Hereward Community Rail Partnership shines at virtual rail awards

The Hereward Community Rail Partnership (CRP) defeated nationwide competition to win at the 16th annual Community Rail...

The Hereward Community Rail Partnership (CRP) defeated nationwide competition to win at the 16th annual Community Rail Awards, which were held virtually on December 9. - Credit: sm

A partnership which champions community rail across Fenland has won two national rail awards.

The Hereward Community Rail Partnership (CRP) defeated nationwide competition to win at the 16th annual Community Rail Awards, which were held virtually on December 9.

The awards, organised by Community Rail Network, were delivered as an online gala evening for the first time, with 550 guests.

Attendees included community rail volunteers, officers, rail industry leaders and government representatives.

The Hereward CRP enables community rail initiatives on the Hereward Line between Ely and Peterborough and at its railway stations in Manea, March and Whittlesey. It won the runner-up award in the marketing and communications category for its online consultations.


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Judges said the partnership had “created a method of delivering simple and effective consultations online without alienating community members who were less confident with or had limited access to technology”.

They added that it has also risen to the challenges created by the pandemic.

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One consultation last year allowed the public to choose their preferred waiting stations at Manea and Whittlesey stations, which have been subsequently installed.

More recently, a consultation on the redesign of a community building at March station had to be quickly changed due to Covid-19.

But the partnership’s “expertise and timely response” allowed the project to stay on track for completion in spring 2021.

The Hereward CRP was also crowned winner in the same category along with Greater Anglia and other CRPs in East Anglia for the joint ‘Room with a View’ project.

The project saw promotional videos created for eight separate railway lines across the CRPs involved, with the aim of attracting more people to take days out on local branch lines.

The videos showcase the places and attractions within easy reach of the lines.

You can view the Hereward CRP ‘Room with a View’ video via YouTube at: https://youtu.be/_D6hp0YQ2E8

Cllr Chris Seaton is the portfolio holder for transport at Fenland District Council, which manages the Hereward CRP with train operators including Greater Anglia, Cross Country Trains and East Midlands Railway with support from the Community Rail Network and local organisations.

He said: “We’re are absolutely thrilled that the Hereward CRP has been recognised for its partnership work across Fenland at these national awards.

“This wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the fantastic support we get from our members, volunteers, station adopters and funders.

“The work of community rail partnerships is crucial and often unsung, but during these challenging times, their role is more important than ever.”

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