Community Rail Awards Short List Announced

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

5 Community Rail Partnership projects from around the Greater Anglia network have been short listed for the 2012 Community Rail Awards, to be held in Swindon on 28 September.

The awards for which entries have been short listed include:

 Best Station Garden Award: Cantley Station Garden

FOCUS (The Friends of Cantley Station) have been nominated for their dedicated care of Cantley station garden, including a magnificent rose bed, which garners widespread praise. Not only is the garden beautiful but it also aims to be self-sufficient too, incorporating compost bins and water butts. So enthusiastic are the green-fingered volunteers that they are now tending gardens elsewhere in the village too.

FOCUS work in partnership with the Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership, Greater Anglia, Network Rail and Cantley Parish Council.

• Best Marketing Publication Award: The Bittern and Wherry Lines ‘app’

The Bittern and Wherry Lines ‘app.’ is the first smartphone ‘app’ from a Community Rail Partnership.  Free to download for both Android and i-Phone, it enables rail users to find all the information needed for a journey, by train and bus, from each station on the Bittern and Wherry Lines, and to explore the surrounding area. Developed with a local company, the app provides maps for each station, information on connecting transport (including walking and cycling), local attractions and on-line ticket purchase.

Partners involved in the project include: Community Rail Norfolk, Pocket Places, Norfolk County Council, Broadland District Council, North Norfolk District Council, Designated Community Rail Development Fund and Greater Anglia.

• Outstanding Teamwork Award: Community Rail Norfolk & Partners

Outstanding teamwork has created Community Rail Norfolk (CRN), to preserve and enhance the excellent track record of the Bittern Line and Wherry Lines CRPs. It is an approach founded on superb co-operation: a genuine partnership that works together for common ends, utilising partners’ complementary skills to innovate and deliver ground-breaking projects, such as station travel plans, carbon reduction, and the first CRP ‘app.’ An exemplary case of turning the challenging economic environment into an opportunity and creating Community Rail Norfolk into an independent home for the Bittern and Wherry Lines CRPs.

Partners involved in the creation of Community Rail Norfolk include: Greater Anglia, Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils, Broadland and North Norfolk District Councils, and Great Yarmouth Borough Council, with the Association of Community Rail Partnerships.

• Passengers Matter Award: Great Yarmouth Welcome Hosts

In order to make it easier for visitors arriving at Great Yarmouth station, the Great Yarmouth Community Trust is working with Greater Anglia, Community Rail Norfolk and the Wherry Lines CRP to provide a ‘Welcome Host’ facility at the station.  Volunteers in Wherry Lines tabards are greeting and assisting travellers throughout the summer on peak travel days, improving the passenger experience, providing volunteering opportunities, enhancing the image of Great Yarmouth and the railway, and increasing the profile of the Wherry Lines CRP in the process.

• Best ‘Community Rail’ Event: Santa Train

Each year the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership organise enormously popular Santa trains on the Crouch Valley line from Southminster to Wickford, in Essex. The Santa trains are family-friendly events, warmly anticipated by the local community and invariably sold out well ahead of time. Having run for eight years in succession, they have become a key date in the community’s festive calendar. Run largely by volunteers, these special event trains help to raise the profile of the community rail partnership, the rail services and engage the local community too.

Geraint Hughes Greater Anglia’s Partnerships Manager: “I’m so pleased to see so many of the partner organisations around our network short listed for the Community Rail Awards. These are national awards which recognise excellence and promote best practice

in community rail development, to be short listed for these awards is a great accomplishment.”