Railroads to South West recovery
Members of a growing grassroots rail movement have continued to work despite Covid-19 for communities across the South West towards a greener transport future, and are looking forward to supporting the region’s local recovery.
The Community Rail Network’s report – Community Rail in the South West, sponsored by the Rail Delivery Group – says that more than 600 volunteers give more than 27,000 hours annually to support social inclusion and wellbeing, sustainable and healthy travel, and economic development and tourism in their area valued at £2.3 million.
Seven community rail partnerships and 70 station groups across the South West region engage people with their railways and stations, working with train operators and local authorities. Their activities include community gardening, food growing and bio-diversity projects at stations, community arts and heritage projects, and working with rail industry companies to improve shelters, signage and pedestrian and cyclist access.
Community rail across the South West looks forward to playing a pivotal role in building back better from Covid, and helping railways to be a ‘vital component of a greener, more inclusive way forward as part of a green recovery’.
Says Robert Nisbet, director of nations and regions at the Rail Delivery Group: ‘The railway is at the heart of local communities, and the fantastic initiatives by community rail volunteers in the South West play to its strengths, connecting people up and down the country. As we recover from the pandemic, getting more people back on trains will be vital to boost local economies and the environment, so the support of community rail will be more important than ever.’
For more information about community rail, go to https://communityrail.org.uk