Present: T Thompson (Chair) J Adams, P Martin, I Jackson R Patching, D James, A Hutchinson, O O’Neill, J Woodcock, G Lusher, M Frayn, D Dundas (Zoom host), G Stringer, D Bathurst, R Hockney, R Thorne, J Sykes, R Henshaw Apologies: R Hartley
Guests: Fay Easton and Vicky Cropper- Clarke from WM Trains. Fay reported the increase in volunteer numbers for Community Rail Partnerships (CRP) including locally at Shenstone and Wylde Green. Emphasised that Lichfield’s status as an attractive place to visit is a good reason for using the railway again, and is keen to see a CRP at Lichfield but fears that this has become defunct; has Lichfield BID team ceased to function? We need to investigate. The need to replace an ageing workforce has not been helped by COVID and 20,000 training days have been lost. Fay will ask her Property colleague to advise the implementation date and pricing for ANPR. Vicky presented slides which are being sent separately to members by Zoom host. Railway industry will launch a marketing campaign nearer the end of the lockdown; this will include flexible ticketing, various promotions, and business travellers will be encouraged to book direct with TOCs. Surveys show that safe distance and hygiene are uppermost in travellers’ expectations; Train Managers are being coaxed out of their booths to walk the trains and sell tickets. Vicky advised that the HS2 work at Euston is intended to protect the platform availability for LNR services in the long run.
Chairman’s report had been circulated ahead of the meeting. 23rd March – had visited Trent Valley and was pleased that the resurfacing works had included our recommendations for continuous safe pedestrian access. 24th March – attended a West Coast Partnership Stakeholder conference webinar. 14th April – attended a Zoom meeting with David Dundas and Porterbrook, Andelan who are developing hydrogen powered trains. Agreed to keep in touch and encouraged them to consider Lichfield to Burton-upon Trent line for trials
Chairman thanked Vicky and Fay for their presentations and asked that they support our campaign to get a ramp from southbound car park to the up platform.
Treasurer advised a balance of £1403.72. New Bank mandate still to be completed.
Future speakers confirmed – David Dundas for May meeting and HS2 Community Engagement officer for June meeting. Chairman will invite MP to join a meeting
- secretary has submitted an article to Railfuture about Lichfield to Burton campaign and WMRE involvement
- Gary Stringer reported that masts/poles for ANPR have been erected at LTV
- David Dundas – Alstom and Eversholt Rail developing Breeze, a hydrogen competitor; Alstom’s site at Bombardier could be a useful fuel storage depot.
- Owen O’Neill suggested that MP might wish to attend Rail Minister surgeries.
- In both Rail and New Civil Engineering magazines are articles about Highways England’s proposals to knock down bridges and fill in tunnels. Why are Highways England involved? TT will ask MP if motive and DfT involvement can be identified.
Next Meeting Monday 17th May