There appears to be a lot of interest in a comment made on one of our blogs recently, about the proposed facilities at Broadway Station.
More than two years ago, the board agreed that the retail space there would be more advantageously used as a shop, rather than a cafe. There has been no sudden change of plan as has been erroneously reported. All that happened was that a couple of weeks ago, a meeting was held at the station to determine the final positioning of electrical sockets, lights and radiators before the rooms were plastered.
The reasons for the decision more than two years ago, are as valid now as they were then. We want to increase the size of our retail estate, as both the shops at Toddington and Cheltenham are too small. We see great potential for expanding our retail sales, and overall retail profitability. Having a busy and vibrant shop at Broadway, will be a very good attraction for all our future customers there.
There has been some negative comment about the proposed installation of a coffee machine. That was seen as being potentially beneficial, as at Cheltenham. It was not expected to be in any way controversial, but can always be reconsidered if it is seen as unnecessary.
We already have catering outlets at Toddington with the Flag & Whistle Cafe, and at Winchcombe with the Coffee Pot Cafe. We also have catering facilities on all our trains, and next year plan to include catering on the DMU. Plans for that have already been drawn up. With the growth in this aspect of our business this year, and anticipated further growth next year we believe that all passengers will be fully provided for.
It is a part of our business strategy for next year that we want our passengers to spend time with us, and not just travel from Broadway to Cheltenham and back. We want them to get of and sample the Flag & Whistle, or the Coffee Pot. That is one of the reasons why the new timetable has been structured as it has.
With the potential growth in all aspects of our Railway Catering Services, we shall need up to ten volunteer members of staff on each red timetabled day next year. Were we to build a cafe at Broadway, it would not only further increase the number of volunteer staff required on each operating day, but would have the potential to detrimentally dilute our overall catering services. We want people to arrive at Broadway station, join the train and sample either our on-board catering, or one of the other cafe's on our railway.
I hope that that clarifies any misunderstanding which may have been caused by the various recent blog postings, and why we made the decisions we did when we did.
Director & Company Secretary