25th June 2002
17th Sept 2002
Robinson, Cabinet Member - Environment, and
128 : WELCOME
The Chairperson welcomed County Councillor Patel who was attending his
first meeting of the Environmental Scrutiny Committee following his
appointment by the annual meeting of Council on 30 May, 2002.
129 : MINUTES
The minutes of the meeting held on
21 May, 2002 were approved as a
correct record and signed by the Chairperson.
130 : PUBLIC TRANSPORT - ULTra
(County Councillor Brown declared an interest in accordance with Article
12 of the Member Code of Conduct, as a non-executive Director of Cardiff
Bus. The Member remained at the meeting during consideration of this item).
Following the Committees site visit to the prototype testing track for
the ULTra system in Cardiff Bay, the Chairperson welcomed Professor Martin
Lowson, Professor of Advanced Transport at the University of Bristol, and
Chief Executive of Advanced Transport Systems Limited; John Dacey, Corporate
Manager, Chris Pike, Chief Traffic & Transportation Officer, and Paul
Carter, Operational Manager, Transport Policy and Development, who had been
invited to make detailed presentations on the project as part of the ongoing
scrutiny of Public Transport.
- Presentation by Professor Martin Lowson on Sustainable Personal
- The ULTra (Urban Light Transport) is an innovative form of Personal Rapid
Transit (PRT), which is being developed to meet the need for sustainable and
effective transport in the future.
- Professor Lowson detailed the business case for the ULTra project,
- partnership arrangements between industry-based partners, experts in
the field, government and local government bodies;
- historical innovation transport development, dating back from the
high-pressure steam engine to the internal combustion engine and the
car-based transport system of today;
- current transport needs and problems;
- the proposed project development for Cardiff;
- technical issues.
- Professor Lowson advised that from recent evaluations undertaken by the
Department of Transport, it was suggested that a comprehensive ULTra system
could attract between 25% and 30% of the present car-drivers.
- The ULTra concept builds upon well-developed tried and tested automobile
component technologies, and is based on a systematic analysis of the needs
of modern transport. The concept aims to provide transport which
- is available on demand;
- goes non-stop from start to destination;
- is easily accessible and offers a full choice of destinations;
- is strongly environmentally-friendly;
- is low-cost;
- has demonstrably high safety together with personal security;
- integrates well with other forms of transport.
- This new approach is to provide an automatically controlled, personal
taxi system to run on its own dedicated network. The units are available on
demand at a series of stations situated around the city. All stations are
off-line, therefore there is no need for vehicles to stop during their
journey time. The maximum speed has been limited to 40 kph (25 mph) for
safety reasons, but it is recognised that trip times are reduced by a factor
of between 2 and 3 compared to cars or buses in congested city centres.
Simulation of the application of the system to Cardiff at peak periods, has
shown that nearly all passengers (more than 90%) would obtain immediate
service from a waiting vehicle. One of the key factors for this concept is
the importance of an Integrated Transport Strategy. ULTra would need to
complement existing forms of transport. By providing a network link with,
on-demand access, to major bus and rail stations or to park and ride sites,
it will improve the attractiveness of these modes of transport. ULTra can
contribute to the improved transportation, both directly, and by enhancing
the appeal of other modes.
- Professor Lowson detailed the key infrastructure features of the concept.
The ULTra runs on its own guideway network with offline stations. Typically,
the network is arranged in a series of loops serving key transport locations
around the city. These loops are combined by merge/diverge sections. In
combination with offline stations this provides non-stop travel. The track
itself is passive and switching is achieved by in-vehicle steering using an
electronic guidance system. The network form allows the guideway to be
one-way, providing important benefits in cost and visual intrusion. Design
testing has shown that infrastructure construction costs for the overhead
guideway would be less than that for an equivalent footbridge, and for
at-grade track less than the equivalent footpath. This is because the system
loadings are less than the pedestrian crush loads required for footway
design. This also means that the system can be run into buildings designed
to existing floor-loading codes with no structural change. In addition, to
provide a u-shape form guideway it would only require a 2-metre width. The
guideway itself is 45cm deep in order to minimise visual intrusion.
