Minutes of the High Peak and Hope Valley Community Rail Partnership meeting held on the 28th November 2011 at the Municipal Offices, Glossop

Present:

Cllr Jean Wharmby (DCC) (Chair)

Mike Rose (Project Officer)

Cllr John Pritchard (HP parishes)

Robin Wignall (FoWBS)

Carol Evans (New Mills Vol. Centre)

Gill Westall (Chinley & Buxworth Transport Group)

Aidan Richardson (PDNPA)

Linda Watson (Disley Parish Council)

John Eaton (Friends of New Mills Stations)

Neil Williams (FoGS)

John Brook (Chapel Parish Council)

Keith Walker (FoCS)

Stephen Briscoe (HVRUG)

Martin Smith

Becky Pennyfather (DCC)

Rose Kendrick (Friends of Broadbottom Station)

Rose Joyce (Friends of Broadbottom Station)

Neil Roberts (Cheshire East)

John Kenny (Stockport MBC)

Cllr Chris Furness (Bradwell PC)

Gwyneth Francis (Glossop Folk Train)

Gerry Bates (Sheffield Folk Train)

Mark Barker (Northern)

Penny Greenwood (FoGS)

Mike Hayward (Transpeak Walks)

Theo McLauchlan (Northern Rail)

Beth Atkins (FoNMS)

Charles Gorst (Poynton Town Council)

 

 

                                              
62/11  Apologies
Apologies were received from: Cllr Tony Favell (PDNPA), Kevin Williams (DCC), Alan Jackson, Gerry Swift (Network Rail), Margaret Meynell (Manchester folk train organiser), Derek O’Brien (FoCS), Mike Crompton, Steve Magner, Christine Ashdown (SYPTE), Mike Crompton.

It was reported that Tony Meynell had had a stroke whilst helping to organise one of the folk trains.  He was now out of hospital but very ill.  It was resolved to send him a “Get Well” card from the Partnership, expressing hopes for his speedy recovery
It was also reported that Neil Barthorpe (Network Rail) had retired and his work was being covered by Jerry Swift, but it was expected that Neil’s post would be filled shortly.

63/11  Minutes of Partnership Meeting on 13th September 2011
The minutes of the Partnership meeting held on 13th September 2011 were approved as a correct record, subject to the insertion of a reference to Stockport MBC’s position re the Buxton line service proposals, (Minute No.55/11).  Stockport wished to be consulted on reports that involve stations within Stockport before they were presented to a wider audience. Also they were concerned about proposals set out in the report, and the effects it would have on passengers using stations where skip stopping was implemented. Stockport is in discussion with TfGM on this matter.

64/11  Matters arising
(48/11)  Following the introduction of the new 1814 from Sheffield, HVL trains would continue to use platform 2c.  This information was available on the National Rail Enquiries web site. However the 1914 would depart from platform 7 as this will now be a 4-car set and platform 2c cannot accommodate 4 cars.   HVRUG had arranged a celebration on 12th December to mark the introduction of the extra train and there would be refreshments on offer at Hathersage, Grindleford and Sheffield, with a band playing at Sheffield.
(59/11) a) Mark Barker confirmed that Northern were not considering withdrawing ticket office facilities at Broadbottom or any other stations in the Partnership’s area.  Mike Rose agreed to send contact details for TfGM to the Friends of Broadbottom station.
b) Derbyshire Wayfarer tickets were not on sale at Glossop station.  It was noted that the Derbyshire Wayfarer ticket does not cover the Glossop line, though the buses in the area are included.  It was also noted that the ticket was available for purchase on the buses.  Mark Barker confirmed that the ticket could not be purchased on trains, only at staffed stations.  It was agreed that a sales outlet for the ticket was needed in Glossop (the TIC had previously sold the tickets but this had closed).  Mike Rose to investigate an alternative sales outlet.

65/11 Minutes of the Partnership Management Group Meeting held on 13th September
The minutes were received.

66/11 Finance Report

Expenditure

Income

 

Year est.

To date

 

Year est.

