What is a Community Rail Partnership (CRP) ?
CRPs are an essential strand of the Community Rail Development strategy. They exist independently of the strategy but each Community Rail line will need to have the support of a CRP.
CRPS are a means by which commuters, councils, businesses, volunteer groups and organisations along a rail corridor can play an active role in the development of their local rail service and they bring together train operators, Network Rail, local authorities, local employers, development and tourism agencies, community groups and other locally based groups. They are established by mutual agreement and are typically staffed by a paid officer supported by a committee of stakeholders.
There are over 60 CRPS across the UK, ranging from Devon & Cornwall, through East Anglia and Wales to the North of England and Scotland. The Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP) is their representative body. ACoRP receives core funding from the Department of Transport.
Aim of Community Rail
The aim of Community Rail Development is simply: putting local and rural railways on a sustainable basis for the long term, so that they can continue to offer a vital service for passengers and freight and can contribute more to the local economy, as well as to meeting Government targets on accessibility, the environment and social inclusion.. New life for local lines.
Why do we need a Community Rail Development Strategy ?
The Community Rail Development Strategy is intended to help put rural and local railways on a more sustainable financial footing. Railways as a whole consume a large amount of public funding and it is essential to demonstrate value for money. We aim to significantly increase the number of passengers using the line while decreasing reliance on government subsidies.
What is the Strategy ?
The Strategy can be seen as a set of ideas to increase the value of the railway to the community it serves and reduce the gap between fares revenue and central government support. These ideas fall into three areas:
· Increasing revenue - increasing both ridership and revenue through raising awareness amongst potential traveller, better marketing, adjusting fares (both up and down), better revenue protection and introducing cost effective service enhancements.
· Reducing costs - ensuring that all work on these railways is done efficiently and to the right standard avoiding over specification.
· Increasing community involvement - allowing the community to improve the railway through locally funded investment, voluntary effort. This can help with economic regeneration of an area.