MarshLink AGM 15 April 2016



The Committee gives Notice that the tenth Annual General Meeting of the MarshLink Action Group is called for:

Friday 15th April 2016

at 7.00pm

in Rye Town Hall, Market Street, Rye, East Sussex


The AGENDA of the Annual General Meeting will be as follows:

  1. Welcome and introductions
  2. Apologies for absence
  3. Approval of Minutes of the last AGM held on 20 March 2015
  4. Chairman’s report
  5. Treasurer’s report
  6. Nominations for the Committee
  7. Election of the Committee
  8. Any other business and conclusion of formal AGM

Following the formal Annual General Meeting (at approximately 7.15pm) there will be presentations and a Q&A session with:

  • Paul Best, Network Rail
  • Martin Grier, Southern Railway
  • Ray Chapman, Chairman, East Sussex Rail Alliance
  • Roger Blake, Railfuture




All members of the Group are entitled to attend and vote at the meeting.


Item 3 – Copies of the Minutes of the formal part of the AGM held on 20 March 2015 are available on MLAG’s website (

Item 5 – The Income and Expenditure Account for the calendar year 2014 and the Balance Sheet as at 31 December 2015 will be available at the meeting

Item 6 – Please advise the Chairman at the earliest opportunity if you wish to stand for election to the Committee

Item 7 – Subject to the re-election of the existing Officers, there are vacancies for:

– Secretary

– Press and Publicity Officer

– Commuter Representative (to try to tap into the knowledge of daily users of the line)

– Chairman Designate (to have a successor in place at the end of the current Chairman’s period of office).


In addition, we would like to have a representative from each station (Appledore and Ham Street are currently not specifically represented). Nominations are invited for these roles.

Committee meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every other month apart from July (i.e. January, March, May, September, November) and on other occasions, as required.



Stuart Harland (Chairman)

Monika Betson (representing the interests of Three Oaks passengers and THWART – Three Oaks and Winchelsea Action for Rail Transport)

David Bookless (Treasurer/ Membership Secretary)

David Carver
Richard Holmes (immediate past-Chairman)

Rhoderick Powrie (Consultant)

Ray Prewer (Rye Town Council representative)

John Stedman
Christopher Strangeways (representing Rother Environmental Group)



We have had a year of problems, mostly (certainly not only) to the west of Rye. The Hastings – London line has been subject to significant and frequent delays, largely (but not wholly) resulting from the vast works underway at London Bridge Station (and still for a few more years to come). To the east of Rye, the Ashford – London CX route has not been so badly affected but still there have been delays. Recently, the Ashford – Brighton service has been shortened because of a landslip at Glynde and this is expected to take about two months to clear. We will have at out AGM a representative from Southern Railway who may be able to comment on these issues as well as our other long term issues.


Looking further into the future, we have received presentations at the last two MLAG AGMs about a proposed direct Javelin service between London and Rye, Hastings and Bexhill and a half-hourly service along the MarshLink. The plan, in essence, voiced until recently has been for an in-fill electrification scheme and a relatively short length of duelling: the reality, of course, is far more complicated with the obvious need to change the complicated track layout at Ashford and considerable signalling works. And this is how plans appeared to be progressing until last month when, at Amber Rudd’s Transport Summit, there were suggestions from speakers that physical electrification may not be viable now (contrary to the finding of the Mott MacDonald report mentioned last year) and, indeed, may not be necessary. The suggestion now appears to be to do much as previously suggested (but without electrifying the track) and operating hybrid or bi-modal trains (to be explained at the AGM). MLAG’s concerns about this proposal are many and these will be voiced at the meeting as the proposals are debated by the representatives of Network Rail, ESRA and Railfuture.


Stuart Harland, Chairman, MarshLink Action Group

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