|MD Alex Hynes at Brigg railway station - pictured by PAUL JOHNSON|
Here a few of my personal notes from the recent meeting with Alex Hynes MD of Northern Rail, in Brigg.
The meeting was arranged by The Friends Of The Brigg & Lincoln Lines Rail Group ( FoBLL ) and its partners the Gainsborough Rail and Bus Group ( GRaB )
The meeting was held in the Angel Suite and both groups would like to go on record in thanking Brigg Town Council for the use of their room.
At the meeting the following were present: Alex Hynes, managing director, Northern Rail; Pete Myres, Stakeholder Manager, Northern Rail; Cliff Mayall, Area Manager, Northern Rail; Jodie Booth, Strategic Transport Planning Manager, North Lincolnshire Council; Members of the Friends Of The Brigg & Lincoln Lines Rail Group; Brigg town councillors; Alan Gouldthorpe, from The Friends Of The Barton Line Group.
The issue of only 3 trains on a Saturday along the Sheffield Midland - Cleethorpes line, through Brigg: A request was put in again to Northern Rail to see if a 4th round trip could be allocated in the future. Major issues with Network Rail and invisible freight paths had been one issue in the past, Northern said they would look at this again but all depended on funding. This also brought up the subject of the first westbound train from Cleethorpes to Sheffield via Brigg, Kirton In Lindsey and Gainsborough Central. At present this train leave at 1110am arrives at Brigg and 1144, Kirton In Lindsey at 1153 and Gainsborough Central at 1212 before waiting for a path out of the station at 1220. This is the main bugbear of the travelling public that this service leaves far to late, as it was explained at the meeting a spare class 153 single unit is brought back on one of the Brigg Line trains to Sheffield Midland for fuelling, due to the fact since rail privatisation there is now no crewing point for local services at Cleethorpes. Crewing issues are now a major problem in Northern Lincolnshire. This means a Sheffield Midland Northern Rail crew would have to travel all the way to Cleethorpes to run this train; Northern do have crewing points at Doncaster and Hull. The situation is made even worse by the news that TPE are keep the Cleethorpes - Doncaster - Sheffield Midland - Manchester Airport services. It was highlighted in the meeting by FoBLL that if this has gone over to Northern then a crewing point at Cleethorpes could have done the ex TPE services; any future Brigg Line services and the Barton Branch if the latter was to remain within Northern Rail's remit. FoBLL went onto add that due to TPE keeping their services it mean a step back for passengers in Northern Lincolnshire and a fragmented service on that part of the network that has little benefit to anybody,
Passenger stock: The issue of railbuses on the Brigg Line was debated. FoBLL and GRaB have been calling for more " family friendly units" on the line as both groups had received substantial complaints in the summer of 2014 about the units that work the line. Northern Rail took note of this request.
Brigg station: Before everyone went for a walk around of the station, the issue of what could be done realistically was talked about. Northern Rail said they would quite happy to work with the local councillors and the town council in providing wooden whiskey barrels that could be fixed to the platform and filled with plants. Coun Rob Waltham acknowledged the ongoing concerns from FoBLL and its partners GRaB about the issue of the station area which is a target of fly-tipping and arson. It was made clear that FoBLL & GRaB support any redevelopment of this area and the sooner the better as this issue has been brought to the attention of both groups but customers using Brigg station on a number of occasions.
Passenger Survey: http://eSurv.org?s=LIMJGK_d6fe98a0