Meeting Minutes: 15 January 2018

Rail Haverhill Meeting Minutes
15th January 2018 19.00-21:00


Alan Alexander, Tony Brown, John Burns, Anthony C, Nathan Clough, Quillon Fox, Paul Richardson, Jenny Edwards, Bob Edwards, Heike Sowa, Robert Washington, Dennis Wendell, Marcus Field-Rayne, Pete Flitton, Colin Harris.

Peter Wakefield, Gemma Brewin, Bob Green, Sian Hopkins-Smith.

1, Heike Welcomed everyone & we read & agreed the minutes of the last meeting.

2, Nathan suggested that we did a live streaming of the meeting, there were some reservations about this & John Burns said that he had tried similar with the Town meetings & had no one watching them. Some concerns were raised that
some participants would be inhibited in a meeting.

It was suggested it would maybe better to do an edited highlights of the meeting. We put this to the vote & it was not adopted, however edited highlights/bullited points may be considered. Nathan to look at this for the next meeting.

3, The Christmas stall went very well in Haverhill High Street, mostly positive interactions with the public & 96 signatures gained. We still had people wanting to sign while we were pulling the stall down!

It was mentioned that the banners were the old ones & due to time constraints, newer ones have not been ordered yet. We are arranging to do this soon.

4, Future stalls. Heike suggested that we do another stall in Cambridge Market Place. This is being arranged on 12th May 12.00 to 15.00. We may possibly have joining stalls with another Cambridge transport group.

5, Social media, website, Facebook & Twitter pages are going very well. Robert stated that when rail news related to us was slow, he was sharing other rail related media to keep up general interest. Heike asked Robert after the meeting about this & it was stated that there were often many people seeing these posts & this kept interest going when news was lean.

Examples on Facebook page;
‘Cambridge Connect – Fast forward’, seen by 947 people. Published 18/12/17
‘East-West Link Getting Closer’, seen by 623 people. Published 15/12/17
‘Rail Haverhill submission page fixed’ 2,888 people saw this! 7/12/17

More recently;
‘Direct rail travel to Amsterdam’ 2,715! published 16/1/18

6, AOB, many areas were covered.
Cambridge appear to be more interested in the ‘Trackless Tram’ idea from China… basically just a bendy bus! A tram is something that runs on rails!

Colin said that several ideas were being looked at by Cambridge authorities but costs were always a major issue.

We were also told about battery driven trams/trains. Technology is coming along with these but currently these have a range of around 25 kilometres on the level, this would be a major problem between Cambridge & Haverhill due to the undulating route. Innovation grants could be key. Rail could cost £1.5bn.

Development money could be more forthcoming should the idea for the Cambridge area happen. Green technology should be welcomed & the lack of overhead power lines would make a rail link more attractive to doubters. There is a time limit on internal combustion engines!

Colin also talked about the principle of mass transit was good for the area but the concept of AVRT (Affordable Very Rapid Transit) A system of ‘Ring Interchanges’ using specially designed vehicles, was not ‘favoured’.

Heike (?) is due to have a meeting with Haverhill Chamber Of Commerce. They are more interested in upgrading the A1307 to a duel carriageway but as was pointed out in our discussions, encouraging many to use a public rail service would take a considerable amount of cars off the road & could make a drastic upgrade unnecessary to the A1307.

It was also mentioned that all infrastructure projects are going to be subject to an 8 stage planning application, thereby pushing up road costs considerably.

John mentioned that ‘Sturmer Arches’, the 1860’s grade 2 listed railway viaduct at the east of our town, still had graffiti daubed on both sides. Many attempts to get the department who ‘own’ the structure to clean it off, have proved somewhat fruitless.

The meeting closed at 21.00.

7, The next meeting will be on 30th April 2018 at 19.00 Haverhill Arts Centre.

Future dates;
16th July 2018 (AGM)
29th October 2018

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