UKIP supporting Bradford Cross-Rail

BRUG Chair and UKIP Candidate in Urban Garden

J.Vasey and Jason Smith of UKIP in Urban Garden

BRUG Chairman James Vasey met with UKIP Candidate Jason Smith in the Urban Garden (Westfield development site) on Friday evening to discuss plans to develop a rail link across the city.

Mr Smith was impressed by the Cross Rail vision which would help revive the city centre as a cultural tourist destination and attract new businesses to the lower Broadway and little Germany quarter of the city.

BRUG discussed Bradford Council’s current plans to move the existing Magistrates court next to the current Crown Court, which would impede the building of the line. The Odeon was discussed as a possible site for the Magistrates court.

During our tour of the city centre we discussed the number of vacant properties between the Urban Gardens and the “mirror pool“, BRUG pointed out this would become the main thoroughfare from a central Bradford station direct to the mirror pool area, and the regeneration benefits this would have upon this part of the city.

Mr Smith discussed UKIP’s plans for Bradford, supporting strong improvements in public transport and making the best use of the existing buildings in Bradford, rather than the council building new buildings at public expense.

Jason Smith is standing for election in the Queensbury ward, a full list of candidates is available from here.

BRUG would like to speak to representatives from all political parties before the local elections.

Rail Fares to rise by 5.8%

July 2010’s retail prices index (RPI) inflation figure was 4.8%, therefore using the DfT’s ticket pricing for regulated fares, ticket prices will rise by upto 5.8%.

However if the DfT choose to change the formula, some analysts expect fares to rise by as much as 10%.

Busy Rail News

On Thursday 12th August BRUG members were guests of Grand Central on a journey from Bradford – London. A full report will be available at the next meeting of BRUG. Our thanks go of course to the excellent on-board and back-office staff.

On Friday 13th August, The Passenger Focus survey on rail priorities showing overcrowding to be of huge concern was reported in the T&A. BRUG and the Aire Valley Rail Users Group, AVRUG, were both quoted in the article. Also reported in The Guardian.

On Tuesday 17th August, the T&A reported Cllr Greaves call for the Transport Secretary to visit West Yorkshire and experience the severe overcrowding on a number of local services. BRUG raised the problems experienced on the Caldervale line of significant overcrowding leading to some people being unable to board some peak trains at stations between Bradford and Leeds.

Our next meeting is on Monday 6th September 7:30pm at Bradford Voluntary & Community Service, Sunbridge Road, Bradford.

Repealing Laws

One of the many laws suggested from removal on the “Your Freedom” website calls for the repeal of the Railway (Electrical Power) Act 1903. View details here.

The removal of this law would remove a number of legal hurdles that “technically” exist that limit the speed of conversion and installation of electrical traction to the railways.

Railways should be electrified and should be planned to include electrification in the plans for all lines, removing the need for a public enquiry at each possible electrification site.

This law creates an unnecessary burden on rail operators and the government and should be repealed.

DFT funding cuts affect carriages

Philip Hammond

Philip Hammond, Secretary of State for Transport

As reported in the T&A, the Secretary of State for Transport has announced a suspension of purchasing new train carriages.

BRUG are obviously disappointed by the announcement, however we will lobby for the Department of Transport to reverse it’s decision, as stated in the NAO report, the PTE’s/ITA’s (Metro) are also strongly upset by the decision. They believe that their planning and their views have been disregarded.

However it is clear from the report that the previous Government and Network Rail have over specified the number of carriages:

The Office of Rail Regulation had specified that occupancy had to be reduced to 70% in Leeds, however Network Rail’s plan would have reduced occupancy to 59%.

BRUG will continue to push for improved rail services and capacity in Bradford and the West Yorkshire region. There is very limited capacity in Bradford and genuine demand for seats. We are campaigning for more seats and more capacity, not just wanting “nice looking trains”.

Meetings – Apologies!

I had forgotten about Easter Monday! Therefore the next meeting of the Bradford Rail User’s Group will be the 12th April 2010 at “Bradford Community and Voluntary Service“, Bridge Road, Bradford.

Meeting: Monday 7th December

The next meeting of BRUG will be on Monday 7th December 2009 at the Bradford VCS at 7:30pm

The list of meetings, agendas and minutes for 2010 will be published on the meetings page.

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