Estimates have shown that the mature headway for ULTra is one second, and
assuming 65% utilisation, would carry over 2,000 vehicles per hour in each
lane. This capacity is equal to that of a single lane of motorway. The ULTra
however, occupies one third of the ground space required by a conventional
- The key features of the vehicle are:
- 800kg gross weight;
- four-passenger capacity;
- 40kph speed;
- 2kW continuous power;
- 8% of the gross weight is battery pack.
- Professor Lowson advised on the current project position following one
year of testing. He stated that the prototype pod had been tested on a track
with all city application features. Further testing would be undertaken so
that the programme reaches maturity before Stage 0 of the project was put
into operation. In addition to testing the vehicle consideration had been
given to accessibility.
- A feature of the design approach from the outset had been that the ULTra
would provide significant increased accessibility for those with a wide
range of disabilities. Advice had been taken from the DfT Mobility and
Inclusion Unit and consultation and evaluation had been made with Cardiff
Disability Groups. Further detailed design work would now be undertaken.
However, it should be noted that it is designed so that there is no change
in the level between the platform and the vehicle floor; the vehicle door
has been designed to facilitate entry; the vehicle design can accommodate a
wheelchair and a companion; and wheelchairs can be turned around inside the
- Safety and security within the vehicle is a prime requirement for any
transport system. The target for the ULTra was a safety higher than 2009
targets for rail. Consultations had been undertaken with the HM Rail
Inspectorate from the early stages of the project, supported by independent
safety experts. The Inspectorate, having considered the initial concept
safety paper, issued a letter of no-objection. The ULTra design and
operational concept had therefore been accepted as feasible and reasonable
by the HMRI. Discussions are ongoing with the HMRI.
- Much consideration had been given to the design, structure and method of
operation of the vehicle to avoid vandalism. It had been agreed that the
vehicles would be covered by CCTV, the details of which were to be
finalised, and that the operation of the vehicle would be by smart card,
which would identify the user to the operator. The introduction of both of
these methods would give the option to the operator of increasing staffing
in other areas, for example at station locations.
- ULTra offers significant benefits in personal security. All trips are
only undertaken either individually or with companions chosen by the
traveller. During peak periods, 90% of the trips would be available
immediately on demand with no waiting time at the stations. Off-peak these
figures rise to 100% since vehicles can be assured to be available at all
stations. All stations would be well lit and would be under continuous
coverage by CCTV. Direct links to the controller would be available from all
vehicles and from all stations. As part of the implementation of the concept
in Cardiff the Council undertook a survey. Members of the public completed
questionnaires. Although the results should be treated with caution as there
is no operational experience on which to base answers. Some of the key
points of the survey were that:
- no respondents felt that the vehicle appearance was poor;
- the interior arrangements were also very positive, although not as
strongly positive as to the external appearance;
- the visual appearance of the elevated structure was generally
regarded as good.
- In Response to the Question regarding the use of the system it was noted
that this mode of transport was acceptable, and that if introduced, would
increase the current usage of public transport.
- It appears that the ULTra does offer a significantly more attractive form
of public transport. The questionnaire result closely matches results of the
modal shift analysis previously undertaken for the Council, which suggests
that between 25% and 30% of current car users could be attracted from the
car on to an ULTra system. The Committee was advised that other questions
covered fares, and it had been found that people were willing to pay a
higher fare than the bus to used the ULTra. Professor Lowson advised that
the EDIT (Evaluation and Demonstration of Innovative concepts in Transport)
was a project funded by the European Commission. Cardiff was now taking a
lead in this Group as they were utilising the ULTra system as a model of
- The EDIT programme had also supported in-depth studies on potential
applications in four European cities including Cardiff, and these were
Eindhoven, Stockholm and Rome. The Commission very much supports the
objective of Cardiff County Council to have 50% of all passenger trips being
delivered by public transport in the medium term. The Commission believes
that the ULTra system is the right way to achieve this objective.
- In conclusion, Professor Lowson stated that the successful development of
the ULTra system would offer:
- a new alternative to the car;
- improvement of the quality and attractiveness of public transport;
- major reductions in energy emissions and resource usage;
- sustainable personal transport;
- better quality of life in urban areas.
The Chairman thanked Professor Lowson for his informative presentation
and invited questions on technical issues from Members of the Committee.
