ERTA Transport and Environment Conference 2019

This was held on Saturday, 27 April from 11am – 4pm at the Campanile Hotel, Milton Keynes and it was attended by 24 people, including the speakers.

The speakers comprised of Stephen Sleight (Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership); Cllr. Vanessa McPake-Milton Keynes Council (East-West Rail, MK buses); Geoff Bushell (Campaign to reopen Ivanhoe Line); Professor James Connelly (Minsters Rail Campaign); Colin Bricher (on Northampton Light Rapid Transit); and our member Leonard Lean on a brief talk ‘Introduction to Electrification’.

Several ERTA members were among the attendees, and apart from Leonard Lean, these comprised Richard Pill (who chaired the event); Tony Bush (in charge of security); Clive Travis; Colin Crawford; David Ferguson and I – both David and I were manning the bookstall.

In my view the most interesting and best speakers were Stephen Sleight and Professor James Connelly.

Stephens’ presentation on the Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership highlighted the importance of local railway stations as part of local communities. Decent stations encourage more people to use trains whilst at the same time members of the community take part in improving and maintaining the station, including pedestrian and cycle access.

James’ presentation on the Minsters Rail Campaign (reopening the railway between York and Beverley) highlighted the fact that this proposal is included in Transport for the North’s Strategic Transport Plan, and that his group had suggested to Transport for the North that connectivity needs of the East Riding towns is a top priority. His group will also draw attention to serious long-term resilience issues affecting the main transport links between York and the East Riding/Hull such as high tides in the Humber estuary. Reopening that line will also bring extra capacity to the heavily-congested York-Beverley main road.

By Mr Simon Barber


Cllr Vanessa McPake; Milton Keynes Councillor on East-West Rail and MK Buses

Mr Stephen Sleight; Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership.                              

Mr Geoff Bushell; Campaign to Reopen the Ivanhoe Line                                  

Prof.James Connelly;Minsters Rail Campaign