To date

Salary

17945

12992

Cheshire East Council

2000

0

Travel/subsistence

1000

474

Derbyshire CC

14000

0

Survey

 

2178

GMITE

3250

0

Printing, marketing, publicity, stationery, postage

3000

2036

Transfer of funds from previous year (i)

37268

37268

Edale car park maintenance

500

501

PDNPA

4000

0

Small projects fund

6000

1541

Northern

6750

6750

Mobile Phones

51

26

Edale car park (ii)

4000

1193

Website

350

0

Other

0

0

ACoRP

750

0

 

 

 

Room Hire

120

16

 

 

 

Sub total

29716

19764

 

 

 

Transferred to 2012/13

41552

 

 

 

 

Total

71268

 

 

71268

46704

  • This includes £20145 transferred from the previous Partnership.
  • A payment for Edale Car Park income had been credited in error.

 

Resolved.  That the financial position of the Partnership is noted.

67/11 Capital Schemes Report
a) 2009-10 capital schemes.
It was clarified that the CCTV at Hathersage and Grindleford was not monitored in real time, but images were stored for 30 days, so if there was an incident it was possible to access the information.
b) 2010-11 capital schemes.
i) Glossop. The Railway Heritage Trust was funding the replacement of some windows at the rear of the station. Work on the platform resurfacing and canopy refurbishment was being carried out by Network Rail
ii) Buxton. It was clarified that the outstanding work at Buxton is awaiting listed building consent, which is expected in early December.  Detailed design has been finalised and landlord’s consent given.  The relocation of the lighting columns on platform 1 has been agreed.  The work is expected to start on 9/12, but this is subject to receipt of listed building consent.  There may be a possibility of commencing the lighting work at this date even if listed building consent is not in place as this element of the work does not require such approval.
iii) Chinley.  It was reported that there was to be a signage survey carried out by consultants at Chinley.  There are still problems with water getting into the shelter at Chinley station.  The resolution of this requires the floor to be repaired and then the drainage can be tackled.  This is in hand.
c) 2011-12. Mark Barker pointed out that neither of the two schemes mentioned in this section of the report (DDA compliant access to Chinley and Hope stations) were railway industry schemes at present.  Northern Rail has a minor accessibility fund, but this is unlikely to run to such things as DDA compliant footbridges.  Network Rail’s policy on bridge replacement is to replace like with like.  The first step should be a study of the options including costing alternatives.
If any Partnership members wish to put forward schemes for consideration by Derbyshire County Council they should do so urgently, by e-mail to Mike Rose.
d) Broadbottom.  The ongoing work at Broadbottom was causing considerable concern as the scaffolding had been up for some time, and there was damage to some of the work done by the Friends group.  There were also issues of lack of consultation with regard to tree felling and car parking enforcement.  It was agreed that FoBS should take up these matters directly with Northern.
Resolved.

  • That the Partnership notes the situation with regard to Derbyshire’s capital schemes
  • That partnership members wishing to put forward schemes for consideration should do so as soon as possible.
  • That the Friends of Broadbottom station should take up the various issues directly with Northern Rail.

68/11 Small Projects Fund Report

There were a few minor updates to the tabled report.

  • The proposed enhancements to the tannoy system at Glossop station are progressing.  The necessary measurements have been done, but there is no date for implementation as yet.
  • It was clarified that the easy access area at Grindleford was part of a wider package of measures, which had been expected to be announced at the end of September.  It was one of a number of items that was “on the Minister’s desk” awaiting decision.
  • Mike Rose and Neil Williams are in discussion about the map at Glossop station.
  • The enhanced Sunday service on the HVL has not progressed.  It is still a matter for discussion between TfGM and Northern and will not come about before December 2012.  It was confirmed that, if the service is enhanced it is likely to be via new Mills rather than via Stockport.
  • Linda Watson queried whether Disley station signage improvements could be a possible bid for funding.  Mike Rose confirmed that this was possible.  Disley PC to progress with Mike.
  • Rose Joyce queried whether the Friends of Broadbottom station would be eligible to apply to the Small Projects Fund. This was confirmed. 
  • Cllr Chris Furness queried whether the DCC train timetable booklet was being continued, as there had been no draw on the SPF allocation.  It was confirmed that the booklet was continuing.
  • Two  of the four running-in boards at Chapel are now in place and FoCS have received the first tranche of funding and will be applying for the remainder.  It was confirmed that there was no problem if that claim ran on into the next financial year.