- Question The concept is good, however, in order to utilise it, users
would need to get to a pick-up point and this is usually achieved by car.
- Response The National Assembly for Wales has approved a bid by Cardiff
County Council to support the first stage of the implementation of the ULTra.
The first stage (Stage 0) will enable the system to be operated between Bute
Street Railway Station, County Hall, National Assembly for Wales, and the
Inner Harbour. It is anticipated that Stage 1 to link the Bay with the City
Centre will progress in parallel subject to a public/private partnership
project. The ULTra will be developed to complement existing forms of
transport, by providing a network link to bus and rail stations with an
on-demand service. The stated preference survey showed that 5% additional
people would transfer to the ULTra/Bus combination.
- Question How does the vehicle avoid collision?
- Response Operation of the network is based on a synchronised system
with fixed slots for each vehicle at prescribed headways. It requires the
route to be identified from start to destination through all merges before
the launch of the trip from the station. Each vehicle has a radar system,
which keeps it a prescribed distance away from any other vehicle.
- Question How many people will the project employ?
- Response About 100.
- Question I note that this concept relies on proven robust
technology. What sort of operating hours can it achieve, how will the
batteries be recharged, and how much maintenance would be required on the
- Response Robustness is the important factor of the ULTra system. It can
operate for 24 hours without having to recharge. To maintain the vehicles it
would be necessary to take one off. The batteries are lead acid batteries
and there would be opportunities for recharging at berth, i.e. at the
station or the depot. These are all engineering details, which are currently
- Question Has solar energy been considered?
- Response There is not enough area on the vehicle to take the power
panels to drive the vehicle, however, solar power could be introduced at
stations to supply a source for energy, particularly in the summer months.
- Question The materials used within the pod are like bus fitments,
taxis utilise vinyl seats for easy cleaning. Will you be looking at new
vandal-resistant materials for use in these pods?
- Response The material choice is critical and we are currently looking
at this. The aim is to keep it simple.
- Question The idea of smart technology is good and to know who is
utilising the system, however, I am worried about the element of social
exclusion for those who do not utilise financial systems.
- Response I understand the point, however, we do not want to see misuse
of the system and by ensuring that payment is done by smart card/credit card
it gives us the opportunity to know who is utilising the system. One of the
solutions in Cardiff would be to utilise a wider benefit card system.
- Question How far do the batteries go between charges?
- Response The batteries can be charged at berth or at the depot. The
system has been designed for peak usage that is rush-hour period in
Cardiff, and the stations can handle 500 people an hour with 90% of all
passengers waiting only one minute for a service.
- Question What other transport plans not outlined can provide an
alternative solution in Cardiff?
- Response This is the only PRT system around although since the 1970s
some have been ideas on paper but have not reached development stage. We are
2-3 years ahead of everyone else. There are other systems such as Austrans,
a high-speed system based on modified rail technology, which carries up to 9
passengers, and other systems, which carry larger capacities. There are no
other personal systems like this one.
- Question There is no other system that could be developed with
- Response No. The LRT system proposed for Lloyd George Avenue was to be
three times the price. The National Assembly had evaluated the project at
£150m. Private finance for the LRT system was very patchy and the figures
did not stack up financially. The ULTra scheme is the only PRT system of
advantage to the system. There is a list of other systems under test in the
document published in the copy of the Municipal Engineer Journal circulated
to Members prior to the meeting.
- Question The aspiration to go anywhere is the only negative against
the ULTra, but this versatility is the greatest advantage of the car.
- Response The evaluation undertaken by the DTR has suggested that up to
30% of current car users would be prepared to transfer to the ULTra system.
The system is an automated personal taxi system with unique features and
retains many of the qualities of the car-based transport including privacy,
immediate access, and non-stop travel. It is not to replace the car but to
be integrated as a complimentary network of public transport. The City has
high-speed bus and train networks and this provides the opportunity for that
part of the journey that is never well catered for.
- Question The projected target of 50% of all passengers trips being
delivered by public transport in the medium term is this a County Council
objective and what is medium term and is this not over optimistic?
- Response This is a target aspiration. If the target is set lower, it is
never achieved. It is a good target to go for in particular for the Cardiff
- Question How can vandalism be combated and users protected from
people throwing things at the pod or onto the track?
