Board heard and discussed a number of ongoing safety related issues.
Ramsbottom Gates – A progress report S&T was presented. Whilst there is a new temporary safety regime in place (new clasps manually lock one set of the gates) to ensure the gates are closed a more permanent solution is being developed. By August it is hoped road stop blocks can be re-installed. In addition, a regular maintenance regime has been introduced to make turning the wheel in the signal box easier.
Ramsbottom – Runaway Trolley – Board were given an update concerning the incident which saw a trolley run away loaded with ballast and collided with the level cross gates at Ramsbottom. An RAIB investigation is underway.
As a result, a full audit of trolleys was undertaken and the use of trolleys immediately curtailed. Training sessions have been held with P Way volunteers, more are planned.
Board agreed to engage an external independent company to conduct a review of the ELR’s safety regimes and develop an action for Board.
- * Visitor numbers are running ahead of 2017. In the period Jan-March there were 20,273 visitors compared to 13,382 in 2017 (excluding BTM, Groups, Education, Real Ale Trail, FXP, Photography Courses and Charters).
- * Diners continue to break records with sales up 28% on 2017.
- * City of Wells – we have secured over £73,000 through public funds (Board thanked John Stephens for his herculean efforts in selling raffle tickets).
- We need working volunteers to help sell raffle tickets on trains at the weekend- Contact our General Manager if interested.
- * FXP – running at 76% occupancy compared with 69% for 2017.
- Wizard Academy – ran with 98% occupancy.
- Princess Academy – ran with 57% occupancy.
Increasingly, thanks to Kate and Chris, the marketing of the ELR plays a central part in ticket sales and promotion of events. Some statistics have been produced for Board covering March.
There were 144 press insertions reaching potentially over 35 million people.
- Broadcast – ITV News Granada; BBC Radio Lancashire and Radio Manchester.
- National Print – Daily Express.
- National on-line press – Express Online
- Regional Print – MEN; Bury Times; Rossendale Free Press; Accrington Observer; Heywood Adviser; Radcliffe Times.
- Regional on-line – MEN; Lancashire Life; Telegraph and VIVA Manchester.