From The Chair
Who would have thought that when we held our Committee Meeting on Tuesday 3rd March that it would be the last time we would meet for over three months? I hope that everyone has been keeping well and coping with this
long period of isolation.
In February we learnt of the change in the franchise agreement that with effect from the 1st March the Office of Last Resort would take the franchise into public ownership, with a new managing director Nick Donovan and a new company Northern Trains Ltd. With the onset of the pandemic there has not been any opportunity to assess the effects of that change. We have been very fortunate that our timetable has not been severely changed allowing essential workers to travel to their place of work. Reports from members living close to the line have observed that the service has been performing well with very few essential passengers.
Covid19 has prevented our dedicated volunteers who maintain our stations from carrying out their normal activities. The Community Rail Network, previously known as ACoRP, advised groups not to undertake any activities at stations. The result is that for the first time in many years our stations will not have their usual displays of colourful bedding plants.
When people begin returning to work it will take quite a while for them to feel confident in using public transport and sadly it will result in more people using cars to travel to work. The rail industry is working hard to create a safe travelling environment by blocking off seats, which restricts the number of passengers per unit. Northern may have to resort to bringing back the, recently removed, 142s to increase capacity.
One item of good news, of which you can find more details later in the magazine, is the successful Ribble Valley Borough Council bid. This is an ambitious project by RVBC and we expect that RVR and the Community Rail Partnership will make valuable contributions to its development.
As you are aware printing and postage costs for the magazine take a large amount annually from our funds. It would be a great help to RVR if more people took the magazine on-line. If you are able to assist please send your
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