- Response The problem of vandalism is one of the principal issues facing
the system. Vehicles, infrastructure and control systems all include major
features to combat this. Small items on the track will be moved out of the
way by a cow-catcher arrangement, and CCTV will pick up any large objects
that need to be removed.
- Question How does the Smart Card System work and how can users be
protected once inside?
- Response The pods when waiting on Stations the doors are shut. The risk
period is very limited at a Station as pods will be freely available
particularly at off-peak times and there will be CCTV coverage at Stations.
We are also looking into inserting CCTV within the pod to ensure personal
safety. The Smart Card will be able to identify users.
- Question What will the charging policy be?
- Response As part of the questionnaire people were asked on what they
would pay and this ranged from £1.50 to £2.00 currently projections are
based on a charging policy of £1.00, however if the charge was to be more it
would allow for more staff and more security. The ULTra is not aiming to
compete against other forms of public transport and therefore the charges
will have to be complementary.
- Question The pods I understand are designed for peak periods of 500
people per hour how many vehicles is this?
- Response 160 vehicles should carry 5 million passengers per year, which
would do the job of 40 cars.
- Question It appears that the track will be a trough in the ground,
how will people on ground level cross the track?
- Response The track way would be separate from any other thoroughfare
and within the City Centre some of the pathways will be overhead. In other
areas, investigations are being made to have a corridor alongside the LRT
- Question Is there potential for some of the routes to be dual-use
i.e., to run alongside a cycle route?
- Response A significant part of Stage 0 will be elevated and therefore
could not incorporate a cycle route. There will be no mix of modes on the
same track. There could be segregation of routes and discussions have taken
place with Sustrans. Parallel routes on ground level could be considered but
we would need to look at routes as there is a need for a network of routes
- Presentation by John Dacey "ULTra in Cardiff the Council's
- John Dacey detailed the key aims and objectives, problems and overall
concept of the ULTra Project in Cardiff.
- He stated that there had been a need to review as part of the Local
Transport Strategy for Cardiff the supply and demand of transport options. In reviewing future strategies it had been concluded that:
- the supply of road space no longer matched demand;
- a modal shift public transport must be achieved;
- vehicle emissions needed to be reduced;
- economic and social regeneration of the area must promote integrated and
sustainable transport frameworks;
- there was a vital need for a plan of action and a funding mechanism.
- In view of these difficulties the County Council, with the support of
funding from the National Assembly for Wales, had worked with partners on a
system that would offer a new approach to public transport in Cardiff. The
aims and objectives of the development of the ULTra Project were to:
- support Cardiff's development as a thriving and attractive European
- improve the quality of life and opportunities for people who live in, work
in and visit the City;
- address the needs of those people who are most disadvantaged;
- protect, and where possible, enhance the new environment;
- minimise harmful effects on the environment;
- reduce air pollution from traffic;
- provide services focussing on user safety.
- Mr Dacey outlined the overall transportation concept for Cardiff, which
- The key highway corridors, including Eastern Bay link, and Wentloog
St. Mellons link road; and proposals for an Ely Spur and re-assessment of
the Thornhill M4 Interchange, which are currently being reviewed as part of
the UDP process;
- Proposals for railway development including the link between the Coryton and Radyr with possible investigations into extensions to west and
east Cardiff linking them with the City Centre;
- Investigating the old rail link to the west of the City to Creigiau
- Bus and Park & Ride Facility;
- The Council is considering possible locations for park and ride sites as
identified in consultants reports particularly in the north and east of the
- Cycle and Walking;
- The Council has a published Cycling Strategy, which is currently being
revised to take account of recent partner studies, to determine the
Strategic Cycle network. A draft Walking Strategy has been prepared;
- ULTra concept would provide coverage within three distinct areas of
the city, the Cardiff Bay area, the City Centre and the Civic Centre
- These proposals had been brought forward following the lack of prospect
of the introduction of the LRT system on Bute Avenue and had been considered
to complement other forms of bus and rail travel. A phased implementation
- Stage 0 Cardiff Bay Railway Station link to County Hall, National
Assembly for Wales and the Inner Harbour;
- Stage 1 link between Cardiff Bay and City Centre;
- Stage 2 extension to the City Centre (provision to be included in
St. Davids Centre Phase 2 Project);
- Stage 3 extension to the Inner Harbour Barrage;
- Stage 4 future extension to the Civic Centre.
