A NEW chairman has been appointed at the Tyne Valley Rail Users’ Group.

Patrick Rice was elected at the recent AGM of the group, which was formed in 2000 to provide a forum for rail users and other interested parties to campaign for improvements to services on the Newcastle to Carlisle line.

The rail users’ group is a shareholder member of the Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership, and Mr Rice will join the partnership board to represent the interests of group members which is currently in dispute with Northern over what members label are undelivered promises of a reliable service.

Mr Rice said: “We have an important role to play in representing the many users of the line.

“I, therefore, look forward to leading the group in the months ahead as we raise the concerns of passengers with the appropriate organisations.”

One of Mr Rice’s first jobs has been to revitalise the group’s Facebook page and create a new Twitter account.