Minutes Meeting with Michael Fabricant MP 1st Feb 2019

MINUTES OF MEETING ON 1st February 2019

PRESENT D Dixon (Chairman), J Adams, I Jackson, B Eisner, R Rathbone, R Hockney, R Hartley, T Thompson, D James, R Henshaw, D Bathurst, J Woodcock, V Wasdell, J McGlade, Derek Jones
APOLOGIES P Martin, M Frayn, G Hudson, P Sheridan,
Chairman welcomed GUEST – MICHAEL FABRICANT MP who confirmed
i) work on the lifts at LTV had started with completion anticipated for midsummer,
ii) West Midlands Trains are resolved to build a ramp from car park to UP platform
iii) a solution has been found to bring the toilets at City Station back into operation
iv) following his question in the House about the re-opening of the line to Burton he had three letters of objection from Streethay residents! He also confirmed that the current MD of the NMA is not keen on having to provide transport for visitors to the NMA who arrive by rail. If and when he meets the CEO of British Legion he will press the point again. He is also aware that Midlands Connect are not enthusiastic; like us, he does not know why. He recommended that we approach the West Midlands mayor through his Chief Officer (Andrew Browning) to gauge their support. He confirmed that Staffordshire CC should be the sponsoring partner for this development but feared that funding could become a political issue because, while Lichfield District is a member of both Birmingham LEP and Stoke/Staffordshire LEP, the government proposes to stop membership of more than one LEP. DD to write to A Browning
LICHFIELD TO WALSALL – MF advised that West Midlands mayor should be approached and he will also mention to his fellow MPs for Aldridge and Cannock through whose constituency much of the line runs. We should raise with A Browning, see above DD
STATION FOOTFALLS Chairman advised MP of recent figures from ORR showing the combined footfall at the two Lichfield stations. RR will write to MP with full details so that he can try to get a review of the categorisation of Lichfield stations, which we believe should be upwards and put them nearer the top of the pile when funding decisions are made.
PEDESTRIAN SAFETY – we believe that this should receive prompt attention and will write to MP (JA/RR/DD) with our proposals. MP will take forward with the CEO of WMT.
VIRGIN TRAINS – DD to write to MP to put the case again for a morning stop at LTV from London. MP doubts that Virgin will change their timetable for this.
CITY STATION- concern that unmanned and unlocked station at night is encouraging rough sleepers and petty vandalism.MP considered this a matter for WMTrains.
WEST COAST PARTNERSHIP – some doubt about the commitment of the bidders to continue to use Pendolino (not Virgin) but MP advised that Sec of State had told him that continued use of Pendolinos is part of the Invitation to Tender.


  • Geoff Bushell says:

    We have formed a community voluntary group to campaign for the reopening of the Leicester to Burton line. We see the benefits of extending the route as a Leicester-Burton-Lichfield line which would take many car journeys off the A38 and provide a tourist route with Conkers and NMA as major attractions. Do you feel it would be useful to collaborate? It may be that a Lichfield-Leicester route may provide balanced destinations that would prove more attractive to a sponsor. Our group is called “Campaign to Reopen the Ivanhoe Line (CRIL)” and we have joined Railfuture.

    • David James says:

      Thanks for your recent comment. We wish you every success with your campaign to restore passenger services to the Burton to Leicester route but we feel that Burton to Leicester and Lichfield to Burton are better treated as two separate projects for the following reasons: –

      a) West Midlands Railway Authority’s recently published strategy proposes extension of two Cross City trains per hour from Lichfield to Burton, with an intermediate station at Alrewas / National Memorial Arboretum, between 2027 and 2032. Our group supports this proposal but would like to see an earlier introduction of services. If services were extended beyond Burton, Derby would be our preference, as Leicester can already be reached from Lichfield, by changing at Nuneaton and a direct service via Burton would probably not be any quicker.
      b) Railfuture have emphasised the need to get the support of local M. P’s Local Enterprise
      Partnerships, District and County Councils and other key stakeholders along the route. We
      believe combining Lichfield to Burton and Burton to Leicester would involve too many parties and make it more difficult to achieve our respective objectives.

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