Community Rail – Small Lines… Big Growth
At a reception at the House of Commons on 9th November 2011, transport minister Theresa Villiers welcomed the work of ACoRP and community rail partnerships around the country in supporting and promoting their local rail lines. In bridging the gap between local communities and the train operator these partnerships help to achieve real growth in rail use.
Speaking at the event ACoRP general manager Neil Buxton said “Community Rail works! For every £1 spent, our member partnerships can return £4.60 in benefits. It is the best way to secure the long term future of local railways in the current financial climate as it encourages volunteering and can draw in match funding and support. But local authorities must be encouraged to continue supporting their local Community Rail Partnerships, thus giving their communities a real input into the development of their local railways and meeting both social and economic needs”.
Buxton added “recent figures from the Association of Train Operating Companies show there has been a surge in the number of people using many of our smaller rural rail lines, with passenger numbers on some routes almost doubling in the last few years. Local and rural rail journeys now total around 40 million a year and through the work of community rail partnerships there has been considerable success in promoting community lines, providing better rail services and helping rural regeneration”.
End of the day in Westminster