PRESENT T Thompson (Chairman), I Jackson, J Adams, D James, V Wasdell, P Cousins, P Martin, R Hartley, R Hockney, R Henshaw, D Bathurst, J Woodcock, P Bates, R Rathbone, G Hudson, B Eisner, P King (new)
APOLOGIES, R Patching, P Sheridan, B Pretty, D Dixon, P Mullarkey, T O’Leary
MINUTES of December meeting had been circulated by email and were approved.
WELCOME to Clare Horton and Roly Osborn from Staffs County Council. Clare has responsibility for Connectivity Strategy, Transport Planning, is the County rep for Midlands Connect and sits on the board of WMRE. Roly covers most of the transport issues in the north of the county. They provide input to Local Plans and consultations, reviewing inter alia accessibility to new developments, schools, services and local amenities.
Clare distributed to the meeting paper copies of her very comprehensive presentation which summarised ongoing projects at various stations, including all issues with which we are concerned.
LTV – i) Lifts still not operational but hopefully will be soon;
- ii) Feasibility Study for improvements to Station approach has been completed and our suggestions have been included BUT funding not available at present. Clare will submit this year another application for CCIF grant and we have offered to support; she will continue to look out for alternative funding and advised that the County has offered matched funding.
Iii) Ramp from southbound car park is not considered a priority by NR and Clare suggested that the indicative cost is linked to the possession downtime that would be necessary – we are still sceptical that such a modest but beneficial project will cost £250k.
OTHER TOPICS included Staffs Rail Strategy which promotes extension of passenger services to Burton and beyond, Station at Alrewas, Gateway improvements and re-opening for freight on the Walsall line – she confirmed that LDC know that the line still exists. We advised that we were looking for passenger services on this line as soon as possible.
Encouraging that our aspirations for improvements have been recognised and that “everybody supports” the re-opening of services to Burton.
Noted, after Clare and Roly had left, that she had referred to the County Rail Strategy paper as a Draft Strategy which is what it has been for the past five or six years.
CHAIRMAN’S REPORT i) new timetable problems for connecting services at LTV from XCity line and Shenstone in particular. Clare offered to take up with WMRE and Secretary to provide details.
ii)Chairman will attend LNWR Stakeholder conference and DJ will attend the WMR conference
iii) performance issues continue to be a problem – Clare had suggested that the rostering ratio was a major cause.
DISTRICT COUNCIL CONSULTATION – JA and TT to complete
TREASURER – books are with Independent Examiner. Grant application submitted to LCC but we understand that the true purpose of our group may be misunderstood by some councillors.
WEBSITE – DJ has overseen and encouraged a re-write of a submission about HS2
FUTURE SPEAKERS – our MP and the Shenstone MP to be invited (TT). M Holmes, WMRE to be invited for March/April and possibility of a speaker from the RMT to be explored (JA)
NEXT MEETING 17th February