Tuesday 23rd July saw our first meeting of the newly formed committee (at the Wheatsheaf), albeit we still need a secretary!
We immediately co-opted the expertise of Phil Inskip onto the committee.
The main agenda item was a talk to the group by our invited guest Mark Youngman, Transport Policy and Compliance Manager for Monmouthshire County Council (MCC). Mark explained the process for getting a new station agreed. Some interesting points raised by Mark were that there was a need to commission a ‘pre-delivery study’ into the option of a station on our preferred site (alongside the proposed community centre) and other alternatives. This study would form the “GRIP 1-2” requirements (Guide to Railway Investment Projects) and could cost around £40,000. The whole process would see 8 “GRIP” stages, to complete a station. At anytime Network Rail could “blackball” the idea, so it is imperative to speak with them at an early stage. We would have to fund this cost but a number of sources will be identified and investigated. We do not discount that a request direct to MCC for a proportion of this may be listened to. It is anticipated that our conversations over the next few meetings will focus on fund raising. Mark also confirmed that Councillor Brian Jones was seeking approval, from MCC cabinet, to promote a new rail station at Magor and Undy, within the South East Wales Transport Alliance (SEWTA) regional transport plan. This was a particularly good piece of news!
As we now have an active website to inform the general public about our progress, we will be seeking links to and from other sites to keep the flow of news and awareness high. Also we will be looking to have a Frost Fare stall and of course continue fund raising. One source of awareness fostering, would be to involve the local schools in Local Travel Plans.
Things are now progressing; we just need a secretary and some money, or lots of money…..
Oh, and thanks Dave and Clare for providing the space for the meeting.