CRL - Community Rail Lancashire


The Management Group of the Joint Clitheroe Line & East Lancashire CRPs met on Friday 20th April 2018 in the home of Community Rail Lancashire at Accrington station.

The first business of the day was the Annual General Meeting and following the acceptance of the minutes from the 2017 meeting business moved to the election of officers. During 2017 Chairman James Syson stood down as he was moving to a new position with Rail North.


James Syson receives his retirement gift from Richard Watts

Marjorie Birch, Vice Chair, had been covering the Chair’s role for the remainder of last year and was nominated to take over for the 2018/19 year. Marjorie was elected nem. con. and then chaired the rest of the meeting.

There were no declared nominations for a replacement Vice Chair and it was suggested in the meeting that Melanie Taylor (Blackburn with Darwen) may like to take on the role and she agreed to give this some consideration. Richard Watts was nominated and re-elected as Secretary nem. con.

The Annual General Meeting was followed by a regular Management Group meeting and details of this can be seen below.

Richard Watts, Partnership Secretary gave an update:

+  Noted that the Joint Action Plan had been approved by the DfT and now ratified at the AGM

+  Noted that CRL staff had attended the DfT Community Rail Conference in Milton Keynes

+  Noted that CRL staff had attended (and spoken) at a DfT Education Conference in London

+  Noted that CRL had jointly submitted a response to the Community Rail Strategy Consultation with Rail North

+  CRL in process of recruiting two additional staff for its education programme

+  Funding in place from Arriva Rail North

+  ARN’s Station Adoption Fund and Seed Corn open for bids

+  ACoRP to announce shortly on Small Grants & Community Rail Development Fund

May 2018 Timetable changes

+  Colne to Blackpool South services split at Preston on the outward journey

+ York to Blackpool North to become Leeds to Preston until December 2018

+ Faster journey times on Todmorden Curve services

+ Clitheroe/Blackburn to Manchester to be extended to Rochdale

Vicky Cropper, Northern’s Regional Community & Sustainability Manager (Central) gave an update:

+   Noted that performance has once again been very poor:

+ Clitheroe to Manchester PPM, P12 73.2% & P13 82.3%

+ Colne to Blackpool South PPM, P12 86.5% & P13 87.2%

+  Biggest issue has been train crew shortages and no driver rest day working is main culprit

+  ARN are introducing Penalty Fares across the franchise and these will start to be introduced on routes where ticketing facilities are available at all stations

+   Station Improvements are progressing well along the East Lancashire Line

British Transport Police’s Inspector Neil Hubbs gave an update:

+  Mental health and safeguarding are becoming an increasing issue with officer time and also have a big impact on the railway

+  Anti social behaviour still causing problems at Accrington & Brierfield

+  Assaults at the ticket barriers at Blackburn are increasing – request to stop lone working

Other matters:

Blackburn with Darwen – Melanie Taylor spoke about the Access Grant (£80k) and what it might be used for – key areas are improving facilities and signage at local stations. Possible project with the Northern Apprentices.

ACoRP – Ian Davis noted that the awards nomination portal is now open and hopes that many CRPs will enter. Noted that ACoRP were very impressed with CRL at the Line Plan Review Meeting (Action Plan) and wants to use CRL to mentor other CRPs.