SHREWSBURY TO ABERYSTWYTH RAILWAY LIAISON COMMITTEE
MINUTES of a meeting held at the
Town Hall Welshpool on Friday 14th October 2011 at 11.15am
This meeting was held as the regular meeting of the Committee
1.00 ATTENDANCE AND APOLOGIES
Cllr M Williams Chair Shropshire Council
R A Robinson Secretary Welshpool Town Council
Ben Davies Arriva Trains
Cllr M Benjamin Aberystwyth Town Council
R Goodhew Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth Rail Passenger Association
Cllr G Evans Powys Council
Cllr M Williams Machynlleth Town Council
A Wallbank Caersws Community Council
Cllr G Edwards Ceredigion Council
J Turner (representing Glyn Davies MP)
F Torrens Newton Town Council
R Mason Cambrian Rail Partnership
D Koring Rail Development Officer Shropshire Council
S Pickering Welsh Assembly
Mark Williams MP (Ceredigion)
Glyn Davies MP (Montgomeryshire)
Cllr Russell George AM
Cllr P James Vice Chair Ceredigion Council
C Jones Network Rail
2.00 MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
These were approved as a correct record with some minor alterations to the attendance list.
3.00 MATTERS REQUIRING ACTION FROM THE LAST MEETING
A) A newsletter A4 doubled sided to be produced by the secretary for publicity.
(This item was completed and a copy posted on the web site)
B) Press release to be prepared by the Police as passed onto the secretary.
(This item was not completed as no report was received.
C) Talerddig crossings – a letter to be sent to Network Rail and a copy to
Phil Jackson at PCC suggesting audible and or lights at the crossing points.
(This item was completed.
D) Press release for the web site to be prepared by Arriva Trains and TraCC,
this to be sent to the secretary and the chair.
(This item was completed)
E) A link to be made from the web site to the Cambrian Rail Liaison Group site
(if they have one)
(A link to the Cambrian Railway Partnership is to be implemented on the new
F) Hourly train service – date to be chased up by TraCC and the secretary.
(This item was chased up and the result is included in the main minutes of
4.00 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES
4.01 Welshpool Car Park
The monitoring of the car park is now with Welshpool Town Council who do have a representative watching the parking. Although fines have not been issued those who park without using the train have their numbers recorded and a letter put on their car. If they continue to abuse the parking facility then a letter is sent to their home.
It was agreed that the car park is much better than before the monitoring started on site.
4.02 Welshpool Footbridge
Powys County Council has informed the secretary that the resurfacing of the footbridge is due soon. There was a Powys officer on the footbridge measuring up today.
4.03 Holyhead- Shrewsbury-Chester Service
The problems with this service continue. This is another subject which will need to be addressed when the Welsh Assembly Transport Report is issued.
4.04 Hourly Train Service
There is no further news on the hourly train service until the Welsh Assembly Transport Report is issued (probably around 3 weeks time).
5.00 ACCOUNTS AND BANKING
The Committee was updated on the opening of the bank account which is now completed. Cheques are to be signed by the secretary and either the Chair or Vice Chair of the Committee.
The Committee agreed to action the following:
a) To pay in the cheque from Shropshire Council for the year to
31st March 2013
b) To write again to the Chief Executives of both Ceredigion and Powys
County Councils with copies to the relevant County Councillors on the
6.00 RAIL REPORTS (presented by Ben Davies)
Arriva Trains issued a report which was circulated before the meeting and has been posted on the web site. Ben Davies explained the report in more detail and took questions relating the line. The main points raised were:
There was concern expressed by Arriva Trains that following their presentation to SARPA a press release was issued which did not reflect the meeting and was negative. This was noted.
An outline of what caused the initial problems with the system was given, it appears that it is now settling down and subject to government decisions could cope with the hourly system soon.
Investment in the line continues, particularly with the station improvements at all stations including Shrewsbury and Aberystwyth.
