PRESENT D Dixon (Chairman), J Adams, I Jackson, B Eisner, R Rathbone, P Bates, R Hockney, A Hutchinson, T Thompson, P Cousins, D James, P Sheridan J Woodcock, R Patching
APOLOGIES Messrs. Hartley, Frayn, Martin, Pretty, Henshaw, Hudson, Mullarkey, Bathurst
MINUTES of meetings in January, and with M Fabricant MP had been circulated by e-mail.
The group welcomed VICKY CROPPER, Head of Stakeholder and Community, LNWR. Vicky’s role covers the line to Crewe and Stoke but not LTV station – that is handled by Fay Easton whose role includes Cross City and Chase lines. Vicky and Fay deal with local councils, user groups and community activity.
VICKY advised on proposed “Deep Cleans”, Card only Vending Machines which would include “promise to pay” facility for passengers to pay on train, Digital Information Screens which will provide more and better information about train times, delays, no. of carriages. New trains from Bombardier will be: WCML -45 x 5 car units top speed 110mph with 3 toilets and underfloor heating, better luggage areas; Cross City – 36 x 3 car units top speed 90mph. The latter more like long tube trains – larger vestibule for quicker access/egress.
Other Good News included increased visibility of staff at some stations which had been welcomed by passengers, Scholar season ticket, up to six free tickets for job seekers, new, brighter uniforms. Confirmed that funding is being sought for provision of ramp to up platform at LTV. May timetable to provide for faster Sunday service to London via Weedon.
We advised Vicky of inconsistent WiFi, closure of LTV Waiting Room (and consequent lack of access to toilets) when no staff, and concern that pedestrian safety is not being given proper attention. (Vicky has a copy of our letter of recommendations to Mr Fabricant MP).
WCML Chairman and Treasurer attended the latest meeting of this lobby group. Annual membership to rise to £30 (£25). Virgin franchise extended to April 2020, West Coast partnership announcement possibly in May to take effect in 2020. Disappointing presentation by Midlands Connect. Virgin passenger numbers have reached 40m (14m in 1997).
TRANSPORT FOCUS Chairman, Secretary and T Thompson met Linda McCord who noted specifically the lack of toilets at City Station and poor pedestrian access at LTV. All were pleased to note the efforts made by WM Trains to clean the trains between City and LTV stations. Vicky advised that Linda is employed part-time by WM Trains as a “Critical Friend”.
CONSULTATIONS Committee to review the DoT Light Rail consultation and to consider response to District Council review of its Strategic Plan, and Jonathan Roberts offer to prepare a study for Lichfield to Burton.
AGM – 15th April Chairman invited members interested in office/committee work to discuss with Secretary or himself.
NEXT MEETING 18th March with FAY EASTON