30th March 2012

SHREWSBURY TO ABERYSTWYTH RAILWAY LIAISON COMMITTEE

MINUTES of a meeting held at the

Town Hall Welshpool on Friday 30th March 2012 at 11.15am

This meeting was held as the regular meeting of  the Committee

1.00      ATTENDANCE AND APOLOGIES

 

PRESENT

Cllr M Williams Chair Shropshire Council

Cllr P James Vice Chair Ceredigion 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 M Williams Machynlleth Town Council

Cllr A Wallbank Caersws Community Council

Cllr G Edwards Ceredigion Council

D Koring Rail Development Officer Shropshire Council

Cllr F Torrens Newton Town Council

 

APOLOGIES

R Mason Cambrian Rail Partnership

Glyn Davies MP (Montgomeryshire)

Cllr Russell George AM

C Jones  Network Rail

Sgt Anderson Transport Police

 

2.00      MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING

These were approved as a correct record.

 

3.00      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 Committee.

        A letter was sent to both. A cheque has been received from Ceredigion Council.

The Secretary is to speak to Phil Jackson at PCC to chase up a contribution.

b)  To prepare a press release for all the papers covering the area of the Committee.

        A press release was issued and a copy was posted on the web site.

c)   A paper copy of the minutes is to be sent for the last meeting and this one to

Cllr M Benjamin by post in paper form.

        A copy was passed to Cllr Benjamin.

d) Cllr M Williams is to see if Robin Smith could attend a future meeting.

        Robin Smith was contacted and was not attending this meeting as he had nothing to add.

However, he is prepared to attend a future meeting.

e) The secretary is to see if he can encourage someone to attend from Borth Community Council.

         Borth Community Council has been contacted and invited to this meeting.

 

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.

 

4.02      Welshpool Footbridge

Powys County Council has informed the secretary that the resurfacing of the footbridge is due to take place during April 2012.

 

4.03    Carno and Bow Street Stations

A general discussion took place around the possible opening of both stations.  It was unlikely any progress will be made short term.

 

4.04    Money allocated to rail improvements via TraCC

A discussion around rail improvements took place.  TraCC had been allocated £2.46m of which £2.18m has already been allocated.

These sums are for the whole of Wales.

 

4.05    Aberystwyth Station Improvements

The meeting was updated on the improvements planned for this station.

 

4.06    Welshpool Waiting Room facilities

The secretary asked that consideration be given to a second waiting room, the single one in existence is proving not large enough.

 

5.00      ACCOUNTS AND BANKING

5.01    The Committee was updated on the opening of the bank account which is now completed.

5.02    The account has £500 within it at present.  An annual account will be prepared for the October meeting.

5.03    A budget is to be prepared for circulation.

5.04    The money can be spent on the refreshments at the usual meetings and any administration costs.

 

6.00     ARRIVA TRAINS WALES REPORT (presented by Ben Davies)

6.01    A report had been issued prior to the meeting and a copy is kept on file and is posted on the web site.

6.02    Most of the discussion points were covered in the report.

6.03    The lack of 4 coach trains on the line was questioned, this situation is due to improve.

An outline of improved passenger seat provision was outlined.

A discussion had taken place between Arriva Trains Wales and the University to aid the situation.

6.04    The destination boards on the station were welcomed.

6.05    The destination boards at Shrewsbury need to be looked at to ensure they relate to the train next to them.

6.06    Dyfi Junction has been applied to be a request stop.

6.07    2 lifts are due to come to Machynlleth to aid crossing the line, funding is an issue. A letter to the WAG would help.

6.08    A discussion around Penhelig took place, the platform is being improved but the steps up to it are an ongoing issue.

6.09    Window cleaning of trains was discussed.

6.10    The number of refurbished trains is now 17 out of 24 and rising.

6.09  The meeting thanked Ben Davies for his continued commitment to the Committee.

 

7.00     NETWORK RAIL REPORT

7.01    A report had been issued prior to the meeting and a copy is kept on file and is posted on the web site.

The report was received.