The fleet of the class 158 trains are being refurbished, some have already been completed.
TRAIN AND BUSES WORKING TOGETHER
The tickets which can be used on both trains and buses between Aberystwyth and Machynlleth are working well. However season ticket holders are paying the bus fare and using the railway which is more expensive. It is likely that the system will exclude season tickets holders in due course.
STATION IMPROVEMENTS (VISUAL DISPLAY UNITS)
Station improvements include Visual Display Units along the line, Welshpool should see its unit in the next few weeks.
The railway is seeking to work alongside local events to help promote them. The Lantern Train for Machynlleth is one of them, Welshpool Winter Festival and Air Show are two others.
TIMETABLE FOR 2012
There is unlikely to be much change to the timetables for 2012.
The current government has had a real impact on rail improvements over the last 12 months.
7.00 NETWORK RAIL REPORT
Network Rail issued a report which was circulated before the meeting and has been posted on the web site.
8.00 CAMBRIAN RAIL PARTNERSHIP REPORT
The Cambrian Rail Partnership issued a report which was circulated before the meeting and has been posted on the web site.
9.00 OTHER DISCUSSION POINTS
Other matters raised at the meeting were:
WEB SITE PAPERS
The problem of copying papers from the web site when in colour was raised. Except where necessary the papers are to be in black for the text.
NETWORK RAIL ORGANISATION
The areas now operated with Network Rail have changed and the Wales and Marches now include Shrewsbury in with the Wales rail network. This is proving to be an improvement.
FRIEGHT BACK ONTO THE RAILWAYS
It was agreed that it would be nice to see more freight back on the railways.
Cllr M Williams is to see if Robin Smith could attend a future meeting.
It was confirmed that Cosford Station is closing for refurbishment; however it will be open for Cosford Air Show.
It was noted that the Cosford Air Base is down to be sold over the next few years.
BORTH COMMUNITY COUNCIL
The meeting considered that a representative from Borth Community Council would be a good addition. The secretary is to see if he can encourage someone to attend from Borth Community Council.
Some concern was expressed about overcrowding of trains. Arriva Trains confirmed that they are providing more than their contract and if there is to be more stock it would have to be by approval from the Welsh Assembly.
LITTER AT STATIONS
It was confirmed by the meeting that the stations were more tidy and have less litter.
However, Aberystwyth is poor again, Ben Davies to see if he can get an extra clean in place.
10.00 RECORD OF THANKS
A vote of thanks was given to Shropshire Council for its positive attitude towards the Committee and its financial contribution.
A vote of thanks was also given to the secretary and Welshpool Town Council for managing the Committee.
11.00 AGENDA FOR NEXT MEETING
To aid the meeting management all items or questions are to be on the agenda and notified to the secretary at least one week before the meeting.
These will be added to the agenda on the web site. This will ensure that the reports will have a correct time allotment.
12.00 WEB SITE
The Committee was updated with regard to the new Welshpool Town Council web site which is to go online later this year. This will be an interactive web site and will be able to offer the same facilities to the Committee but improved.
The web site will offer the bilingual facility.
The Committee does have its own domain name which is to be retained.
13.00 ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN FOLLOWING THE MEETING
a) To write again to the Chief Executives of both Ceredigion and Powys
County Councils with copies to the relevant County Councillors on the
b) To prepare a press release for all the papers covering the area of the Committee.
c) A paper copy of the minutes is to be sent for the last meeting and this one to
M Benjamin by post in paper form.
d) Cllr M Williams is to see if Robin Smith could attend a future meeting.
e) The secretary is to see if he can encourage someone to attend from Borth
14.00 DATE OF FUTURE MEETINGS
There maybe an extra meeting called following the issue of the Welsh Assembly Transport Report.
To be Friday 30th March 2012. at 11.15am at Welshpool Town Hall
The joint Meeting with the Cambrian Line is to be Friday 6th July 2012 at 11.15am in Machynlleth.