Martin Smith reported that Bakewell and Eyam Community Transport (BECT) were investigating the possibility of introducing a demand responsive bus service in the Hope and Edale valleys, similar to the Moorlands Connect system in the Buxton, Ashbourne, Leek triangle.  The service would concentrate on those settlements that currently did not have a bus service and would look to link them with the train stations.  It would be available for both residents and visitors.  BECT are looking for funding and it would help any grant applications if the Partnership could be seen to be supportive.  He proposed that BECT should be provisionally offered up to £2000 from the Small Projects Fund towards the project.  Mark Barker supported the idea, subject to there being a satisfactory business case presented.  This recommendation was formally proposed by Cllr Chris Furness and seconded by Stephen Briscoe.  If the scheme comes to fruition it was suggested that there should be reference to its availability in Northern’s published timetables.  Mark confirmed that this could be done, but pointed out that Northern would need to know by March in order for the information to get into the May timetables.

Gerry Bates noted that the Manchester folk train organisers received funding from the SPF and the Sheffield ones didn’t.  He was particularly interested in the “emergency” funding for bands.  It was explained that this occurred when the folk train organiser had to pay the bands out of their own pockets.  It was proposed that the Sheffield folk train organisers should have the same financial arrangements as the Manchester folk train organisers for payment of band expenses in emergency and this was agreed.

Resolved
That the progress of the schemes in the Small Projects is noted, and

  • That BECT should be provisionally offered up to £2000 from the Small Projects Fund towards their Hope Valley Connect project setup costs, subject to there being a satisfactory business case presented.
  • That the Sheffield folk train organisers should have the same financial arrangements as the Manchester folk train organisers for emergency payment of band expenses

Organisation

Project

SPF(£)

Paid 2011/12

Approval date

Manchester folk train organisers

i) Publicity and marketing (£70 quarterly until March 31st 2011)
ii) Payment of band expenses in emergency £30 per band 

280

 

120

140

 

£22

December 08

TransPeak Walks

Leaders’ expenses (quarterly claim)

960

£600

December 09

Chinley and Buxworth Transport Group

Covered cycle rack at Chinley

2000

 

December 10

Friends of Chapel Station

Running in Boards at Chapel Station

800

£400

December 10

Transport for Greater Manchester

Investigation into possible additional Sunday service from Manchester to Chinley from December 2012

2000

 

December 10

GM&SYPTE DCC and Northern

Investigation into extra a.m. peak hour train Manchester-Sheffield

2000

 

March 11

GMPTE, DCC and Northern

Investigation into half-hourly service on Buxton line

2000

 

March 11

Stockport MBC

Signing improvements Strines station

Up to 2000

 

March 11

DCC

Contribution to Derbyshire train timetable booklet

Up to 2000

 

March 11

Friends of Glossop Station

Enhancements to the tannoy system

Up to 2000

 

March 11

Hope Valley Rail User Group

Survey

Up to 2000

£379

March 11

Hadfield and Padfield Heritage Group (HPHG)

New sign at Hadfield Station

975

 

June 11

Northern

Contribution to Easy Access Area at Grindleford station

2000

 

June 11

Friends of Glossop Station

Map at Glossop Station

2000

 

September 11

Sheffield Folk Train

Payment of band expenses in emergency £30 per band 

120

 

November 11


Bakewell and Eyam Community Transport

Setup costs for demand responsive bus service in the Hope and Edale valleys, subject to there being a satisfactory business case presented

2000

 

November 11

Total

 

£25,255

£1,541

 

69/11 Partnership Action Plan

Mike Rose introduced the updated Partnership Action Plan and invited comments.
1.1.3 It was noted that despite the line being “loss makers”; if they didn’t exist there would be major implications for road traffic in the area.

1.2.3 The reference to the South East Manchester Multi Modal Strategy was clarified, in that the intention so far as the Partnership’s area and actions were concerned, was to cut down on rail-heading to Hazel Grove and thereby reduce traffic problems on A6 and other roads.  It was noted that there were still issues surrounding fare differentials on the lines.  These have not been resolved and still affect traffic patterns.

