Plans are moving forward to develop a community rail partnership (CRP) along the Calder Valley line, to help improve access and use of local rail services.
On Monday 7 June, members of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet will consider proposals for the formation of a CRP which aims to bring together local groups and partners along the Calder Valley line to help improve the route and benefit the communities it serves.
There are approximately 70 existing community rail partnerships in the UK with a recent report identifying the support of volunteers within these partnerships has an annual financial value of £3.4million.
The formation of a CRP for the Calder Valley line would bring together representatives of Calderdale and Rochdale councils, train operating companies (e.g. Northern, Trans Pennine Express and Grand Central), infrastructure providers (Network Rail), local businesses, and community groups, to encourage greater use of rail services through increased participation of local communities in their rail line.
The partnership would cover all Calderdale rail stations (Walsden, Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd. Sowerby Bridge, Halifax, Brighouse) and will also include Elland station when it opens. It would also include all stations along the Calder Valley line in the Rochdale area.
Many of these stations already have strong and successful station adoption/friends of railway station groups. A CRP would support and enhance the work of these groups encouraging their involvement, along with wider community representation, enabling them to do even more.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet will be asked to approve the formation of a CRP, agree for Rochdale Council to be the organisation responsible for the partnership and for funding for the partnership to be split equally between both councils.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Strategy, Cllr Jane Scullion, said:
“The Calder Valley line connects communities across Calderdale and allows access to opportunities within the wider region. It’s vital for the economic, social and environmental sustainability of Calderdale and the success of the line is an important part of our recovery from COVID-19.
“We are fortunate to have existing individual station groups along the line that do a fantastic job in improving facilities and promoting usage. We would invite these groups to be involved with a Community Rail Partnership, bringing together their experience and expertise to complement the skills of other local partners and deliver additional benefits to the local area.
“We hope that the formation of a CRP would help to provide a stronger voice for the local community and further strengthen community involvement in the railway at what is a key time in the future of our important public transport network.”
The formation of a Community Rail Partnership for the Calder Valley line will be discussed at the meeting of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet on Monday 7 June 2021.