Do you have some spare time and want to put it to positive use?
Don’t worry, this isn’t a pitch to get you involved in a certain political party (not that I would want to discourage you!). But there is a fabulous local charity looking for more volunteers.
CVSS – Sailing For People With Disabilities may not have the snappiest of titles, but it does describe what they do. Based at the Rickmansworth Aquadrome, they aim to ensure that sailing is fun for disabled people of all ages. Last year they had over 300 disabled sailors coming from Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and London.
A number of special schools work with CVSS and it is clear that the charity provides a very special experience to its sailors.
The host sailing club is the Bury Lake Young Mariners – with whom my children have spent many a fun hour or two. BLYM and CVSS work together and I have recently seen for myself the great environment that is provided.
Sailing slots are available on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays with the season running from May until late October (this year’s season finishes on 22 October).
The CVSS has been successful in obtaining grants and their priority is not more money (a rare and welcome thing for a Treasury Minister to hear!) but finding more volunteers.
So I agreed to put the word out. There are worse locations than Bury Lake to spend a few hours every week and you would be making a big difference to people who haven’t been dealt the best hand in life. If you are at all tempted, have a look at the video on their website - http://www.cvssailors.org.uk/the-film.html. If yo are not tempted, have a look anyway and you might change your mind.
There is still a little time before the end of the season and I know David Harris and his team at CVSS would be delighted to hear from you.
Time for another Metropolitan Line update.
As you will be aware, the Croxley Rail Link will mean that the Metropolitan Line will terminate at Watford Junction in future, having called at a new Cassiobury Station, Vicarage Road and Watford High Street. This is excellent news for those of us who use the Met Line and want to get to Watford.
One fly in the ointment is that to get from an Amersham Branch station (such as Rickmansworth or Chorleywood) to a Watford Branch station (including Croxley) or vice versa will require a change at Moor Park. This could take a while and make the journey much less attractive.
One option would be to run trains directly from the Amersham branch to the Watford branch. The train line is already in place and you would be able to go straight from Rickmansworth to Croxley in about 3 minutes.
In contrast, it currently takes four minutes to go from Rickmansworth to Moor Park. Then there is a wait for what could be while followed by another four minute journey from Moor Park to Croxley. A direct train could easily knock 15 minutes off the journey.
So I wrote to London Underground to see if they would look at this. Mike Brown, their Managing Director, wrote to confirm that it could be done and, indeed, that it had been looked at in the past. Their conclusion previously was that there would be insufficient demand.
Of course, if there isn’t much demand for it, fair enough. But I think there is at least a case for a trial, especially as Croxley Rail Link will mean that the destinations on the Watford branch will be attractive for many travellers.
Whether it would make it easier for people to get to work, school, Watford Junction, the shops, the hospital, the football or simply visiting friends, an Amersham to Watford branch would make a difference.
If you agree, let me know. I am putting a petition up on my website – www.davidgauke.com - and the more people who ask for it, the stronger a case I can make to London Underground.