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Community Rail News – 4 October 2023

Hello everyone, we hope you are all keeping safe and well. With Party Conference season underway, we have seen numerous announcements around rail and transport. We are mindful that the PM in his speech at the Conservative Party Conference this lunchtime has made several transport related policy announcements, in particular in relation to HS2 and a new ‘Network North’. We will provide members with a summary over the coming days. We will continue to keep a watching brief and feed into these debates with relevant insights from community rail as and when appropriate.

Profile raising

Last week, Jools spoke at Rail Partners’ event at the Liberal Democrats’ Conference, providing community rail insights on how our railways can drive sustainable development and form the backbone of a green and inclusive transport system.

We also exhibited at the Great Transport Debate, hosted by our corporate partners CMAC. Members of the team spoke to attendees about the work of community rail, and Jools took part in another panel, exploring how creating a more accessible, joined-up and climate-safe transport system can serve the needs of our communities and create a greener, fairer future.  

Following Rail Minister Huw Merriman MP’s summer tour of the country where he visited several members and spoke very positively about community rail, we have requested a follow-up meeting to ensure we maintain ongoing dialogue. We are also pleased to say we had a response from the new Shadow Rail Minister Stephen Morgan MP and hope to be meeting with him in the coming months, and we have a meeting with the Scottish Transport Minister Fiona Hyslop MSP set for November.

You may have seen our latest article in this month’s Rail Director, in which Jools discusses the growing role community rail is playing in creating inclusive stations and opening up rail travel to all.

Awards

You have until 5.30pm on Monday 9 October to submit your entries to the 2024 Community Rail Awards. Click here to access the resources you need to complete your submission, including the entry booklet and details of the final drop-in support session.

Members’ survey

The link to our annual members’ survey has been sent out, and we warmly encourage you to respond, which should take 10-15 minutes. Your ideas help us to respond to the needs of our growing community rail movement. This year, more than one person per membership organisation/group can respond, and you have until 5pm on Friday 20 October. If you’ve not received your link or have questions, contact Rob.

Engaging young people at your station

Station adoption members are invited to join our online session on Tuesday 10 October, 10-11.30am, to learn and share tips for approaching schools and engaging with young people. There will also be a chance to hear more about a new project with the Scouts that station adoption members can get involved with. Book your place.

AGM and board elections

We are currently inviting applications for board directors to play a role in shaping the future direction and development of our organisation and community rail more broadly, ahead of our online Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 7 November, 2-3.30pm. Click here to see our board elections information pack and nomination form, and to register to attend the AGM.

If you have any news stories, please email our communications team on news@communityrail.org.uk. See here for guidance on submitting stories.

Your next bulletin is on 18 October. Keep up-to-date in between on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Best wishes,
Jeremy and Jools