Train operator, Abellio Greater Anglia, has pledged additional support to the region’s Community Rail Partnerships (CRPs) to help them to continue to promote and improve rural railways lines for the benefit of local residents, business and tourists.
During the current short franchise that runs until October 2016, the train operator will increase annual funding to the CRPs by a further £23,000 to £83,000 a year. The additional funding will mean the CRPs across the region can build upon their success and look at new opportunities to promote local lines to the benefit of passengers and the communities they serve.
Projects undertaken to date by CRPs in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire include the production of local area guides, guided walks, special event trains, volunteering initiatives, community art projects, wildlife initiatives, partnership initiatives to deliver service improvements and station upgrades and wider community involvement schemes.
Commenting on the additional funding, Jonathan Denby, Head of Corporate Affairs for Abellio Greater Anglia said:
“From the start of our franchise we made a real commitment to our Community Rail lines – doubling train operator funding for the CRPs in East Anglia and investing time and resources into working closely with them to encourage more people to use the train – as well as optimising the role of rail services and stations in supporting local communities and the local economy.
“This additional investment in our CRPs illustrates our major ongoing support for the development of local rail lines across our network, in partnership with local communities – increasing funding despite being in the final 10 months of the franchise, after already having raised our contribution by 140% over our two short franchises. We look forward to continuing our work with the CRPs to deliver projects that benefit our region’s rail users. ”