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Railwatch 087 - March 2001

Railwatch - The Sidings

Railwatch - Roads to ruin

An alliance of 14 environmental organisations, including the Railway Development Society, was launched on 5 March to try to stop the Government taking the road to ruin.

The Roads to Ruin alliance estimates that road schemes currently under discussion could damage at least 28 sites of special scientific interest (many of which are also designated as being of European or international importance), five current or planned national parks, eight areas of outstanding natural beauty and two world heritage sites.

The launch came shortly before Transport Minister Lord Macdonald was expected to announce a further expansion of the roads programme. More information: Roads to Ruin newsline on the Railfuture website.

Railwatch - ATOC talks

The issue of a national rail map and the failings of the national rail inquiries service were just some of the topics raised when an RDS team, including president Michael Caton and campaigns director Alix Stredwick went to see George Muir, director general of the Association of Train Operating Companies in November.

Railwatch - Get well soon, Steve

Former RDS chairman Steve Wilkinson has been seriously ill and spent several weeks in hospital over Christmas. He is now at home but is not able to take such a strong role in RDS as he and we would like. We all wish him well.

His place as chairman of the freight committee is being filled by George Boyle.

Railwatch - Share action

RDS members hold shares in Railtrack and Eurostar (as does the society itself), plus Stagecoach, National Express, Sea Containers, Arriva, GB Railways, FirstGroup, Prism Rail and BAA.

This helps us to keep abreast with what these companies are doing and to try to influence them.

Are there other members out there who have not told us about their shares (in confidence)? If so, please drop a line to our Shareholder Liaison Officer, Mr C Oley, 37 New Road, Ormskirk, Lancs L40 1SR.

Railwatch - Competition to design a recruitment leaflet

Who else to design a new recruitment leaflet for railfuture but those who have already been successfully recruited! We want you to help us attract new members, so we are running a competition to design a new recruitment leaflet.

The winning leaflet will appeal to all and will motivate individuals to join railfuture. The leaflets can be as imaginative or as colourful as you like but they must state clearly what the organisation does and why more people should join and support us.

The designer of the winning leaflet will receive a pair of first class tickets from London Paddington to Bristol and a bottle of wine. Please send your entries to Kate Tudor-Pole at head office by 30 April.Good luck!

Railwatch - East-West link

The East-West rail link - now also known as the Fens-Thames - is at a critical stage. Two applications for grants from the Rail Passenger Partnership fund have been made.

One is for the Oxford-Bicester-Winslow-Bletchley-Bedford part and the other for improved frequencies into and out of Cambridge from the Norwich-Ely and Ipswich-Bury St Edmunds lines.

Both applications are currently with the Strategic Rail Authority. It is rumoured that Transport Minister Keith Hill has been pressing SRA chairman Sir Alastair Morton to whom the applications were submitted in February.

Chris Wright of the Oxford Bicester Rail Action Committee has contacted Lord Bradshaw to press the case, as he is a member of the Commission for Integrated Transport and an SRA board member.

Railwatch - Rail in Germany

The latest issue of the brochure Germany and Europe by railis now available. The brochure gives information on tickets, passes, prices and services for rail journeys in Germany and Europe. The brochure is available from the Deutsche Bahn UK Booking Centre on 0870 2 43 53 63 (national rates apply).

DB has changed its fare system for groups travelling within Germany. Groups of at least six people travelling together can now receive discounts of up to 75% on the standard fare on most services. The new price system has three discount categories (45%, 60%, 75%). There are only a limited number of seats available to groups at these prices on DB services, so bookings should be made well in advance to secure the cheapest possible fare.

Under this discount system the maximum fare for a return journey for one adult travelling 2nd class, as part of a group, is £40. A fee of £10 per group is payable per single journey for the compulsory reservation. ICE/EC/IC supplements are included in the price.

Railwatch - Women's workshop

A workshop organised by RDS marketing director Kate Tudor-Pole was staged in December. One of the findings was that the society's promotional literature should be targeted better to attract more women to join. More people should be featured in our publications which should stress our past achievements as well as future aims. Promotional leaflets should also be displayed in non-rail places like doctor's surgeries, hospitals, hairdressers, workplaces and leisure centres.

Railwatch - Rail route protection

The regional authority of Schleswig-Holstein in Germany is paying German Railways £60,000 a year to leave disused railway lines intact until the end of next year with a view to possible reopening.

Railwatch - Rail share up

Rail has increased its share of Birmingham commuter traffic over a year by 1.2% while the bus's share has dropped by 1.8% and car's share has gone down by 0.4%.

Railwatch - Northern Ireland

The future of Northern Ireland Railways looks a lot brighter following the Government's allocation of £150million in investment money. Rail campaigners joined a coalition which played a significant part in alerting the public to the threat to the network.

The better outlook was reported to RDS members David Thompson and Richard Macqueen when they met MEP Jim Nicholson in Belfast in January.

A report of the meeting is available from RDS international committee secretary John Barfield, 108 Berwick Road, London E16 3DS

Railwatch - Lottery winners

November: C J Harley, March £56, Roger White, Harrow, £35, Andrew MacFarlane, Altrincham £21, Keith Porter, London SW14 £14, Roger Blake, London N16 £7, Neil Perry, Wokingham £7.

December: Elisabeth Jordan, Corby £56, R Burrows, Hassocks £35, W T Jeffery, Reigate £21, J D Kay, Berwick-upon-Tweed, £14, J V Yearsley, Cheltenham £7, G Wood, Wakefield £7.

January: M J Savage, Cleethorpes £56, Eric Johnson, Winchester £35, Andrew Ivett, Oxford £21, Dr G Loyn, Aberystwyth £14, F K Farrell, Addlestone £7, Pat Salkeld, Morecambe £7.

February: D J English, Poole £64, F H Russell, Solihull £40, K Gascoigne, Lapworth £24, B J Hastings, Scunthorpe £16, P Clark, Ayr £8, C Punchard, Durham £8.

Join the winners. Send a cheque for £12 (made payable to RDS) to Edgar Locke, 3 Langton Court, Worthing BN 14 7BZ

Note: contact details (postal and email addresses, along with telephone numbers) in old editions of Railwatch out of date. Click CONTACT US for latest contact details.

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