budget for the provision of Bus Subsidies would be reduced if the recommendations were approved to stop the provision of the Citi 1 Nightbus.

  vi.  Noted the concern expressed at the equalities audit in relation to the Taxicard scheme which had looked at the scheme in general but did not address what would happen to those individuals who run out of vouchers.

 vii.  Advised that the budget for the Taxicard scheme had been underspent for many years and there was no proposal to cut the budget for this scheme; the vouchers could only be used in the full amount and therefore with the revision of different denominations of voucher value, the option to use as many vouchers per trip and the changes made to the eligibility criteria on the application form would mean greater flexibility for members. 

 

Councillor Porrer proposed and Councillor Bick seconded the following amendments to the recommendation (additional text underlined, and deleted text struck through):

 

1. Approve the proposed changes to the Taxicard scheme for Taxicard members to be implemented from 1 April 2022 – see 3.1.1.

Defer the proposed changes to the Taxicard scheme until a full report of the budgetary context of the reduced value of vouchers provided to eligible participants has been considered by councillors, along with further feedback on how those who will run out of vouchers can be supported, in particular those on lower incomes and with protected characteristics, and a revised Equalities Audit provided which fully notes the survey responses and the reduction in allowance per scheme member.

 

2. Stop the provision of the City Council’s subsidy for the Citi 1 Night Bus Service from 1 April 2022 – see 3.2.1

Councillor Bick then proposed and Councillor Porrer seconded the following amendments to the recommendation (additional text underlined, and deleted text struck through):

2(a) Review and decide the future of the subsidy for the Citi 1 Night Bus only when information on users, costs and contract can be presented for consideration;

2(b) Seek to recover the subsidy paid over the period that the service was not operated and to recommence payments as soon as Stagecoach is prepared to re-start the service. 

3. Continue to fund Cambridge Dial-a-Ride with a Grant Agreement for the 2022/23 financial year to the value of £40k - see 3.3.1.

4. Note future joined up working with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) and the GCP regarding existing City bus subsidies linked with the Bus Service Improvement Plan and City Access projects – see 3.4.1

5. Continue to approve the Head of Human Resources’ delegated authority, in liaison with the Executive Councillor for Planning and Transport, and consultation with the Chair and Spokesperson for Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee, to make any changes that may be necessary to support the transport initiatives and schemes going forward, until such time as a wider decision around the policy and strategy decisions is agreed.

A vote on was taken on both amendments which was lost by 3 votes to 5 votes. 

The Committee

The Committee endorsed the Officers recommendations by 5 votes to 3 Votes.

 

The Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

Publication date: 04/05/2022

Date of decision: 11/01/2022