New Partnership for the Wickford - Southend rail line will improve rail operator and community links

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

A new Community Rail Partnership will work to improve the rail line between Wickford and Southend and the communities it serves.

Representatives from the local area including Sir David Amess MP, Cllr Ann Holland, Cabinet Member for Tourism at Southend on Sea Borough Council, Greater Anglia, Essex County Council and Figure of Eight Education will launch the new partnership at noon on 3 April at Prittlewell station.

Prittlewell will be the first station to benefit under the new partnership as a team of youngsters from Figure of Eight Education – an organisation which helps vulnerable children by offering an alternative education programme - will create two large murals that will welcome rail passengers.

Some of their existing artwork will be on display at the launch event.

The new Community Rail Partnership (CRP) will join the five already active in Essex under the Essex & South Suffolk CRP, which have won acclaim for their efforts to re-energise rural rail services and attract increased numbers of passengers through events and community projects.

The new group will be Chaired by Sean Perry, Head of Transportation Planning and Development, Essex County Council, and administered by Lynda Stone, Community Rail Partnership Officer, Essex County Council, who already has plans for the line including installing defibrillators at stations and working with local groups on arts projects.

Lynda said, “I’m delighted to be involved with the new CRP and am excited about the possibilities, building on the success of the Essex and South Suffolk CRP. I’m looking forward to working with organisations and local people to enable our communities to improve their economic, social and environmental welfare.”

Paul Haynes, Greater Anglia’s Community Partnerships Manager, said, “The launch of the new partnership will be an historic day for the line. Community Rail Partnerships have bought real benefits for rural rail lines on the Greater Anglia network and I hope that this one will deliver similar benefits to passengers using the Wickford - Southend route.”

Sir David Amess MP said, “Southend is determined to become a city and as part of fulfilling our ambition I welcome the new partnership for the Wickford - Southend rail line. I am absolutely delighted that a team of youngsters from Figure of Eight Education will have their work on display, which I know commuters will greatly appreciate.”