Report on FoHS Meeting of 26 Sept. 2014

Station improvements:

Hard plastic bins had been seen being utilised in Oxford which would be extremely beneficial if introduced on our station. It was suggested that, as First Great Western were the TOC involved, we should bring this to the attention of Paul Henry with a view to investigating their potential use in the North-East.

It was acknowledged that seagulls were not always responsible for the mess in the station and that often the weight of the rubbish causes the bags to displace. Hot drinks in bags also did not help. Ties were suggested for the bags but it was considered that, if the bags were secured properly in the first instance, then this was unnecessary.

It was noted that various areas had been highlighted with spray possibly indicating the points where leaks existed.

Station Cleaning and Cleaning Rota:

This was functioning well without problems and a new rota would shortly be prepared for the full year of 2015. Bags were in sufficient supply.

Grand Central Ambassadors:

Attention was drawn to the forthcoming Stakeholders meeting at Hartlepool Maritime Experience on Tuesday 7 October.

A recent incident involved a youth who wanted to travel to London by 1A65 on a credit card backed by identity documents, having apparently lost the pin number on his card. Control was contacted and confirmed that travel on this basis was not allowed and could be construed as attempting to travel fraudulently.

Northern Passes were accepted on the Metro.

The issue of a person having a warrant to attend a job interview was raised questioning if it was valid on GC. It was considered that it was unlikely anyone would be attending a job interview on a Sunday anyway but the warrant would probably only be valid on franchised services and possibly not on GC. Valid proof of the interview would also have to be carried on his person.

Reference was made to a recently delivered Hartlepool Guide which was confusing and contained inaccuracies about GC services. It also gave no prominence to services to the new James Cook station.

Meet The Manager:

It was announced that Mike Drewery, Station Manager, Teesside, had agreed to hold joint TPE/ Northern Meet the Manager sessions at Middlesbrough (Tuesday 14 October 16.00-18.30) and Thornaby

(Tuesday 21 October 1600-18.30 ) and had invited EVRDC, SLUG, Coastliners, Bishop Line User group and Connect Tees Valley to host stands which would be erected. Â

Funding:

It was revealed that Peter Gowland had sent information about a Government funded initiative called Community First which was designed to benefit residents of what was the Stranton Ward. An application had been put forward and included the fact that the station was geographically in their Ward and of course explained the general purpose of the group in relation to the station.

To satisfy the Matched Funding element the number of volunteer hours we devote which amounted to 204 hours had to be included

The bid had been accepted and the money requested had been granted. Unfortunately it had to be spent by February as the scheme then came to the end of its natural life. It was agreed that it would be targeted on:

Website maintenance, attendance at training sessions on website maintenance, a new printer, surplus monies to be spent on consumables

TPE / RailFuture Dates:

First Transpennine was holding a Stakeholder Event in Leeds on Monday 6 October from 10.30-15.30

Railfuture was holding a North-East open meeting on Saturday 8 November in the afternoon.

Northern Timetable Feedback:

John O’Grady’s email confirming the improvement in services from Saltburn which had been possible by slightly advancing the departure to become 06.24 from Saltburn, to arrive Middlesbrough 06.49 was read out.The departure from Middlesbrough onwards had become 06.55, enabling earlier arrivals at Stockton and stations to Heworth. He asserted this was a demonstration that Northern can react to feedback and meet its customers expectations.

Transport Champions Group:

It was announced that the topic for the next meeting scheduled for 14 January was to be changed to

Public Transport-Buses and Rail and they would like a representative of Northern Rail to attend.

Teeside Safe Places scheme is gradually expanding and now embraces 48 places in Hartlepool and 110 across the Tees Valley

Local Sustainable Transport Fund

HBC had been successful in their bid for funding. The aim of the bid is to encourage Healthy lifestyle by scheme called Active Travel in conjunction with Durham C.C. and the charity ˜Living Streets’ The emphasis was on walking ( in particular to school )and cycling and the creation of cycle parking facilities. Part of the bid related to access to health facilities and focused on the M’Bro/Stockton/Darlington urban corridor and looked to enhance the existing Health shuttle bus. The Hospital Shuttle bus scheme is still being assessed and discussion is ongoing with H’Pool Trust with Paul Robson looking at all transport options. The application option for Wynyard Hospital expires next year so decisions on the hospital are expected soon

Highways maintenance

We were given a list of the various areas that had been identified for ongoing attention or resurfacing.

The Council try to catch everything early to contain expenditure and explanations were given of the various treatments the council apply, in particular the use of HRA (Hot Road Asphalt) which has a life of 10 years. An estimated £60 Million of work had been identified but the budget only permitted £1 million per annum

LED Lights

Over the course of the next six months the lighting replacement programme would see every street light in Hartlepool be replaced by Low Wattage LED lights to save money, reducing costs by £600-700K per year. They come with a 20 Year guarantee and are replaced free. Cost is £4 million but energy savings justify this over time. There is also a saving in carbon tax.

Tees Valley Bus Network Improvement

The work undertaken to improve the bottlenecks in Hart Lane outside Sacred Heart School would be finished in three weeks with improved parking and yellow lines introduced. Both Hart Lane and Middleton Rd. would be completely closed from Sept 29 and traffic lights off while the junction is widened. Powlett Rd. is to be widened to two lanes

Housing Development

Developers must now provide a plan to deal with highways and increased traffic flow. The Highways Agency can place a holding order on any development if its effect is considered detrimental to the A19 until the completion of the improvement works on the Trunk Rd. Further developments must be built to accommodate a future Western Bypass. The increase in patronage of Hartlepool station was noted.

In relation to Wynyard the highways Agency was currently addressing the A19 roundabout problem and reviewing signal control measures

Road Safety Scheme:

20 mph scheme to be introduced in King Oswy Drive and around St Teresa’s School

it was confirmed that Alistair Smith attends the infrastructure Group and Tees Valley Unlimited represent the Tees Valley.

Three lanes would be created between Wolviston and Norton and that the gaps in the A19 for access to Elwick and Dalton would be replaced by one junction.

Coastliners:

There had been two open meetings since the Friends last met and the meeting of 31 July with John O’Grady was essentially a repeat of the Friends presentation but still very interesting and worthwhile nonetheless. The second meeting was last night where Kathryn O’Brien and Mike Drewery were expected to attend but staffing issues prevented Mike’s attendance and the anticipated replacement for Kathryn proved unavailable. However despite this a stimulating discussion was held. A wide range of issues were discussed and also the submissions to various institutions about improving services locally and reinstalling passenger services through Ferryhill. The Northern Echo’s ˜Right Lines’ campaign was raised and Coastliners would attempt to cooperate and liaise with The Northern Echo in order to attempt to help them to achieve their aims. The journalist responsible for this campaign was to be invited to attend one of our meetings. The next meeting is a Committee meeting scheduled for 13 November but no further open meetings have yet been fixed.

Any Other Business:

Ticketysplit from the Martin Lewis website was highlighted which suggests ways of splitting tickets to achieve a cheaper journey.

Details of Next Meeting:

The next meeting was to take place at 9-13 Scarborough Street, Hartlepool, on Friday 21 November 2014 at 10.00 a.m.

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