scotland (4K)
The Friends of the Far North Line
Cairdean Na Loine Tuath
the campaign group for rail north of Inverness - lobbying for improved services for the local user, tourist and freight operator

Crisis Point For The Friends?

As with every group its health is indicated by the size of its membership and the size of the membership is in turn determined by the urgency of the issues being addressed.

When the Friends of the Far North Line was formed there was real concern over the future of the line and it was felt that the powers that be had to be made to realise the usefulness of the Line. This appealed to a lot of people who rallied around and with their membership subscriptions allowed a dedicated band of supporters to pursue a course of action that would ensure the future of the line.

As the years have gone by the achievements of the Friends have been too numerous to repeat here, but they have been significant and have been recognised as such in many high places. With the steady decline in membership the Committee wonder if potential members don't see the same need to join the group and give it their support. If you decided not to renew your subscription it would be very helpful to know why. If we have not measured up to your expectations, we can only try to do better if we know in what way you feel we fell short. Please contact one of us. However, if you have forgotten to renew then please do so now - before you forget again! The attitude appears of be that there is now no danger to the continuation to using the line, it is going from strength to strength and that there is nothing more to do and this is where we are approaching a crisis.

Your committee doesn't adopt this complacent view and feels that there are plenty of areas of fine tuning still to be applied to the use of the line. Perhaps some of you have heard of the Pareto Rule, named after a Spanish economist from long ago who realised that 80% of Spain's wealth was in the hands of 20% of the population; hence the rule's alternative name; the 80 - 20 rule. Well, the Friends initially achieved 80% improvements with only 20% of ideas, energy etc., but we are now getting to the stage where a 20% improvement can only be achieved by 80% of work and that is why it is vital that we continue to attract as many members as possible and that is why I am appealing to you to either re-new your membership or tell a friend about FOFNL and encourage them to join and support us in our efforts to improve the line.

If we can increase our membership from the current level of 200 then when 'Someone in Authority' asks us who and how many we represent then it would truly strengthen our hand to be able to say over 500, two-thirds local and with half the rest coming from other parts of Scotland and the remainder from south of the border.