Railfuture in the news 2012

Later news: 2013



Move from 'on time' to 'right time'

21/05/2012 - Scotsman

"Donald MacPhee, chairman of Railfuture Scotland, an independent rail campaigning group, welcomed moves to improve services, but warned the proposed system could still mask delays.

“A train could be late for many passengers travelling from Inverness to Edinburgh but still in theory arrive on time in Edinburgh because it is deemed just one minute late in reaching its destination.”


Station use increases by a million in East Anglia

14/06/2012 - East Anglia Daily Times

Railfuture East Anglia branch issued its analysis of the official station footfall figures for 2010/11 in its Rail East newsletter, which was then picked up by local media.

15/06/2012 - Norwich Evening News

Bruce Williamson, Railfuture's media spokesman was quored: "What is interesting is that we have seen a consistent rise in the use of rail in the last 15 years. It is important that we meet that demand so we do not see overcrowding on our railways.

"But with the soaring price of oil there is a good reason why people see rail travel as such a sound investment.

"The rise in footfall is possibly down to people wanting to be more green, or the rising cost of fuel, or rising traffic congestion."

Trains now carrying as many people as in 1920s

12/03/2012 - Scotsman

Ken Sutherland, research officer for campaigners Railfuture Scotland, said: “We hugely welcome the increasing numbers now travelling by train, and those attracted by the range of reduced-price advance ticket offers now available.

“However, whilst the increasing cost of motoring fuel is undoubtedly a factor in some increased rail travel, Railfuture Scotland warns against self-indulgent and fragile Atoc complacency, based on currently high oil prices. This is a delusory ‘defence’ against several more years of eye-watering inflation-busting rail fare rises proposed.”


First Great Western converts former buffet cars

09/03/2012 - BBC News Online

FGW is refurbishing 15 buffet cars and 33 former high speed carriages which will add one extra carriage to the London rush hour services.

Passenger group Railfuture has praised the move but said it is a "stopgap measure" and more capacity is needed.

Bruce Williamson, from the transport pressure group Railfuture, said: "The problem is you can't just go to a train dealer and buy one off the shelf, these things take an awful lot of time.

"We're suffering from a lack of long-term investment.

"What people don't understand is that rail operators don't own the trains, they lease them and the operators are micro-managed by the Department of Transport.

"Every little helps. These interesting, imaginative ideas have got to be welcomed but we need to recognise these are stopgap measures."


Rail lobby urges new councillors to support Dornoch link

23/05/2012 - BBC Radio Berkshire (iPlayer)

Hugh Jaeger of Railfuture's Thames Valley branch contributed to BBC Radio Berkshire's coverage following another fatality at Ufton Nervet level crossing.

The Thames Valley branch also issued a detailed press release on the subject.


Rail lobby urges new councillors to support Dornoch link

07/05/2012 - John O'Groat Journal

Ken Sutherland, of Railfuture Scotland, made the call (to back efforts for a rail link over the Dornoch Firth) following Thursday’s elections and argued that the crossing would shorten the train journey time from Caithness to Inverness by 45 minutes and give a boost to the local economy.

“There is a strong parallel to be drawn with the Dornoch rail link plan. It is key to a faster, more competitive route meeting the needs and expectations of the 21st century, which the current circuitous route signally fails to do,” said Mr Sutherland.

18/04/2012 - The Northern Times

Research officer Ken Sutherland said the need for the improvement in the Borders is similar to the long-mooted one at the opposite end of the country.

He said: “The campaigners should be congratulated on their vision to achieve the line's logical extension to Carlisle and main line route south to England.

“I’d urge politicians to join campaigners in Caithness and East Sutherland in championing the benefits of this scheme with the same level of vision and purpose as is now evident within the Borders.”


Tens of Thousands make tracks to Corby Station

06/04/2012 - Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph

David Fursdon, a Corby-based member of passenger campaign group Railfuture said: “It is pretty amazing when you think we didn’t have a station three years ago, and here we are talking about these numbers.

“I go down to the station regularly and I see regular passengers, new passengers, people going on holiday – they are all making use of it.

“I think people realise it was a well-needed facility for Corby and they are turning out and using it.”

Railfuture calls for station at Allander

01/02/2012 - Milngavie Herald

Railfuture Scotland believes that the increasing demand for rail travel, with more conveniently accessed local rail stations, is a major ‘window of opportunity’ to demand Scottish Government action on the long planned Allander rail halt between Milngavie and Hillfoot stations.

Ken Sutherland, research officer Railfuture Scotland, said "Although rail travel is now regarded as an attractive and sustainable alternative to car commuting and urban congestion, the lack of adequate local parking provision is clearly evident here, with station car parks at Milngavie, Hillfoot, Bearsden and Westerton often full to capacity by 7.30am. Parking routinely overflows into adjoining residential areas in Milngavie and Bearsden and along the A81 Milngavie Road at Hillfoot.
“Yet a new Allander rail halt with provision for up to 500 cars would not just satisfy the legitimate needs of peak time commuters into Glasgow and beyond, but also be a key benefit for off-peak travellers who are nonsensically discouraged against using the train at present, by sheer inability to find any available parking place.”


Thameslink between East Anglia and the south

08/06/2012 - Cambridge News

The Cambridge News printed comments from Railfuture East Anglia branch secretary Nick Dibben, who was delighted that rail services between Cambridge and south of London (e.g. Gatwick Airport and Brighton) could commence as soon as 2015.


Greater Anglia sorry for poor service

17/03/2012 - BBC News Online

Peter Lawrence, national president (until May 2012) of Railfuture, a UK campaign group for better rail services, said it would take time for improvements to filter through.

"It is frustrating for passengers when trains break down and there are signalling problems," he said.

"But it is a short time since they took the service on and I think they need time to bed in. Provided we see improvement take place, I think the apology will go down well."

Industrial action by drivers at East Midland Trains

10/05/2012 - BBC Radio Lincolnshire

Railfuture's Lincolnshire branch chairman was asked about the strike whilst doing a Radio Lincolnshire interview. He pointed out that as Railfuture is strictly non political he could not comment on the merits of the strike. However, Railfuture hoped the two sides would soon come to an agreement that ended passenger disruption. He was asked what passengers could do on strike days so referred to the alternatives EMT were putting in place and that rail tickets are being accepted on parallel bus routes.


Cuts to rural bus services

12/03/2012 - Radio Lincolnshire

Railfuture's Linconshire branch chairman David Harby told listeners to BBC Radio Lincolnshire about the effects on rail of bus service cutbacks. He stressed was that many rail users rely on the bus to get to the train. Cut out evening buses and they have no way of getting home. Those with cars just transfer to the car which in the case of Lincoln just adds to the morning peak traffic congestion. Hardly the sustainable transport policy that politicians claim to support.


Luton-Dunstable Guided Busway

08/06/2012 - Anglia News

Railfuture opposed the ripping up of the disused Luton-Dunstable railway line for conversion into a guided busway.

Railfuture's media spokesman Bruce Williamson commented on the news of an £11m overspend by the busway contractors. He said that it should have been a rail-based transport system and questioned whether they had learned anything from the “Cambridgeshire busway fiasco.”

Media - For more information please contact:
Bruce Williamson, media spokesman
Tel: 0117 927 2954
Mobile: 07759 557389
Email: media at railfuture.org.uk

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