Minutes of 12 March 18 meeting


PRESENT D Dixon (Chairman)  R Rathbone, R Henshaw, J Adams, M Frayn, T Thompson

A Hutchinson, D James, R Hartley, V Wasdell, , R Hockney, R Patching R Blake (Guest speaker)


APOLOGIES from D Bathurst, P Bates, B Pretty, P Mullarkey, M Cooper, P Martin, I Jackson, G Wilcox

MINUTES of February meeting had been circulated and were approved. P Martin had written to explain that the delay for installing the ramp at Shenstone was reluctance on the part of landowners and tenants adjacent to the site to grant public access from the road to the platform.

David Whitley (WM Trains) had considered the suggestion to get trains to travel direct to Erdington (or Sutton) when delays occur at New Street but this would mean more people on the platform and possible further delays as passengers tried to leave the train after such an announcement.

Scrolling timetable has been discontinued at LTV and LIC (City). A small victory!

Richard Rathbone has agreed to be the Group Press Officer and will join the Committee

FUTURE MEETINGS will now be held on the 3rd Monday of the month at the Kings Head,

ROGER BLAKE is a Director of Railfuture following a career in planning and transport in Hackney Borough, London. Chairman had given him a tour of Lichfield to show him the lines we want to see re-opened. Roger gave us a powerful insight into the struggles that we will have to overcome to see our aspirations fulfilled. Key points:

1.Need to spread our net wider, both geographically and in identity of stakeholders.

  1. This suggests inter alia combining the projects as a single Derby – Walsall axis.
  2. Find a snappy title!
  3. It’s an economic regeneration project, the railways being the means to achieve it (connectivity). Housing and jobs leading to growth are currently in vogue. Don’t get bogged down by train service details. Aim to show cost-benefit.
  4. Need to assemble a group (“build a big tent”) to stimulate project; should be cross-sector, cross-party and multi-agency.
  5. Much socio-economic data available (ONS). Greater Birmingham Housing Study (LDC website) relevant.
  6. Railfuture website for 2017 “Expanding the Railways” published jointly with Campaign for Better Transport and DfT. Grayling’s “Vision for Rail” Nov 17 important.
  7. Might get grant from Railfuture “fighting fund” for (e.g.) consultant to help us. (Jonathan Roberts?)
  8. Needs a vast amount of time to “network”, as nothing better than knowing useful people; and may take years to achieve.

The A G M is on Monday 16th April at 8pm.

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