7.02    It was agreed that Network Rail should be asked to send a representative, even if the normal attendee can not make the meetings.

7.03    Platform 3 at Shrewsbury is available for use, however where ever possible trains will use platform 4 to aid changing of trains.

7.04    The crossing at Caersws is causing residents some concern as the crossing time is just 12 seconds.

            This is to be checked before approaching Network Rail.

7.05    The crossing at Borth is causing some concern, letters regarding this subject were passed to the secretary for action.

7.06     The enhanced rail service is now scheduled for 2014/2015.  An approach is to be made by the secretary to the minister to

gain clarification and to seek a meeting.

 

8.00     CAMBRIAN RAIL PARTNERSHIP REPORT

8.01    A report had been issued prior to the meeting and a copy is kept on file and is posted on the web site.

8.02    There are various new publicity leaflets and maps to aid people enjoying the line.

8.03    The partnership is also working closely with local events (such as the Welspool Air Show) for mutual benefit.

 

9.00    POLICE REPORT

A report had been issued prior to the meeting and a copy is kept on file and is posted on the web site.

The report was received.

 

10.00  TraCC REPORT

A report had been issued prior to the meeting and a copy is kept on file and is posted on the web site.

The report was received.

 

11.00    OTHER DISCUSSION POINTS

Other matters raised at the meeting were:

11.01    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.

 

11.02    FREIGHT BACK ONTO THE RAILWAYS

A discussion took place around the effects of lorry transport. 

It was pointed out that short journeys and those involving lorry transport at each end are not economic for railways.

It was agreed that it would be nice to see more freight back on the railways.

Robin Smith is to be asked to attend a meeting (possibly July) to give a presentation on freight.

 

12.00    RECORD OF THANKS

10.01    A vote of thanks was given to Cllr G Edwards who had served on the Committee for over 20 years.  Cllr G Edwards is not planning to seek re-election.

10.02    A vote of thanks was also given to Cllr M Williams (Chair) and Robert Robinson (Secretary) for their work with the Committee.

10.03The Chair took a photograph of those present with Cllr G Edwards for the records.

 

13.00    WEB SITE

The Committee was updated with regard to the new web site.

 

14.00    WELSH LANGUAGE POLICY

The secretary is to prepare a Welsh Language Policy for the Committee.

 

15.00    ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN FOLLOWING THE MEETING

The following actions were agreed to be taken:

 

    1.    The secretary is to seek clarification and respond accordingly (including the the letter writers) with regard to the matters raised by Cllr M Benjamin. (R Robinson)

    2.    A letter to be sent to Network Rail ensuring that a representative is able to attend the next meeting. (R Robinson)

    3.    A letter and other contact to be made with Carl Sergeant (Minister of the WAG) to seek clarification on the hourly train service proposals. (R Robinson)

    4.    Contact to be made with Robin Smith who is to be invited to attend the July meeting to do a presentation on rail freight. (Cllr Mansel Williams)

    5.    Chase up Powys County Council for £250 grant. (Secretary)

    6.    Clarification to be sought regarding the suitability of the crossing at Borth. (Secretary)

    7.    Letter to be sent supporting financing of the lifts at Machynlleth to Welsh Assembly.

    8.    Booklet on the work of the committee to be prepared and sent out to Councils seeking attendees following the Local Government Elections on 3rd May.

    9.    A check on the timings of the Caersws Crossing to be completed by Cllr A Wallbank, if it is unsatisfactory the secretary is to make contact with Network Rail.

 

16.00    DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS

There maybe an extra meeting called following the issue of the Welsh Assembly Transport Report.

 

To be Friday 6th July 2012. at 11.15am either at Welshpool or Machynlleth (Joint Meeting)

 

Other future meetings are to be  12th October 2012 and  8th March 2012.