South West Wales Community Rail Partnership
TEMPORARY STEERING GROUP – 28th MAY 2020
Since the previous meeting, the temporary steering group have finalised the identity and brand of the new South West Wales Community Rail Partnership: South West Wales Connected. Additionally, with the appointment of a new Community Rail Officer, progress regarding activity and business plans have been going underway in preparation for when we can safely promote usage of our rail networks once again.
Since the co-creation of the brand took place, we have been formalising the agenda structure and working towards achieving certification as an established Community Rail Partnership. This will allow access to useful resources and will enable collaboration with other CRPs across the UK.
If you would like to be part of the temporary steering group, or if you have feedback or input you would like to contribute, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, or call 07789 226 457.
Here follows a report of the second virtual meeting of the temporary steering group on 28th May 2020. You can find the agenda circulated for the steering group meeting, as well as a write up of notes from the event below.
You can listen to an audio recording of the full 2 hour meeting below:
Audio Recording of the Meeting
ENVISIONING THE FUTURE
We want to develop a collaborative alliance between organisations, communities and businesses to recognise and work towards the aims of the CRP. We have drafted an agenda outlining our terms of reference.
The CRP aims to develop a collaborative alliance between organisations, communities and businesses, and ensure that they are involved in every step of the CRP’s goals. It’s important to communicate how we can make the railway more accessible and encourage a welcoming network of stations. Developments should take place to allow people with disabilities to have easier and more comfortable access to rail transport.
Accessibility for cycle transport is also another key point brought up during these steering group meetings. Cycling is an important past-time for many and it seems necessary to build connections along the network using cycle carriages to encourage active travel. With cycling and walking being critical connectors, it’s important to encourage people to return to sustainable transport.
The regeneration of stations is one of the first steps that the CRP will involve itself in. The future of Milford Haven station is seeing future development efforts to encourage rail transport. Local stakeholders such as TfW, the Port Authority and Milford Haven town board are working together to envision the future of Milford Haven. Massive developments are planned within the next 18 months – 2 years, such as a conference centre and a 150 bed hotel, just moments from the train station. There’s an opportunity provided to promote sustainable travel to Milford Haven. Discussions with local communities and businesses provide insight into how to undertake improvement of the arrival opportunities to Milford Haven. This can become a great example of local community members and businesses being the experts in the investment of the area. It’s key to bring everyone together to explore possibilities and share knowledge.
THE NEW COMMUNITY RAIL OFFICER
Since the last steering group meeting, we have appointed a Community Rail Officer, Jennifer Barfoot.
For the past nine years Jennifer has been employed by the four local authorities across South West Wales, delivering regional transport projects mostly within the educational sector. In 2016 the four local authorities were successful in their GWR CCIF application and Jennifer set up and ran ‘My Train Wales’ – a regional safety and promotional initiative delivered to schools and social groups across the region.
As Community Rail Officer, Jennifer can take the lead in terms of reference, activity and business plans, website and preparations for when we can promote our rail networks once again. TfW is looking to employ CRP Ambassadors, who will work with Jennifer.
REFLECTIONS ON THE DISCUSSION
- Recovery – Recently TfW have been working with their partner organisations to develop a multi agency approach to encourage the public back onto public transport when the appropriate restrictions are lifted and the time is ‘right’. Due consideration given to cleanliness and social distancing.
- Wellbeing and Future Generations – Wellbeing is key for us all during this time of lockdown and will continue to be as we enter the recovery phase
- Inclusion – In terms of widening the net of organisations to be involved in the Partnership (walking/cycling groups) We should move to make all stations more inclusive and welcoming.
- Sustainability – Not just in terms of transportation but also consideration of the natural and built environment surrounding stations in relation to bio-diversity
- Hubs – Utilising and bringing back to life the disused spaces in and around stations
- Transformation – At the moment focused around Milford Haven but visions for other stations and communities throughout the region in the future.