Study looks at value of community rail lines

The Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP) is launching the biggest study into the real value of Britain's community rail lines since the closures of the early 1960s following the Beeching Report

The study will be undertaken by Transport Regeneration of Bury St Edmunds and will look at what added benefits community rail brings to train operators, local authorities, central government, Regional Development Agencies and the communities the lines serve.

Neil Buxton, ACoRP general manager, said: "We have evidence that passenger numbers and revenue grows when community rail initiatives are adopted on local and rural railway lines, but up until now, it has been difficult to gather evidence on what other benefits local railway lines being to communities they serve and the country as a whole.

"The study will look in detail at how Community Rail Partnerships can be drivers of economic regeneration, environmental sustainability, modal shift and social inclusion, and will investigate the economic, regeneration, social and environmental benefits the lines contribute to," Buxton added.

The study is being funded by train operators Northern Rail and One Railway, DfT Rail, the Association of Transport Co-ordinating Officers, the Association of Train Operating Companies and Passenger Focus.

The study will be presented at an ACoRP conference in London during July 2008.

Image: Local rail services- such as this Bittern Line train - are under the microscope once again

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