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Members’ Survey Results

A big thank you to everyone who participated in Community Rail Network’s membership survey for 2021. We received responses from groups covering every part of Britain, and as ever, have carefully analysed the results to help inform our planning for the next year and beyond.

The survey provides us with some member satisfaction measures which helps us to assess and reflect on what we are doing well and what we need to improve. In addition, it allows us to create a more detailed picture of your future priorities and challenges, which ensures our work continues to respond to your needs and provides support for the growing community rail movement.

Headline figures for 2021

  • We saw an increase in the percentage of community rail partnerships who said they received value from their membership, up from 79% in 2020 to 91% this year;
  • There was a decrease in the percentage of station groups stating they received value for money from their membership, down from 91% in 2020 back to 66%;
  • Nine in 10 (88%) respondents said Community Rail Network communicated well with members. Our ‘Community Rail News’ bulletin and our website are extremely well-used (99% and 95% respectively), as are our growing range of online resources (86%). The number of people accessing our social media channels, e.g. Twitter, Facebook, has also increased;
  • 71% of respondents received direct support from the Community Rail Network team in the past year, 91% of community rail partnerships and 62% of station/other groups. The most common benefits were feeling part of the community rail movement, being able to share/access good practice, and feeling more confident about identifying outcomes and demonstrating effectiveness;
  • Groups outlined support needs in relation to continuing to rebuild from Covid-19, most notably help in promoting rail as safe, attractive, and sustainable travel, and securing future funding. Respondents also identified the need for community rail to effectively contribute to rail industry transformation and reform as a key priority for the coming year;
  • The most common priorities for training and support were developing stronger links with and engaging communities (70%), promoting/raising awareness of rail travel (61%), and recruiting volunteers and developing volunteer activity (58%);
  • The percentage of respondents who had attended at least one of our events/training courses was 79%, the same figure as last year. The most common benefit (54%) was members feeling inspired by/using ideas from another group to develop their work. Going forward, the majority (63%) said they would like to see an appropriate mixture of physical and online events;
  • 56% of respondents had been involved in projects engaging young people, the most common being activities with primary schools (34%) and arts/history/creative projects (31%);
  • 70% of respondents had been involved in sustainability-related activity, with walking/cycling projects, developing stations as sustainable community assets, and biodiversity schemes the most common.

The results of the 2021 membership survey will help to inform Community Rail Network’s planning processes over the coming months, and will be fed back to key partners, including the Department for Transport, Welsh Government, and Transport Scotland.

The next survey is due to take place in September 2022, however, we really value your input and suggestions, and would encourage you to feed in comments and ideas at any time through your regular Community Rail Network contact(s), on social media, or via e-mail to info@communityrail.org.uk.      

A big thank you again from all the Community Rail Network team.