Note of Meeting at the Red House, Albrighton at 10am Friday 6th September 2014


Object: To discuss progress to retain the temporary pedestrian ramp at Albrighton Station for public use/customers of the railway.

Cllr Malcolm G Pate (MGP) - Chairman Shropshire Council – Chairman of the meeting
Adam Checkley – Route Asset Manager, Network Rail (NR)
Ali Bell – Senior Communications Manager, Network Rail
David Whitley – Head of Regional Services, London Midland Trains (LMT)
Cllr Sylvia Pledger, Chairman Albrighton Parish Council (leader of the Consortium of
Parish Councils, Chairman Ramp Team)
Cllr Hugh Kirton, Chairman Donington-with-Boscobel Parish Council
Peter Woodman – Chairman Albrighton & District Civic Society, Deputy Chairman 
Ramp Team
Rod Smith – Secretary Albrighton & District Civic Society, Secretary Ramp Team
Mike Pitchford – Treasurer Albrighton & District Civic Society, Ramp Team Member
Cllr David Beechey, Ramp Team Member, Cllr Albrighton PC and Donington-with-Boscobel PC.
John Bulmer, Ramp Team Member, Civic Society
Ron Kidson, Ramp Team Member, Civic Society
Alice Dilly - Principal Engineer Environmental Maintenance, Shropshire Council
Andrea McWilliams - Community Enablement Officer, Shropshire Council

(Apologies from Cllr D Thomas, Chairman Boningale PC and Tong PC)

1) MGP welcomed everyone to the meeting and explained that Mark Pritchard, MP, had received a three line whip and had to attend parliament this morning and had sent his apologies and had asked MGP to chair the meeting in his absence.
Introductions were made.

2) AC explained that he had taken over responsibility for dealing with this issue at Network Rail some three weeks ago.

3) MGP explained that the scheme required the positive participation and cooperative work by several parties to achieve the goal of retaining the already constructed pedestrian access ramp for use by residents/customers of the railway, support for which had been demonstrated at local meetings and by a petition signed by more than 1700 people.

4) MGP said that:-
a) Shropshire Council (SC) had prepared a scheme drawing for installation of a footway on the SE side of Station Rd to link up to the foot of the ramp and this had been discussed by SC and the Ramp Team and the final version was being developed.
b)  Albrighton Parish Council agreed at the meeting on 10/01/14 that the responsibility for the ramp will be by a Consortium of the four local Parish Councils with Albrighton Parish Council acting as the lead Council, subject to a risk assessment and that they could obtain insurance cover.
c)  EE had agreed that the ramp could remain on their land provided they had an indemnity for anyone using the ramp on their land.

5) MGP said that the main actions needed were with NR for provision of lighting and LMT for operational maintenance. AC said that a cable could be reconnected to the existing

lighting. RS said that it had been understood at previous meetings that the temporary lighting fixed to the ramp handrail was not suitable for permanent use and that overhead lighting attached to the NR building (probably on cantilevered arms) would probably be needed. RS said that he had had correspondence with Sarah McArdle of NR who had agreed to investigate provision of such lighting and fed from the same supply, in the NR building at platform 1, which feeds the lights over platform 1. Nothing had been heard since her last email in April 2014. RK and HK suggested that the ramp lighting would be needed at the same times as those over platform 1 and running it from the same source made sense. AC said that he would need to get a lighting design made and would need approval from SC to fix lights to the Listed Building. AD would identify the correct person at SC who can deal with this and would send this information to AC. AD would also send a copy of the drawing of the Station Rd footway scheme to AC for information.
AC kindly confirmed that the lights would be provided by NR as a contribution.
MP asked if NR would be prepared to cover the cost of the electric supply to these lights. AC said that all electric supply at the station is covered by the franchisee LMT. DW kindly agreed that LMT would cover the cost of the electric supply for the lights as part of their contribution.

6) DB reminded the meeting that Albrighton PC, on behalf of the consortium of PCs, would be responsible for the ramp but asked if maintenance could be provided at the same time as for the rest of the station premises. AC noted that the quality of the ramp was the usual one for permanent use and only operational maintenance such as “winterisation” was envisaged.
DW explained that LMT was currently dealing with several incidents which resulted in claims by users of ramps and this was troubling the LMT management. However DW noted that there were fewer claims on ramps than stairs.
DW kindly agreed that LMT would carry out operational maintenance of the ramp as they do for the rest of the station.

7) Concerning the procedure of managing this maintenance, AC suggested that a written statement, to be signed by LMT and Albrighton PC, be prepared which defined the maintenance to be carried out by LMT and its frequency. SP said that it needs to be clear who is responsible for any claims. AC also suggested that such a statement would help Albrighton PC in its risk assessment and also when the ramp was added to the council’s insurance policy and it would also help determine who would be liable in the event of a claim.

8) PW asked what would happen in case LMT does not win the new franchise. AC said that the requirements concerning the ramp would be passed on to the new franchisee.

9) AC suggested that Albrighton PC could confirm to their insurer and risk assessors that the lighting would be to full NR Standards, which should provide comfort to the assessors.

10) DW asked when the work to Station Rd footpath would be carried out. AD and MGP said that it is likely to be done between April 2015 and Winter 2015.

MGP closed the meeting at 12noon and thanked all parties for attending and for the constructive discussions, and especially thanked NR and LMT whose contributions today would now lead to achieving the goal of retaining the ramp for residents/train customers..

(Note. The ‘Ramp Team’ was formed to liaise with the other parties and is a made up of representatives of the four Parish Councils and the Civic Society)     RS22-09-17