The Quarterly Joint Management Group Meeting of the South Fylde Line Community Rail Partnerships took place on Tuesday 8th November 2022. The meeting was held in St. Anne’s as a live meeting following on from the unveiling of the replica Foundation Stone at the station (https://communityraillancashire.co.uk/news/st-annes-foundation-stone-unveiled/) and attend by representatives from Community Rail Lancashire, Northern Railways, Fylde Borough Council, Lancashire County Council, Blackpool Council, local Rail User Groups and Friends of Stations.
Tony Ford, Chair of the CRP, welcomed everyone to this ‘live’, meeting and after a round of introductions the minutes from the last meeting were approved and no matters were raised.
Richard Watts, Secretary of the joint CRPs, presented the latest Activity Plan Update and highlighted a number of Points:
Community Rail Executive Group (ComREG)
At the recent meeting a number of issues were raised:
+ Concerns were raised about the fragility of some services including the South Fylde Line and DalesRail.
+ The future of stations was raised, and a future meeting will hear about Northern’s ‘Stations as a Place’ project.
+ CRPs were urged to respond to the latest consultation from the GBRTT (Great British Railways Transition Team).
+ Platforms 3C & 4C Preston. From December 2022 the Colne service will be linked to the Ormskirk service except on Sundays. Northern has confirmed that the service will continue to use platforms 3C & 4C at least until HS2 remodelling of platforms 3 & 4 takes out the 2 bays. To improve the environment at this ‘lonely’ part of the station CRL & Lancashire CC have been successful in securing a grant for the provision of seats, planters, hanging baskets and information panels for these platforms.
+ Kirkham & Wesham. Developments are taking place at Kirkham with the new group securing a SAF grant from Northern towards new planters. Simon Clarke will make an application to the Community Rail Networks Small Grant Fund to add to this. There are also plans for a heritage trail leaflet along with a history poster about the station.
+ St Anne’s the replica Foundation Stone for St Anne’s was unveiled as the photos below illustrate. The replica Foundation Stone is an important part of the town’s history and will enhance the front of the station. As the Mayor of at Anne’s, Councillor Karen Harrison, commented “Replicating the stone and situating it in front of the railway station allows it to be visible to all visitors and residents”.
+ Squires Gate. Fylde Borough Council continues to progress the CPO for the land to enable the very last bit of the access ramp to be completed. Work continues apace to develop platform 2 to create new planters as the picture of Barrie and Paul above shows.
Also recently completed is a station history poster for Squires Gate and this will soon be installed on the station.
+ Mini timetables are being worked up for the December 2022 timetable change and will be available for distribution shortly.
Owain Roberts & Martin Keating from Northern gave an update including details of post covid demand on the routes, performance, the latest on the industrial action, community rail matters and the launch of Northern’s ‘Blue Plaques Map’. The full presentation can be downloaded on this link: Northern Update.
Although Daniel Fox from Transpennine Express wasn’t present he provided a presentation that can be downloaded on this link: CRP Update December 2022 SFLCRP