The Joint Clitheroe Line and East Lancashire Community Rail Partnerships held their quarterly management group meeting on Thursday 25th January 2024. The meeting was held online and attended by representatives from Community Rail Lancashire, Northern Railways, Lancashire County Council, Burnley Council, Network Rail, Avanti West Coast, and TransPennine Express.
After introductions and approval of the last meeting’s minutes Secretary of the CRPs Richard Watts showed a presentation reflecting updates on the Activity Plan.
The updates included:
+ Spoke about the CRL Guided Walks Programme and thanked the Lancashire Rail Ramblers for their continued support and noted that the programme now covers all of the CRP lines.
+ The Line Guide for the Clitheroe Line had been on hold but will now be rejuvenated
+ Noted there are plans to launch two new films in the Explore Lancashire by Rail project and one includes a walk to the Singing Ringing Tree high above Burnley on Crown Point.
+ Noted that the exhibition at Clitheroe Castle Museum is coming to a close (30.01.24)
+ Noted that as part of LCC’s Levelling Up Bids there may be a project to improve the subway at Nelson station. Accrington is also to benefit from funding from the Integrated Sustainability Transport Fund for as project to improve connectivity and signage between the rail and bus stations.
+ Noted that CRL will be taking part in Community Rail Week 2024 (CRW24) and has plans to get involved on all its different lines.
To see the full Activity Plan click on this link: Activity Plan Update Jan ’24
Next Owain Roberts, Regional Stakeholder Manager, Northern Trains, showed a presentation covering points including the recent performance issues, ongoing negotiations with the RMT Union around Sunday working and ‘Stations as a Place’ a new Northern initiative. Martin Keating, Regional Community & Sustainability Manager (West) spoke about Community Rail and in particular about the need to recruit more station volunteers. The Full presentation can be seen on this link: Northern EL&CL CRPs presentation Jan 2024
Following this was a presentation by Matt Worman, Regional Growth Manager with Avanti West Coast talked through a presentation covering aspects of performance, service quality and Pendolino refurbishments. The presentation can be downloaded here Avanti Update EL&CL CRPs
Next was a report from Lancashire County Council’s Rail Development Manager, Mike Cliffe who spoke about the following:
+ Noted that the Access 4 All (A4A) work at Burnley Manchester Road (BYM) has been delayed due to ground conditions and the discovery of mud stone.
+ Noted recent surveys at BYM recorded 284 responses, which supported the A4A scheme and will be used for future monitoring and evaluation.
+ The A4A scheme at Accrington is now at scoping level.
+ LCC are looking at having ‘mobility hubs’ at both Accrington and Nelson stations.
+ Lancashire Rail Service Improvements study now published and used to support potential future service uplifts – more details available on the CRL website at https://communityraillancashire.co.uk/news/lancashire-rail-service-improvements/
+ Noted that the introduction of £1 fares after 19:00 across Lancashire as part of the Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) have been well received.
+ The scrapping of HS2 has led to some funding being released via Network North: more details awaited from DfT
+ Plans are underway to create a Combined Authority which will include LCC, Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool Council.
A number of other updates followed from TransPennine Express, Burnley Council, Ribble Valley Rail, Network Rail, the Community Rail Network and The British Transport Police.
The next meeting will be the Annual General Meeting and will take place as a live meeting in taking place on Thursday 11 April 2024.