The South Fylde Line Community Rail Partnership (SFLCRP) held it’s autumn quarterly meeting on Thursday 21st September 2023. The meeting was held as an online meeting and attend by representatives from Community Rail Lancashire, Northern Railways, Lancashire County Council, Network Rail, Community Rail Network, Blackpool Transport, local Rail User Groups and Friends of Stations.
SFLCRP Chair, Tony Ford welcomed everyone to the meeting and after a round of introductions the minutes from the last meeting were approved and matters arising discussed.
A presentation was shown covering updates on the Activity Plan.
+ Caroline Holden, Community Rail Development officer with CRL, thanked the wide range of partners for their assistance with the improvement of the outside of the cycle shelter – the project called Lifeboats and Bikes Ahoy. The art work was funded by a CRDF grant from the Community Rail Network and CRL; in addition, the cycle ride and cycle smoothie machine were provided by the Active Travel team at LCC! A great team effort all round.
+ Richard Watts, Secretary of the Partnership, spoke about the latest Community Rail Executive Group (ComREG) meeting including concerns over proposed booking office closures and funding from train operators.
+ Richard also spoke about the success of the Let’s Connect Communities Project that has operated successfully in East Lancashire for two years and explained that he would like to increase the budget to extend it to other areas including the South Fylde Line as it has proved well in facilitating community groups to deliver projects they cannot do ordinarily. He is investigating possible funding streams.
Following this Owain Roberts, Regional Stakeholder Manager, Northern Trains, showed a presentation covering points including the December timetable, noting that Tricia Williams has taken over as MD as Nick Donovan has retired. He also thanked the various Station Friends Groups along the line for all their hard work. The Full presentation can be seen on this link: South Fylde CRP presentation September 2023
Mike Cliffe, Rail Development Manager, LCC gave an update including Squires Gate level access, Cottam Parkway station, Restoring your Railways and also noted that LCC had responded to the booking office closure consultation.
A number of other updates followed from Blackpool Council, The Friends of Stations Groups, Network Rail, the Community Rail Network.
The Winter meeting will be taking place on Thursday 18 January 2024.