The Department for Transport has this week announced the designation as a community rail service of the route between Ely and Peterborough. Known as the Hereward Line, the Hereward Community Rail Partnership will support future improvements to local services and stations.
Services on the 29 mile route between Ely and Peterborough, which also serves Whittlesea, March and Manea, will continue to be operated by train companies, including Abellio Greater Anglia and Cross Country. However, this will now be with the support of the CRP which comprises of local organisations, train operators, councils, rail users and other interest groups, which will have direct input in securing better services and station facilities.
Rail Minister Claire Perry said:
‘This railway provides a vital link for rural communities, businesses and visitors across the Fens. It makes perfect sense that locals should be directly involved in improving these services and identifying priorities for developing the route.
I look forward to seeing the Hereward Line Community Rail Partnership help give a new lease of life to the route, ensuring its long-term future. This is good news for the local economy and means better journeys for customers.’
Hereward Line Community Rail Partnership Chairman, Councillor Simon King, said:
‘This official designation will give the partnership the formal recognition it deserves. It will help us continue to play our part in improving services for local people, not least by giving us access to some additional funding.
In the 3 years since our launch we have already achieved a great deal, both in securing better train services and improving facilities at local stations. Having this more formal status will undoubtedly help us to build on those achievements.’
Infrastructure such as track and signaling remains under the authority of Network Rail.