Abellio Greater Anglia offers more support to regions’ Community Rail Partnerships

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Train operator, Abellio Greater Anglia, has pledged additional support to the regions’ 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 20% to £60K 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, service improvements and community involvement. 

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.  We'll continue to work together to develop community rail lines - and hope that this additional funding will offer new opportunities for even more projects that benefit the railway lines and the communities they serve.”

Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Roads, Transport & Planning, Cllr Graham Newman, said:

“For towns like Sudbury, Felixstowe and Lowestoft and the stations between, Suffolk’s rural lines are vital arteries to main line services to London & Norwich and the cross country routes to Cambridge, Peterborough and beyond. Anything we can do to improve and promote the use of these services helps to maintain travel possibilities for everybody, irrespective of whether they drive a car.  The County Council will certainly help to build on the work of the Community Rail Partnerships in Suffolk, and this extra funding from Abellio Greater Anglia is very welcome.”