Bobby Lock-Dean shares this latest news on behalf of the Association of Community Rail Partnerships. Ed
The Isle of Wight Community Rail Partnership is today (17 May) helping to launch a nationwide campaign to encourage people to explore ‘Scenic Rail Britain’.
A new Website, blog and social media channels are being launched by the Association of Community Rail Partnerships and its members at stations around the country.
Epic journeys by train
They will offer inspiration and information to help tourists and day-trippers plan visits to epic landscapes, coastal scenes, historic sites and picturesque areas by train, particularly via Britain’s wonderful ‘community rail’ routes.
The Isle of Wight Community Rail Partnership will be joining the Three Rivers and TransWilts and Community Rail Partnerships at London Waterloo Station 6.30am-7pm today, promoting Scenic Rail Britain and highlighting the attractions of exploring the area by rail.
Accessing hidden gems
Scenic Rail Britain aims to help domestic and foreign tourists access some of the country’s hidden gems, while travelling sustainably and avoiding the stresses of driving. It highlights the huge range of landscapes, sights and attractions that can be enjoyed and accessed by train, including via the scores of lines that community rail partnerships work to promote and enhance.
As well as helping tourists access more of Britain through enjoyable, environmentally friendly means, tourism by rail makes a growing and vital contribution to local economies. Rail usage in this sector has increased by 30% over the last ten years, with approximately three million annual visitors using the train as part of their trip, adding £510m to the UK economy.
Check new Website for inspiration
Jools Townsend, chief executive of the Association of Community Rail Partnerships, said:
“We are excited to launch Scenic Rail Britain today with help from the Isle of Wight Community Rail Partnership.
“This campaign is all about helping families, day trippers and foreign visitors explore our beautiful countryside and fascinating heritage through sustainable, scenic and non-stressful travel.
“Many people don’t realise the scope for seeing Britain’s stunning landscapes, pretty villages and historic sites by rail – and making use of our wonderful, often little-known, ‘community rail’ lines, is a great way to do this.
“Anyone thinking of making a trip, or wanting to find out more about what’s on their doorstep, can check out the Website, for practical tips, itineraries and inspiration.”
Isle of Wight has so much to offer
Bobby Lock from the Isle of Wight and Lymington Brockenhurst Community Rail Partnerships, said:
“Today’s event and the Scenic Rail Britain campaign is a great opportunity for us to promote our wonderful railway line to thousands of commuters and potential visitors.
“We know very well that the Isle of Wight has so much to offer domestic and foreign visitors: from amazing beaches to fabulous festivals.
“We hope that Scenic Rail Britain will help us get that across to wider audiences, and encourage people to visit by rail rather than car. It’s an enjoyable way to travel that gives a different perspective, benefits the local economy, and means less traffic, noise and pollution in our communities.”
Scenic Rail Britain is being launched through activities at train stations around the country by the Association of Community Rail Partnerships, main partner Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership and other community rail partnerships taking part in its annual ‘Community Rail in the City’ event.
The event will reach thousands of commuters with information on Scenic Rail Britain and some of Britain’s most scenic community railway lines.
- Three Rivers (Salisbury-Bursledon), Isle of Wight and TransWilts Community Rail Partnerships at London Waterloo 6.30am-7.00pm encouraging people to explore the area by rail;
- Association of Community Rail Partnerships and the Poacher Line at Kings Cross 6.30am-7.00pm, promoting Scenic Rail Britain and encouraging people to explore historic Lincolnshire by rail;
- Wales and Borders community rail partnerships, the Abbey Line community rail partnership (Watford–St Albans) and Marston Vale community rail partnership (Bletchley–Bedford), at Birmingham New Street 10.30am-3.00pm, raising awareness of what there is to see and do within easy access of their lines;
- Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership at Paddington 6.30am-7.00pm, using Poldark to encourage people to visit Cornwall and explore the Duchy by train and other public transport, and launching the Cornwall As Seen on Screen app in partnership with Visit Cornwall;
- Barton to Cleethorpes and Yorkshire Coast Community Rail Partnerships at Manchester Piccadilly 10.30am-3.00pm, encouraging visitors to travel by rail to the UK City of Culture 2017 and explore the area further;
- Penistone Line Community Rail Partnership (Huddersfield-Sheffield) at Leeds Station 10.30am-3.00pm, promoting travel along their scenic and historic railway lines;
- Essex & South Suffolk, East Suffolk, Bittern and Wherry Community Rail Partnerships at London Liverpool Street 7.00am-7.00pm promoting travel by train across beautiful east of England;
- Bentham Community Rail Partnership (Leeds-Lancaster & Morecambe) at Lancaster Station 10.30am-3.00pm promoting their award-winning Rail to Trail walking and cycling scheme linking stations on the line and their new mini-coach service from Bentham station through the Forest of Bowland AONB;
- Sussex Community Rail Partnership at London Blackfriars 6.30am-7.00pm encouraging visitors to explore the historic county of Sussex by rail;
- Kent Community Rail Partnership at St Pancras International in London 6.30am-7.00pm engaging visitors and raising awareness of travelling around historic Kent by rail.
Community rail partnerships work at grassroots level to engage local communities, help people to get the most from their railways, and promote rail as a key part of sustainable, healthy travel.
Image: © Martin Lane