Mr Dacey advised that Stage 0 and 1 would cost in the region of £45m,
part of which would be supported by a funding commitment from the National
Assembly for Wales of £20m, the remainder would need to be found from
private partnerships. It was proposed that although the National Assembly
for Waless funding only covered Stage 0, that a tender would be prepared
for the two projects, and the successful operator would operate at Stage 0
& Stage 1.
The Council would need to find a mechanism, which would deliver the
necessary funding for this package, and this would include investigating the
options for a possible public and private partnership between the Council
and private organisations, which would create a Special Purpose Company (SPC)
to deliver a Transport Partnership Approach (TPA). Partners could include
construction companies, transport operators and funding bodies or enabling
bodies. The SPC would need to raise for the whole project, between £300m and
£400m to complete the infrastructure as proposed. It is likely to require a
25-30 year operated period for funding purposes. The Council in partnership
with relevant stakeholders including the National Assembly for Wales, would
need to agree ways to fund the necessary annual revenue payments (Unitary
Charge) in return for the provision of the infrastructure and services.
To date, the Council had consulted with stakeholders and had appointed
Consultants, and had received its report recommendations, which suggested
the following ways of funding the project:
- using own assets;
- PFI credits for partnership projects;
- EU funding from innovative projects;
- modified Transport Grant funding;
- planning gain;
- workplace parking/congestion charges and road tolls;
- bond mechanism;
- cross-cutting revenue sharing options;
- private sector options.
- Mr Dacey advised that the next stage was to prepare an OJEC Notice, which
would request information, and from this, a timetable could be prepared for
the procurement of partnership. This would take between 12 and 18 months to
- Statement by Councillor Robinson.
- As part of my new portfolio responsibilities, I have considered the ULTra
concept, and am impressed with the technology involved. The concept is built
on sound industrial and environmental technologies, which have produced a
sustainable concept, which will be with us for years. The project can work.
- I have been disappointed with some of the debate on the project,
particularly by those who do not fully understand the concept, or the
issues. Cardiffs problems are different from other areas in Wales, for
example, Powys has 24 people per square kilometre, but Cardiff has 2,300
people per square kilometre. Newport is one third of the size of Cardiff.
Cardiff is not unique, other cities in Europe have similar problems, and a
number of these cities are watching what Cardiff is doing.
- The ULTra proposal will not replace public transport. It is to offer an
alternative convenient service for car users. Cardiff has done a lot to
improve train and bus services, which are now more frequent and at a
reasonable cost. This is beginning to influence choices made by the public
on transport issues.
- For me, the ULTra offers exactly what the car can offer me, I can now
catch a train into the city centre and would use the ULTra to reach other
areas of the city. There are issues to be addressed at the developmental
stage, in particular, accessibility, safety and security and the issue of
smart cards, but I remain a supporter of the project.
The Chairperson thanked County Councillor Robinson, Cabinet Member,
Environment for this statement, and John Dacey, Corporate Manager for his
informative presentation and then invited questions from Members of the
- Observation I am concerned about the limits of the Smart Card. It
does not allow for the casual user, i.e. the visitor, shopper to Cardiff,
and I am concerned about the social exclusion issues, which could cause
resentment and vandalism.
- Response I agree that the issue of social exclusion needs to be
resolved and that the ULTra needs to be accessible. Consideration has been
given to the use of cash and cards for payment for a fare. From a risk
analysis technical assessment, it has been suggested that some form of
recognition of the passenger would give some added security for both the
user and the operator.
- It is envisaged that the ULTra will be a tourist attraction in itself and
will generate both jobs in construction and in maintenance. Negotiations are
ongoing in finding a partner for Stage 0 and 1 of the project, and to ensure
that Cardiff has the royalty rights for other system that is developed in
- Question The LRT proposals are of great priority to the UDP areas in
resolving transportation pressures. Is there competition for funding, and
can any funding be achieved from planning gain. Has any work been undertaken
on the LRT route?
