Our Herts and Beds Division (formerly Northern Division) is an integral part of Railfuture's London and South East regional branch. We aim to be the leading independent advocate for the rail industry and rail users in the area.
Our area covers Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire (comprising three unitary authorities: Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, and Luton).
Within our Herts & Beds Division there are seven Rail User Groups affiliated to Railfuture:
- Abbey Flyer Users' Group
- Association of Public Transport Users (Thameslink)
- Bedford Commuters Association
- Bedford to Bletchley Rail Users Association
- Hadley Wood Rail User Group
- Hatfield Association of Rail Travellers
- Watford Rail Users Group - email & Twitter
We aim to become the main centre of independent rail advocacy for this area.
Meetings are held broadly monthly, and for about an hour or so when online. The next meeting will again be online at 19.30 on Wednesday 29 September. We last met on Saturday 4 September. Please do join us, physically if you can when we do, or virtually (by Zoom) as it's very simple and has been working well as a means of keeping in touch and abreast of developments on the railway, with GTR and Herts CC representatives and colleagues from neighbouring East Anglia, East Midlands and Thames Valley branches regularly participating. Email the Herts & Beds Division Convener Neil Middleton - neil.middleton at railfuture.org.uk - for an invite.
We had an extra meeting at on Tuesday 13 July (on Zoom) to discuss Railfuture's response to GTR for the May 2022 ECML Timetable (see the subsequent national Press Release).
The first meeting of 2021, with over 20 participants, was on Saturday 30 January. The last meetings of 2020 were on 28 November and 16 December.
Our meeting on Tuesday evening 27 October had a presentation on Luton Borough Council's consultation on its draft Local Transport Plan which closed on 15 November 2020.
Previous virtual meetings were on Saturday morning 26 September, Tuesday evening 25 August, and Saturday mornings 25 July, 27 June, 30 May, and 25 April 2020, all online. Topics have ranged over new timetables, ticketing issues, engineering works, thoughts about aspirations for the post-GTR era, reactions to the prospect of Great Northern Metro (ie Moorgate) services being devolved by the DfT to TfL, ticketing, and fares - all the usual topics!
- Read An open letter from Railfuture Herts and Beds Division on Passenger and Taxpayer needs regarding the possible move of Great Northern 'Inner' Services to TfL (September 2020).
The particular topic for our 28 March meeting was the draft Rail Strategy for Hertfordshire, the County Council consultation which closed on Monday 30 March. Our shared aspirations for a post-GTR era, whatever form a successor operational contract, or contracts, might be in the wake of the forthcoming publication of the Williams Rail Review, were also referenced.
It was therefore NOT held as usual at St. Paul's Church, corner of Hatfield Road/Blandford Road, St. Albans, AL1 4JP. 10.45 for 11.00 start, to 13.00. Contact Division Convener Neil Middleton, below. All rail user groups and community rail partnerships welcome.
The previous meeting on 22 February 2020 also had as its particular topic the draft Rail Strategy for Hertfordshire.
We have held several valuable meetings of this Division, formed in 2014, all in St. Albans. Regular participants include members from a number of local rail user groups and our neighbouring Thames Valley and East Anglia branches, plus Trevor Mason of Herts County Council and previously Larry Heyman, now Patrick Ladbury from GTR.
Stay up-to-date with all Railfuture and other events here and other key rail dates here.
Catch up with other London & South East rail development campaigning news in the regional branch newsletter railse here. Also subscribe there to the branch's new monthly e-newsletter inter-railse.
We campaign for sustainable growth in market share for rail transport. Therefore we support initiatives which will improve the attraction of rail and create a successful, financially secure rail industry: sufficient capacity, efficient customer service, simpler fares, improved connectivity, faster schedules, network enhancements and improved competitiveness with other modes of transport. If you share these ideals please contact us. We welcome new members, and people to share practical ideas and to help put plans into action.
Email Herts & Beds Division Convener Neil Middleton: neil.middleton at railfuture.org.uk
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