New community rail partnership set for Reading to Basingstoke line

New community rail partnership set for Reading to Basingstoke line

29 Mar, 2021

The Hampshire Community Rail Partnership and Great Western Railway (GWR) are delighted to announce the launch of a new community rail partnership, encompassing GWR rail services and stations between Reading and Basingstoke.

Rail services between Reading and Basingstoke are key interchanges with other routes across the country and the new community rail partnership will work with GWR to promote stations, services and destinations accordingly. This is the third rail partnership within the Hampshire CRP remit, joining East Hampshire and Three Rivers CRPs.

Aspirations for the new group include promoting the line, improving stations, developing integrated transport solutions at each station, enhancing local tourism, building communities around each station hub and attracting volunteers to take part in our activities.

Alongside GWR, the new CRP looks forward to working with its wider rail colleagues including the Community Rail Network; Cross Country Trains and South Western Railway; Network Rail; local business groups; councils at all levels; and local voluntary groups to bring the community and the rail industry together.

HCRP chair and director, Nick Farthing said: “We are delighted with this new project and grateful to GWR for working with us and providing the initial funding. We look forward to working with other partners whom we are now approaching, to share our joint plans to promote the line to bring back and further increase passenger numbers along the line. Fellow director, Mark Miller and I look forward to hearing from other potential partners, stakeholders and volunteers who wish to help us raise the profile of this important railway link.”

GWR community manager, Emma Morris said: “Community rail plays a vital role ensuring people get the most from their railways. Working alongside local, regional, and national partners; community rail partnerships; station adoption groups; and individual volunteers, community rail encourages social inclusion, community wellbeing and empowers economic development.”

A full name for the CRP reflecting the route it serves has not yet been chosen, but ideas from stakeholders will be sought. Further details will be published soon. A formal launch will be held in the future when Government advice allows.

Should you wish to be an active partner or volunteer of this exciting project please contact nick@hampshirecommunityrail.co.uk

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