- Response Discussions on the LRT links have been undertaken with rail
operators, in particular completion of the Circle Route. There are corridor
opportunities on existing rail routes, which could be extended to the
- Question Is it suggested that Lisvane and Pontprennau be linked to
the Heath Valley Line system?
- Response Currently we are unsure where it will join. There are
difficult engineering problems at the Heath Halt because of the height of
the station. It is envisaged however, that the Lisvane/Thornhill route would
go to the city centre parallel to the Valley Lines service.
- Question What is the OJEC Notice for?
- Response The OJEC Notice is to be used to investigate opportunities of
obtaining funding of approximately £400m of Transport Infrastructure. This
will formally allow the private sector to comment and influence the actual
partnership that we take forward.
- Question What is the bond mechanism option?
- Response Raising bond funds is an option available to the Council for
funding of the public private partnership.
- Question Will advertising be allowed on the system and will this
have a significant impact on the visual environment?
- Response No decision has been made on this.
- Observation I am concerned that if its just Stage 0 that is
developed, it will have a toy town image. The system needs to be
- Response Our bid to the National Assembly for Wales was for Stages 0
and 1. However, funding has only been agreed for Stage 0 and it is on this
that testing has been started. The Council, however, is working on a
parallel public private partnership to develop Stages 0 and 1. It is
important to develop an affective system, which is able to be integrated
into other systems, not a Disney type tourist attraction. If this is not
achieved it will be a waste of £20 million.
- Question Where would the city centre terminuses be, and what is
- Response It depends on the destination but it will be similar to what
you saw on the test track, a small area of approximately 0-9 in vehicles,
about the size of the bus lay-by outside the Castle.
- Question Are there any other options of public transport being
considered for the Bay, particularly in view of your target to increased
demand for public transport by 50%? Does the fact that we are spending money
on the ULTra mean that no other initiatives will be undertaken in the Bay
- Response The funding for ULTra is hypothecated a capital grant. Other
services such as bus services are dependant upon revenue contribution, and
if a bus operator wishes to run a service to the Bay, it needs to be
commercially viable, or subsidised.
- We have recently undertaken a survey of all County Hall staff on their
transport arrangements, which is being analysed. The survey has been
extended through the Cardiff Bay Business Forum to all businesses in the
Bay. This will enable us to get a profile of journeys, as we are aware that
not all people coming to the Bay wish to go via the city centre.
- In Manchester they have a tram system, which connects, between the two
main stations, this involved a 2-3 year plan to introduce this network
because roads had to be dug up. The ULTra would have a separate ground level
route and elevated track. The Transport Plan aims to have a train service
providing five-minute headway routes into Cardiff, with Park & Ride at the
railheads. This will provide access to the city and other connected services
like the ULTra. The ULTra provides a huge chance to change the
culture/patterns of transport. It will be an incremental change, and not a
quick turnaround. We need to raise the profile of public transport and keep
- Question Can you clarify where the ULTra fits in as we have a lot
of unfulfilled promises, for example the Eastern Bay Link, LRT on Lloyd
George Avenue, which was never feasible. We dont want the ULTra just ending
up with Stage 0 and not getting as far as Stage 3 because its run out of
money half way through. How can we avoid this?
- Response We have been pressing for the Eastern Bay Link for the last 10
years. We have prepared 40 different route options for the highway but the
funding has still not become available. The road is vital and innovative
ways need to be looked at for securing the funding. We are working on this.
We are working on the public/private partnership and the OJEC notice will go
out very shortly.
- Question What about the other side of the river and the Sports
Village? Is this Stage 5?
- Response The ULTra can be extended anywhere. There will be a large
number of people entering the Sports Village complex and the ULTra could be
used in collaboration with other public transport modes, such as Park &
Ride. More houses are planned on the Sports Village site than originally.
This makes the Sports Village an "origin" rather than a "destination", and
it could therefore be more feasible to have a Stage.
- The Committee was advised that Councillors from Penarth Town Council had
attended the presentation made to the National Assembly and would be
interested in an extension of the system to Penarth.
