Community rail – new life for local lines UK
London, United Kingdom – The rail services on the Wherry Lines between Norwich and Lowestoft and between Norwich and Great Yarmouth via Acle and Berney Arms have been designated as community rail services, Rail Minister Tom Harris announced 2007-02-01.
The designated services allow for a more flexible approach to be adopted by the train operating company (One) working alongside the local community rail partnership. This enables them to manage the services with greater emphasis on meeting local needs.
The designated services link at Norwich to the rest of East Anglia and with Central Trains services providing travel opportunities to the entire UK network.
Transport Minister Tom Harris said:
"Designation of the Wherry Line services as community rail services is good news for passengers. It will ensure that management look to meet local needs at an affordable price, encouraging involvement from local stakeholders."
Andrew Chivers, Managing Director for ‘one’ said :
"We welcome the designation of the Wherry Lines to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft with Community Rail status. The routes have benefited from a successful Community Rail Partnership over a number of years, which has helped to effectively promote the route, encourage extra rail travel and involve the community more closely. Designation is the logical next step to help us continue to increase rail journeys on these important routes and ‘one’ will play its part in fostering further success over the years ahead."
Peter Lawrence, Chairman,The Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership said:
"The Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership are pleased about the
designation of Community Rail Status by the DfT. We will continue to
seek improvements in publicity and enhancements to the current level of rail services and fares for all the local communities and visitors. It
is our aim to be proactive in helping local villages, towns, business
and attractions to get more from their local rail services and to work
with ‘one’, the County Council and other transport operators in
improving access to destinations from all Wherry Lines rail stations".
- 1. The Community Rail Development Strategy looks at innovative ways of operating local branch lines, through a programme of cost management, a drive to increase passenger numbers and direct community involvement via local authorities, community rail partnerships, and other stakeholder groups.
- 2. To date, 12 lines with their services have been designated as Community Rail lines:
- St Ives Bay Line – Cornwall;
- Looe Valley Line – Cornwall;
- Tamar Valley Line – Devon/Plymouth/Cornwall;
- Island Line – Isle of Wight;
- Abbey Line – Hertfordshire;
- Penistone Line – South and West Yorkshire;
- Esk Valley Line – Teesside and North Yorkshire;
- Tarka Line – Devon;
- Maritime Line – Cornwall;
- Derwent Valley Line – Derbyshire;
- East Lancashire Line – Lancashire;
- Gainsborough Line – Suffolk/Essex.
- 3. Previously we have designated lines with the services running on them. The Strategy was extended last year to allow for the designation of services without designating the lines on which they run. This change was made to recognise that it is not always possible to designate the line because it also carries heavy freight, is part of the Trans European Network or because of specific local issues, but that the services on the line can nevertheless benefit from the community rail approach. To date three services have been designated:
- Atlantic Coast Line – Cornwall;
- Poacher Line – Lincolnshire;
- Marston Vale Line – Bedfordshire/Buckinghamshire.
- 4. The Minister also announced today the designation of the Barton Line in Humberside as a community rail line.