Committee Meeting, 25 February, 2006. Inverness.
Minutes of last committee meeting, 10 December, 2005, were agreed.
The Financial Statement provided in advance by RS was approved.
AS updated on membership details. Since November, there have been 3 new members and 2 Community Councils have renewed their membership.
ML advised the Committee of his detailed meetings with MPs and MSPs - John Thurso, Jamie Stone, Rob Gibson and Maureen Macmillan.
Papers prepared and published by RA/RP since December include:
- Scottish Executive Consultation: Scotland-wide Free Bus Travel For Pensioners & Disabled People
- Freight Transport Inquiry - Local Government & Transport Committee
- Scottish Executive Rail Strategy For Scotland Consultation
- Association of Caithness Community Councils - Petition
- Inner Moray Firth Ports & Sites - Draft Strategy
ML member of Caithness Transport Forum and briefed the Committee on some projects.
ML has emailed members of the petitions committee re the recent Association of Caithness Community Councils petition.
ML had a cab ride from Inverness to Thurso accompanied by a Driver Manager. ML is to meet Ron McAulay, Director Network Rail and First ScotRail to discuss issues relating to speed restrictions, level crossing sightings and other operational issues. Input received from ScotRail Driver Manager and Frank Roach.
A paper is being drafted by the Committee setting out rolling stock issues - 158 refurbishment and potential cascades of other rolling stock types onto the Far North Line. This will be developed and refined before the next Committee meeting with a view of being made public in time for the next newsletter.
GS advised of timetable changes in June 2006:
- 747 Inverness - Wick retimed to depart 1753 thus creating connection out of 1523 ex Aberdeen
and December 2006:
- additional 0813 Wick to Inverness service arriving Inverness at 1213
- Invernet services revised to improve connections at Inverness
Working with Frank Roach, GS has developed several timetable options for the December 2007 timetable.
ML will meet local journalists Gordon Calder and Ian Grant to discuss recent articles in newspapers.
Highland Rail Partnership AGM, Perth, 21/2 - RA, elected as a Director representing Friends (Far North, Kyle and West Highland Lines) updated the Committee on developments:
- HITRANS public meeting Inverness
- ORR consultation on disposal of railway land
- Transport Scotland consultation on rail closure provisions
- AEAT report on section running times INV-Wick
- HRP Adopt a Station Seminars
- Room for Growth study reports soon - redoubling Clachnaharry - Clunes
- Talk from Bill Reeve, Director Rail Delivery, Transport Scotland
- Talk from Rupert Walker Network Rail ERTMS Director
- Talk from Mike Price Head of Contracts, First ScotRail
May newsletter - ideas discussed for a 'Caithness' themed newsletter. New members, Mr & Mrs Bradford of Reay will be invited to contribute following an excellent paper sent to RP.
ML is drafting a response to the Public Transport Users' Committee for Scotland.
RP submitted a paper:- Consultative Draft of the Highland Council Access Strategy 2006 - 2011.
GS, who works part time with Hertfordshire Rail Tours will arrange FoFNL literature to be available on board the Easter Highlander charter train when it visits Wick in April.