1.2.4 There was a discussion about making stations DDA compliant and the possibility of using “barrow” crossings instead of having to go to the expense of DDA footbridges or lifts.  New Mills Central was a particular case in point.  The railway safety standards effectively precluded such arrangements and there had been recent tragic incidents of the use of such crossings.  However, there was at least one instance on the East Coast Main Line where a footpath crosses the line on the level and there is a push button arrangement which enables users to tell whether there is a train due!

1.3.3 The Partnership should continue to examine, comment on and seek to influence other people’s strategies, especially Local Development Frameworks.  Housing proposals that could affect patronage are of particular interest.

1.5 There is currently no transport group in the Derbyshire Partnership Forum, but this should be remedied in the near future.  There was some discussion about the channels of communication about train service alterations.  Mark Barker confirmed that Transport authorities are consulted.  In the Partnership’s case this would be Cheshire East, Derbyshire CC, TfGM and SYPTE.  The DfT also usually consulted CRP’s on any issues affecting general policy on railway services.

2.2.6 It was queried whether the lack of meetings with local groups was an issue as the various bodies were represented on the Partnership.  Mark Barker said he, or one of his colleagues would be happy to attend a meeting of the Hope Valley Parishes Forum.

2.4 The Plan was silent on seeking Community Rail designation of either lines or services.  There are advantages to such designation, not least being the access to DfT funding.  Some time ago designation had been sought for the HVL local service and for the Buxton line as far as Hazel Grove.  A report had been submitted to DfT.  Mike had had a brief discussion with DfT and this would now be progressed, and included in the Plan.  All Friends groups were urged to join ACORP.

2.5.11 A new station at Gamesley was an aspiration of both DCC and HPBC.  The area served was one of low car ownership and considerable social deprivation.  There were a number of complex issue, including planning and railway capacity constraints.
2.5.11 It was agreed to add the aspiration for a DDA compliant footbridge at Chinley. 

Appendix 3.  The source of the figures in the Appendix was ticket sales.  There were a number of queries as to the accuracy of this as a source, given revenue protection issues on all lines, plus the use of tickets like Wayfarer and the warping effect of TfGM fares.

Resolved.
That the revised strategy and action plan is adopted, subject to the inclusion of the following points:

  • Include reference to seeking Community rail designation for the lines or services in the Partnership’s area,
  • Include the provision of a DDA compliant footbridge at Chinley in paragraph 2.5.11

70/11 Sheffield Folk train

Gerry Bates informed the meeting that the overcrowding problems were continuing.  He had expected that increasing the revenue protection would deter “free riders” and thereby reduce congestion, but although presumably free travel has gone down, patronage has remained the same.  Further discussion with Northern will take place.  The outgoing train will now normally be a 4-coach set, so this should ease matters.  Gerry had received a suggestion that the students’ union should organise their own train, but he had no further information on this.  Sometimes the rolling stock that formed the 1914 folk train was locked until shortly before departure so that passengers had to wait outside and then there was a rush to board.  It would be helpful if the train could be opened earlier.  In conclusion he issued a ringing endorsement of the Class 142’s – most unusual.  Cllr Mrs Wharmby thanked Gerry for all his work with the Sheffield folk trains

71/11 Glossop opening.

Andrew Bingham MP has visited the refurbished station at Glossop and was most impressed.  Neil Williams (from FoGS) thanked the Partnership, DCC and Northern for their support of the work at Glossop.

72/11 Line survey report.

The HVL survey report is now available.  It runs to 5MB so it will only be sent out on request.  The Buxton line and Chinley surveys should be out within a week and partners were asked to let Mike know if they would like copies.

73/11 Hope valley and Chinley surveys.

Stephen Briscoe informed the meeting that 11 parish councils and many volunteers had distributed around 3500 questionnaires, which covered most households in the valley and Chinley.  The response deadline was 30th November and analysis would begin as soon as possible thereafter.  He expected that there would be some responses rolling in late.  He thanked the Partnership for the grant from the SPF and he thanked all the parishes and volunteers who had participated.  Gill Westall said she was awaiting the final report of the Chinley survey and would like to include a map of the origins of station users, based on the postcodes they had given.  Becky Pennyfather said that this was possible but the question of the OS usage licence would need to be checked out.

