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Author Topic: Community Rail 1998 v 2018 - where is "classic" still needed and where "castle"  (Read 2182 times)
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« on: June 30, 2019, 07:25:53 pm »

Community rail is transforming. Set up over 20 years ago, Community Rail Partnerships have been highly successful in bringing passengers onto lesser used lines, and raising ridership in catchments served per head of population.  Enormous congratulations to those (some of whom read us here) who have achieved this. And building on that success, Community Rail is moving on to build on that strength with its four pillars that we share in our constitutuion.  As part of that process, Community Rail Partnerships are moving from designation to acreditation, and are moving much more to being aligned with local authority and transport authority areas than with lines or services.  It was notable to hear ACoRP's operation manager for our area to talk about "Community Rail Partnerships" as organisations linking "Rail, local authorities and the community" at the recent GWR conference in Bristol - and with a background that significant funding is expected from the local authority.  Following from that, we're seeing the local authority / local government area of Community Rail Partnerships is some places coming far larger and perhaps dominant or even overwhelming.

In many cases, this rebalancing may be exactly right - moving from the immediate need of getting bums on seats of empty trains that enthusiastic volunteers can help with so much to planning for the next 5, 10 or 20 years. It's hard to find volunteers with the necessary interest, knowledge base, skill base and mandate to set up the next genration of local rail or - we hope - local integrated transport.  And I applaud the people who take that role.

But let's make sure we don't throw out the baby with the bathwater as we move on. For most lines and services, the well established volunteer teams and enthusiasm can and should be kept on - keep building use and traffic as that's very much helpful to the four pillars.   And for a few, the old role of getting bums on seats - passengers on trains and a good penetration of the catchment - is still a vital necessity.

I've taken a dozen towns across GWR land and looked at their passenger numbers 20 years ago and today. I've looked at the catchment population, and I've evaluated whether they needed traditional Community Rail 20 years and, and if they need it now.   Scores are based 50% on absolute passenger numbers, and 50% on journeys per head of population.  As a red herring, I've also added a column to show the growth factor achieved over the 20 years.   As a footnote, "Falmouth" numbers are the sum of all three stations there.

Stationcatchment1998 psgrs2018 psgrs20 year growth1998 av. journeys2018 av. journeysNeeded Classic 1998Need Classic now
Warminster 20000 206409 365892  1.8 10.3 18.3***           
Highbridge 22000  64111 207186  3.2  2.9  9.4****** ***   
Melksham  24000   3868  75000 19.4  0.2  3.1****** ******
Chippenham 47000 9454351890086  2.0 20.1 40.2              
Looe        6000  65305 118308  1.8 10.9 19.7****   **     
Barnstaple 22000 201967 440404  2.2  9.2 20.0***           
Avonmouth 13000  41042 123932  3.0  3.2  9.5****** ***   
Marlow    15000 262874 275240  1.0 17.5 18.3*      *     
Evesham    25000 185098 246900  1.3  7.4  9.9****   **     
Neath      47000 461502 816748  1.8  9.8 17.4*             
BradfordOA 11000 187957 525968  2.8 17.1 47.8**            
Falmouth  32500 152091 512152  3.4  4.7 15.8****          

Only three stations have seen no improvement in ranking over the 20 years.  Chippenham was AOK anyway and Marlow was not far off.   Melksham hasn't even come onto the bottom of the scale yet in spite of massive growth - passenger numbers remain poor (under 110k) and journeys per head of population also remain poor (averaging under 4 per head of population).

Huge congratulations to Falmouth and Barnstaple for moving (on my scheme) out of the low-needs-serious-look zones;  Looe has done remarkably well for a relatively small town and will always benefit from Community support.   Other such as Avonmouth have significant enhancement plans that should lift them out of the zone, and Evesham benefits from better service and brand new trains this year.

Views in this post are personal and should not be attributed as being the view of any organisation of which I'ma  member.   And there are elements which are more designed as food for thought.

« Last Edit: June 30, 2019, 07:31:18 pm by grahame » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2019, 08:15:48 pm »

Great to see the almost universal renaissance of rail at the stations listed and the thousands of others, regardless of whether a station is more likely to attract commuters or leisure travellers.

To view my GWML Electrification cab video 'before and after' video comparison, as well as other videos of the new layout at Reading and 'before and after' comparisons of the Cotswold Line Redoubling scheme, see:
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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2019, 05:35:26 pm »

An update from the Department for Transport on the move of designated lines / services to accredited Community Rail Partnerships

Listing of community rail partnerships that have:

applied for accreditation
been awarded accreditation
Accreditation means that a partnership has met the Department for Transport’s, and where relevant, the Welsh Government’s, standards for appropriate operation.

This accreditation system for community rail partnerships in England and Wales will commence on 1st April 2019. Designated status for community rail lines or services in England will remain in place until 31st March 2020 or until the community rail partnership’s accreditation application has been processed.

NameAccreditation StatusWeb address for partnership
Abbey Line Community Rail PartnershipIn progress
Devon and Cornwall Rail PartnershipIn progress
Barton to Cleethorpes Community Rail PartnershipIn progress
Leeds Lancaster and Morecambe Community Rail PartnershipIn progress
Bishop Line Community Rail PartnershipIn progress
Bittern Line Community Rail PartnershipIn progress
High Peak and Hope Valley Community Rail PartnershipIn progress
Cambrian Community Rail PartnershipAwarded in June 2019 by Welsh Government
Clitheroe Line Community Rail PartnershipIn progress
Cumbrian Coast Line Community Rail PartnershipIn progress
Derwent Valley Line Community Rail PartnershipIn progress
East Lancashire Community Rail PartnershipIn progress
East Suffolk Lines Community Rail PartnershipIn progress
Esk Valley Railway Development CompanyIn progress
Furness Line Community Rail PartnershipIn progress
Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail PartnershipAwarded in June 2019
Heart of Wessex Rail PartnershipIn progress
Hereward Line Community Rail PartnershipIn progress
Isle of Wight Community Rail PartnershipIn progress
Lakes Line Community Rail PartnershipIn progress
Lymington-Brockenhurst Community Rail PartnershipIn progress
Marston Vale Community Rail PartnershipIn progress
Medway Valley Community Rail PartnershipIn progress
Mid Cheshire Line Community Rail PartnershipIn progress
North Staffordshire Community Rail PartnershipIn progress
Penistone Line PartnershipIn progress
Poacher Line Community Rail PartnershipIn progress
West of Lancashire Community Rail PartnershipIn progress
Severnside Community Rail PartnershipAwarded in June 2019
Sussex Community Rail PartnershipAwarded in June 2019
TransWilts Community Rail PartnershipIn progress
Tyne Valley Line Community Rail PartnershipAwarded in June 2019
Wherry Lines Community Rail PartnershipIn progress
« Last Edit: July 28, 2019, 05:41:31 pm by grahame » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2020, 05:33:28 pm »

From Twitter

#trythetrain The Esk Valley Railway is now an Accredited #CommunityRail Partnership. This is an annual check that each of the 60+ CRPs round the country have to go through to get Dept of Transport approval. Thank you to our team and to our station adopters for their hard work.

Having seen the amount of preparation for accreditation, congratulations to them and to every CRP that has made the step successfully.  Hadn't realised it needed to be done every year, but they say so and I note the logo says "2019-20" which rather confirm the 12 month nature.   Hope one year's work can be used as the basis for the following year ...

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
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