Much progress has been made on setting up a Calder Valley Community Rail Partnership. A draft prospectus was discussed with stakeholders at an online meeting in January, attended by representatives of Rochdale and Calderdale councils, Network Rail, user groups and station friends groups. The meeting was positive, with support for the idea almost unanimous. Work continues led by officers at Rochdale and Calderdale councils.
After over five years of patient campaigning, HADRAG committee member Richard Lysons (who is also chair of Friends of Littleborough Stations) said, “I am delighted to hear of the genuine keenness and positive moves by Rochdale and Calderdale Councils. The time is absolutely right for such a partnership to be set up. Great strides in line identity were made by the highly acclaimed Discover Amazing Women by Rail, a project that highlighted the tourism potential for our Line. One only has to look at railway lines that have developed community and tourism projects – the Penistone line, Bentham line and Settle-Carlisle – to see the value of community rail.
“With backing from our local councils and elected councillors, the future is bright for a Calder Valley CRP. A draft prospectus will be launched in the New Year and interested parties encouraged to give feedback. A CRP aims to connect the railway closer to local communities and stakeholders. The current pandemic has caused a drop in passenger numbers can hopefully. Rebuilding, we hope to reverse that drop an emphasis on serving the community, encouraging sociable and sustainable travel.”
The council officers have been working closely with the Community Rail Network (formerly ACoRP) who are linked with nearly 70 community rail partnerships and an even greater number of station adoption groups around the country. HADRAG looks forward to continuing to support and develop a Calder Valley CRP.
This is about complementing and supporting, not competing with, active and successful station groups such as those at Brighouse, Low Moor, Sowerby Bridge, Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge. – RL
Spots on our route map show a possible area that could be covered by a community rail partnership. A CRP could work with local businesses and leisure groups, as well as town councils and boards, train companies, and local/regional authorities. Travel on the line, and attractions around it, would both be promoted.
Station adoption groups are already doing magnificent work. Supported by a CRP, they should go from strength to strength.