The “important” role of community volunteers in supporting rail


The EAST Lothian volunteers were among 1,200 members of a nationwide grassroots community rail movement that was working during the Covid-19 pandemic to keep the railways at the forefront of a ” greener future of transport ”.

A report by Community Rail In Scotland, published last month and sponsored by the Rail Delivery Group, highlighted that more than 1,200 volunteers donate 55,000 hours per year, valued at £ 4.7million, to help promote sustainable and healthy travel.

East Lothian Community Rail Partnership (CRP), one of the Community Rail Network’s nine partnerships and 260 station groups, is involved in activities such as community gardening and biodiversity projects at stations; community art and heritage projects; working with rail industry partners for improvements and integration, such as shelters, signage, pedestrian and cyclist access; and events, workshops and activities to promote sustainable travel.

He also worked closely with the Prestonpans Community Council to find a permanent solution to the deteriorating murals at Prestonpans Station.

Harry Barker, President of East Lothian Community Rail Partnership, said: “The rail partnership will play its part in encouraging a return to train travel after the current crisis and has already put ScotRail in contact with some local tourist attractions in North Berwick to encourage reduced entry fees when a train ticket is held.

Jools Townsend, Managing Director of the Community Rail Network, said: “In Scotland, community railway partnerships and groups have adapted and responded, supporting communities during the pandemic, maintaining positivity and counseling them. railway partners on the evolution of local needs.

“Community rail is all about communities and connectivity, and people working together locally to make things better for each other and our common future – it couldn’t be more important right now. ”

Ros Houldsworth, ScotRail Community Liaison Manager, said: “From promoting tourism to improving station connectivity, from increasing opportunities for young people to fostering environmental ambitions, the impact of community rail continues to grow.

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