Resolved.
Becky Pennyfather to check the situation re the OS usage licence for mapping in the Chinley report.

74/11 Buxton line issues

  • The question of skip stopping has not been resolved and discussions are ongoing with TfGM on this matter.  The inclusion of Furness Vale in the skip stop arrangements was under consideration. 
  • Cheshire East have employed JMP consultancy to look at access to Middlewood from Higher Poynton.  John Kenny said Stockport MBC were also looking to improve access and signage from the High Lane direction, possibly linked to a Sustrans project.  It was not clear whether JMP had approached Northern; certainly Mark Barker was not aware of any such approach.

 

75/11 Publicity and Website.

  • Martin Smith had completed the walks on the Buxton and Hope Valley lines, but has yet to do those on the Glossop branch.
  • The Partnership website was in the process of being revised, but that the member of DCC staff working on it had other more urgent tasks, and so this work had not yet been completed.  Completion was expected in early 2012.

 

76/11 Update on National Issues
a) Initial industry plan.  (IIP)
Mike’ report on the IIP was accepted and Mike was thanked for his work on this.  The following comments were made:

  • It was noted that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was expected to announce the electrification of the North Trans-Pennine route in his autumn statement (The announcement was made). 
  • The capacity improvements on the Manchester- Glossop line are not finalised but are thought to centre around the Glossop-Hadfield-Dinting triangle arrangement. 
  • The issue of ticket office closures was raised, especially in connection with Whaley Bridge, where there has been a considerable amount of money spent on refurbishing the station, including the ticket office.  Mark Barker explained that the ticket office closure suggestion came from the McNulty report.  He understood that there was to be an official government response in early 2012, which would be a Command Paper (CMD).  It would be advisable for the Partnership and others to lobby on this issue.  He confirmed that Northern had no proposals for ticket office closures.  It was agreed that lobbying on this particular issue should take place and the town council, Borough Council and Friends group were urged to do so.
  • The proposed works in Cowburn tunnel (the tunnel at the western end of the HVL), were not defined in the report, but it was fairly clear that any such works would involve bus substitution.
  • It was resolved to send a copy of the Partnership’s response on the IIP to the MP’s in the Partnership’s area.

b) Additional rolling stock.  Most of the additional rolling stock has now arrived, but has yet to be re-branded in Northern livery and refurbished.  Some has been pressed into service already, so some unusual names may be observed on the sides of trains.

Resolved.

  • That Partners are urged to lobby on the ticket office issue and
  • That a copy of the Partnership’s response to the Initial Industry Plan should be sent to MPs in the Partnership’s area.

77/11 Local developments, Hathersage and Buxton.

a) Hathersage.  The platforms are being lengthened in preparation for the increase in train lengths.  It is expected that they will be finished in time for the introduction of the new timetable as the platforms are of modular construction.

b) Buxton.  Some new track has been laid in the station as part of a new warning system for trains approaching the buffers.  A new crossover is to be installed as part of the work to enable longer freight trains.  This work will take place on 18/12/11 and there will be bus substitution whilst the work is taking place.  This work will not allow passenger trains to directly access platform 1.


78/11 Ongoing items.

a) Help points.  There was no change in the situation at Chapel.  The up side was working, the down side was not.

b) Station announcements.  There were announcements Chapel station, imploring passengers not to leave their luggage unattended.  These are both annoying and unnecessary. 

c) Station Cleaning
John Brook reported that Northern had now started cleaning Chapel station fortnightly instead of weekly.  This was causing a problem with overflowing bins.  The Friends were emptying the bins themselves but were most unhappy about the frequency reduction.  The meeting was unhappy with the frequency reduction. 
Mark Barker responded that Northern were trying to target their cleaning resource to improve quality with some stations getting cleaned bi-weekly and others two–weekly.  Northern were monitoring the results of the frequency change, but were getting an impression that things were working well, because of the Friends efforts.  He would take the feelings of the meeting back to Northern.

