Members support expansion

By Nat Taplin

RDS executive officer

Preliminary results of the questionnaire from the last Railwatch show that most members want RDS to press ahead with changes to increase our membership and profile.

Office: 65% of members want RDS to set up a staffed office to handle all enquiries (13% against).

Organisation 68% think RDS should aim to be more like other professional campaigning organisations, such as Transport 2000 and Friends of the Earth (17% against).

Staff 59% believe it is a priority to take on more staff to increase our membership and campaigning (19% against).

Money Next came the knotty question of how RDS should fund any changes. 65% agreed with raising the membership fees (25% against).

Most members felt unsure whether RDS should spend its existing income differently, with 47% don't knows and 20% not answering at all.

66% were happy for RDS to seek outside sponsorship (29% against) taking care to protect RDS's vital independence.

Outreach A resounding 88% want RDS to broaden its appeal to attract more people, such as rail users and environmentalists.

Name 62% thought that RDS should change its name, if that would increase our membership and profile (30% against). Of the possible alternatives Rail Future came out on top.

Best Asked what you liked best about RDS, Railwatch came out top, closely followed by "the commitment and enthusiam of its members" and the information supplied by RDS.

Over the next year RDS will be pressing ahead with some of the changes suggested.

We hope to have a permanent staffed office up and running in the spring.

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