Representatives from our lead partner, the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership, gave an update on our Riviera Line project at the First Great Western Community Rail Conference 2014 this week.
Other speakers were from the UK government’s Department for Transport, Devon County Council, First Great Western (the train operating company for our project area in Devon), and four fellow community rail organisations, introduced by Chris Austin: the Tarka Rail Association, TransWilts, Severnside and Heart of Wessex.
John Burch from the Tarka Rail Association gave a lowdown on how to create a line strategy. Graham Ellis from TransWilts, England’s newest Community Rail Partnership (CRP), told the story of how they have smashed their growth targets within their first year – including anecdotes about how local people are now selling their cars because they no longer need them, and the benefits that improved services are bringing to local businesses and their staff.
Heather Cullimore from Severnside CRP described their fantastic City to Seaside Rail Arts project, with the fruits of the project on display in a free photography exhibition until the end of 2014. First Great Western’s Nick Reid reported on behalf of Heart of Wessex CRP, telling of their huge army of volunteers who contributed 13,500 hours in 2013 alone.
The conference was held at the excellent Seale Hayne.