A new community rail partnership has been established to encourage people to visit scenic parts of Hampshire and Surrey by train and inspire local people to undertake community projects at their local railway station.
The Wey Valley CRP has been formed by local stakeholders including Alton Town Council, East Hampshire District Council, Farnham Town Council, Hampshire County Council, Rushmoor Borough Council, South Western Railway, Network Rail, Stagecoach, and Binsted Parish Council to cover the railway line that passes through the stations of Guildford, Wanborough, Ash Vale, Ash, Aldershot, Farnham, Bentley and Alton.
As part of its first activities, the Wey Valley CRP has launched a new website and shared a line guide highlighting what is on offer along the railway line.
By promoting sustainable travel, the Partnership hopes to invite visitors from far and wide to leave their cars at home and discover the area by train, perhaps with a visit to the popular Alton Walking Festival, or Farnham, England’s first officially designated World Craft Town.
A group of volunteers has already been established at Aldershot Railway Station, and they are keen to create a colourful display of plants on the platform and show off the talents of local schools by displaying art in the waiting rooms.
As well as art and gardening projects, other activities across the Partnership range from litter picking at stations, timetable liaison, transport policy development, provision of rail bus integrated services, improving rail services including marketing, rolling stock and infrastructure enhancements, bringing redundant station properties back into community use, production of tourism and information via bus, walking and cycling, and much more.
Wey Valley CRP are keen to look for more ways to encourage volunteers to join in activities at other stations along the line which involve bringing the community to the railway and the railway to the community. If you are interested in volunteering or assisting with projects at stations, please contact Community Rail Officer Lucy Lomax via email@example.com.