79/11 Dates and Times of Future Meetings

The dates and times of future meetings are as follows:
Wednesday 14th March 2012.  10.00 Lawrence Hall, Hathersage.
Wednesday 13th June (AGM). 18.30 Chinley Community Centre
Wednesday 12th September.  10 30 Sheffield SYPTE offices
Wednesday 5th December (am).  Exact time and venue to be decided.

  • Stockport MBC offered a meeting room at their offices, which are close to the railway station and fully accessible.
  • In response to a query about the possibility of evening meetings it was noted that a similar number of attendees were present at the previous evening meeting as were present at the current meeting, but that there were no members of the public present.  On that basis the existing practice of having an annual evening meeting would be continued.
  • Also noted that the HVRUG AGM is on 25th January 2012 at the Lawrence Hall, Hathersage at 20.00

Minutes of the High Peak and Hope Valley Community Rail Partnership Management Group meeting held on the 28th November 2011 at the Municipal Offices, Glossop

Present:

Cllr Jean Wharmby (DCC), (Chair)                                

Mike Rose (Project Officer)

Mark Barker (Northern)  

Cllr John Pritchard (HP parishes)

Cllr Watson (Cheshire parishes)

Carol Evans (Voluntary sector rep)

Aidan Richardson (PDNPA)

Keith Walker (FoCS)

Neil Williams (FoGS)

13/11  Apologies
Cllr Tony Favell (PDNPA) (Vice chair), Steve Briscoe (HVRUG), Gill Westall (Chinley & Buxworth Transport Group), Neil Barthorpe (Network Rail), Paul Griffiths (Cheshire East), Becky Pennyfather (DCC), Cllr Chris Furness (HV parishes)

14/11 Minutes of the meeting held on 13th September 2011

The minutes were agreed as a correct record

15/11 Matters arising from the minutes

There were no matters arising from the minutes

16/11 High Peak Borough Council.

High Peak Borough Council wished to become a full funding partner.  It had been anticipated that there would be someone at the meeting to represent the Borough but that was not the case.  The question of HPBC representation would be considered further but the Borough’s participation was greatly welcomed.

17/11 Partnership Agreement.

The Partnership Agreement and Memorandum of Association have never been signed by all the funding partners. Northern Rail and the National Park Authority had signed, but GMPTE and Cheshire County Council had not and now those two bodies didn’t exist in the same form.  It was therefore necessary to draw up a revised agreement reflecting the changed circumstances and now incorporating High Peak Borough Council.  The parties who had signed previously would not need to sign again.
Other than the name changes and the addition of HPBC, the only other changes proposed were;

  • The deletion of references to the Local Strategic Partnership; this having been abolished.
  • Change the word “ be members of” to “represent” in paragraph 6.6 to reflect the fact that no two people representing the same organisation or authority may hold the office of Chair and Vice Chair.
  • Addition of the various Friends groups in the list of partners in the Appendix.

Resolved.
To adopt the revised Partnership Agreement subject to the alterations set out above and to ask those funding partners who hadn’t already signed the agreement to do so as soon as possible.

18/11 Partnership staffing levels.

In the absence of Becky Pennyfather, this item was deferred until the next meeting. 

19/11 Volunteering issues.

Mark Barker stated that the importance of volunteer work couldn’t be over emphasised.  There was no comprehensive information available about the amount of time volunteers spent on Partnership work and Northern were keen to see just how much was being done. The Partnership is expected to submit a quarterly report to Northern about its activities and volunteer time should form part of this report.  Martin Smith and FoGS are already giving details of the time they spend on Partnership work.   All Friends groups and all other partners were asked to do likewise.
Resolved.
Mike to e-mail all partners and ask that they assess, on a regular basis, the amount of volunteer time they put into partnership activities. The form used by FoGS is to be circulated as a template.

20/11 Dates and Times of Future Meetings

The dates and times of future meetings are following the Partnership meetings as follows:
Wednesday 14th March 2012.  10.00 Lawrence Hall, Hathersage.
Wednesday 13th June (AGM). 18.30 Chinley Community Centre
Wednesday 12th September.  10 30 Sheffield SYPTE offices
Wednesday 5th December.  Time and venue to be decided.