Rail Users' Conference
The 2007 national rail users' conference was held at the Maltings in Ely, Cambridgeshire, on Saturday 3 November 2007.
The prestigious venue was appreciated by the 120 rail campaigners and users (many from rail user groups) who attended.
Our principal guest speakers included:
- First Great Western director, Bob Breakwell, who spoke in a personal capacity, but answered many questions about First Group's franchises
- Vice-chair of Transport for London, Dave Wetzel, who explained in length how land value taxes can be used to fund major transport schemes.
There were also "How to succeed" presentations from campaigners and user group representatives:
- Derek Potter of Cotswold Line Promotion Group
- French rail campaigners Jean-Paul Jacquot and Simone Bigogne
- Reopening campaigner Andy Shackleton of SELRAP
- Robert Stripe of the Fen Line Users' Association
- Graham Ellis of Melksham rail campaign
- Andy Long of Bedford Commuters Association.
What Attendees Said
Attendees were asked to complete a conference feedback form and more than 60 were received. Here are some of the comments:
“One of the very best Railfuture events I’ve ever been to! Excellent range of speakers/topics. Very re-energising.”
“Another enjoyable day and an excellent change to network and catch up with other groups and members.”
“Questions must be brief and this needs to be enforced by the chair.”
“Pity Christian Wolmar could not come. A very informative, worthwhile occasion.”
“Some of the speakers went on too long. Quite understandable though considering their undeniable enthusiasm for the topic.”
“Dave Wetzel was good but said too little about railways.”
“An academic speaker who makes the economic/social/environmental case for rail could be useful for a future conference.”
“Organisation and venue both to a high standard.”
“Can’t fault – congratulations to the organisers.”
“Ely is a very attractive location, easily reached by train!”
Ratings between 1 (very poor) and 5 (excellent) were 4.43 for venue/facilities and 3.97 for speakers/presentations.