Fenland railway partnership receives government accreditation
PUBLISHED: 16:08 29 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:08 29 January 2020
Fenland's Hereward railway line which passes through Whittlesea, March, Manea and Ely has seen its community rail partnership receive official accredited status from the Department for Transport.
The Hereward Community Rail Partnership (CRP), which aims to connect communities with the Fenland stations and champion local railway improvements, has become one of the latest partnerships to receive the benchmark.
Paul Nelson, chairman of the Hereward CRP, said: "It's great to have our hard work recognised in this way and, with access to a new grant fund, should take us on to do even bigger and better things for the community in the future."
Managed by Fenland District Council (FDC), the partnership is funded by train operators including Greater Anglia, Cross Country Trains and London North Eastern Railway with support from the Association of Community Rail Partnerships and local organisations.
The CRP has helped to progress the Fenland Station Masterplans to deliver improvements at Manea, March and Whittlesea stations.
Alan Neville, Greater Anglia's customer and community engagement manager, said: "This achievement is testament to their efforts in improving the rail service and station facilities and attracting more people to use their local rail line."
Established in 2012, the partnership has been involved in numerous projects to develop the Hereward Line and promote rail travel in the Fens.
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Cllr Chris Seaton, FDC portfolio holder responsible for transport, said: "The accreditation of the Hereward CRP is a fantastic achievement. It is recognition of the hard work undertaken by all involved in the partnership.
"Accreditation also opens further funding opportunities which will enable the partnership to develop further projects, which improve our stations and better connect our passengers."
Under the government's new community rail strategy, CRPs are encouraged to apply for accredited status to demonstrate that they operate to high standards and that their objectives and activities are supported by government.
The CRP also held consultations on options for platform lengthening and new shelters at Manea and Whittlesea, planned to be installed in April.
The schemes are part of a £9.5million package of funding from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority to FDC, supported by Greater Anglia.
The partnership has also developed the Hereward Line guide, highlighting ideas for days out along the 29-mile route from Peterborough to Ely.
A free Hereward Line guide, which highlights ideas for days out along the 29-mile route between Peterborough and Ely, is available from the Fenland stations, FDC's customer service centres or downloaded from https://www.fenland.gov.uk.