- Question - As Cardiff is involved in the development of the ULTra it
should have a share of the royalties if expanded to other cities. Have you
done any projections on the likely income and the likely employment
- Response - It is early days and some of this information is private
information as part of the negotiation. It is anticipated that there could
be up to 800 manufacturing and maintenance opportunities, and it is hoped
that these jobs will come to Cardiff, however, this will not be our
- Question How will we obtain between £300m and £400m from the
- Response A lot of different facets will make up the £400m and they
could involve all of those suggested partnership opportunities listed
previously. It is proposed that a Special Partnership Project Company will
be set up to move the proposals forward.
- Question Am I correct in understanding that it will take 30 years
to break even?
- Response No. The infrastructure will be in within 10 years and the
revenue payback will be 20-25 years.
- Question How will the ULTra help the worsening problems of inner
city areas such as Plasnewydd, Cathays and Canton?
- Response In the first instance, we need to persuade people that they do
not need their cars, particularly students who live in houses of multiple
occupation and have between them four to five cars. The ULTra then provides
a viable opportunity in overall journey planning.
- Question It wont cover these areas?
- Response No, but radial bus systems and timetabling improvements
will link up with the ULTra and provide a reliable and efficient transport
option at a reasonable cost. One way of tackling problems with vehicles at
houses in multiple occupation is to issue parking permits. We have discussed
with the University ways of encouraging students not to bring their cars.
- Question For Stages 0 and 1, you mention that there would be up to
160 units. How many units would be involved by the time we get to Stage 4
and what will the power requirement be?
- Response Each unit requires 2kw of power, which is fairly low
consumption. For Stage 0 and 1, there would only be about 130 units on the
system at any one time.
- Question How will the system manage the power requirement?
- Response I cant comment on this at the moment as we need to do some
more detailed analysis.
The Chairperson thanked all of those present for their valuable
contribution to this part of the Scrutiny process, and invited Members to
comment on the issues and discuss a way forward.
The Committee raised the following issues in respect of:
- the ULTra
- the issuing of smart cards and possible social exclusion and
difficulties for visitors;
- noted the aspiration as stated by the European Commissioner that 50%
of trips would be undertaken on public transport in the medium term;
- that investigations be undertaken on parallel routes in certain
parts of the city;
- concern about the rolling out of the project after Stage 0;
- Local Transport Plan
- concern about the unfinished schemes including Eastern Bay Link;
- the need to investigate further LRT, Park & Ride and dedicated bus
routes to fit in with National Transportation Policies;
- Way Forward from the previous meetings;
- Invite Sue Essex AM Minister for Transport at the National Assembly
- invite Alan Kreppel, Managing Director of Cardiff Bus to discuss
alternative bus solutions;
- receive information from Bristol City Council on their scrutiny of
public transport when completed;
- invite Tom Clift from the Valley Lines Railway to discuss future
- links with the UDP and Local Transport Plan, particularly in relation
to developments in Pontprennau and Radyr.
In addition, Members discussed:
- whether there were any alternative schemes available, for example
private taxi hire go where you want schemes, such as UGO and ZINGO;
- the Committee noted that the Licensing & Public Protection Committee
had recently considered a report on Taxi Hailing Points, and this had been
forwarded to the Chief Traffic & Transportation Officer for further
- the need to consider the energy issues and the use of renewable
AGREED That at this stage the next steps of the scrutiny of this topic
be as follows:
- as part of the ongoing scrutiny of this topic the Chief Scrutiny
Services Officer undertake further investigation into alternative PRT
projects or solutions;
- the Scrutiny Committee consider how the Unitary Development Plan
links with the Local Transport Plan in relation to some of the issues
- the following representatives be invited to future meetings of this
- Sue Essex, Minister for Transport at the National Assembly for Wales;
- Tom Clift of Valley Lines.
131 : WORK PROGRAMME
The Committee received a detailed report on its current work programme
with a view to assisting them in discussing and agreeing agendas for
forthcoming meetings of this Committee. The Committee noted items already
agreed to be considered at its meeting on 16 July and discussed in detail
items that were ongoing awaiting programming; issues previously selected to
be scrutinised for future programming; and any other potential issues for
- the current work programme be noted;
- the Chairperson in consultation with the Chief Scrutiny Services
Officer discuss and agree agendas for the forthcoming meeting of this
- a further report on the Work Programme be submitted to the next
meeting of this Committee.
Cllr. P. Cubitt