South West Trains launches London’s first Community Rail Partnership

Published on : Thursday, November 26, 2015

South West TrainsSouth West Trains has this week launched London’s first ever Community Rail Partnership, in Hounslow.

 
The train operator has joined forces with the London Borough of Hounslow to create a Community Rail Partnership that will build a bridge between the railway and local communities.

 
Community Rail Partnerships aim to bring the local community together, with the local station as the focus. They often include station adoption groups, local volunteer led groups who look after the general appearance of stations across the network, through upkeep of flower beds and generally keeping the station clean, and appealing to the travelling public.
The main aim of station adoption groups is to improve the ambiance of the station and its environment. The result is a safer, more attractive station that local residents want to use.
Plans are in place to introduce the groups to each of the seven stations along the Hounslow Loop, between Hounslow and Barnes Bridge. They will be jointly by South West Trains and London Borough of Hounslow.

 
Rail passengers on South West Trains, the UK’s busiest commuter network, will benefit from a £50m package of investment in new technology and more personal customer service to make end-to-end journeys easier. The improvements, which will be delivered as part of a programme of initiatives agreed with the Department for Transport, will also see more seats and extra car parking.

 
New customer ambassadors will deliver a more personalised service for customers by offering more face-to-face proactive advice at stations. The 100 customer ambassadors will be located on station concourses to help with any customer queries and to offer expert advice to help passengers buy the right ticket to suit their needs.

 
South West Trains’ Head of Business Excellence, Dave Morris said: “We are delighted to be introducing a Community Rail Partnership in the Hounslow area. The work of these groups and of station adopters is vital in making our stations feel part of the communities they serve. We’re pleased that working with the London Borough of Hounslow, we are able to announce funding of this group. It’s great to see that work is already underway with the introduction of new planter tubs at Hounslow station.”

 
South West Trains supports four other CRPs in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Investment in these groups increased over the summer to over £65,000 and 11 Station Adoption Groups have also received increased funding through various projects.

 
To get things started, two planters have been placed at Hounslow station to help brighten up the station and encourage the involvement of local residents and community groups. Notice boards will also be placed at all seven the stations allowing communities to share information easily.

 

Community Rail Partnership Officer, Susan Rocke, who is local to the area said, “Our main aim as the Hounslow Community Rail partnership is to bring the railway and the community together. We hope to make each station a focus for the local community providing a central location and venue for activities and events. We would love to hear from local residents, commuters and community members who want to be a part of one of these groups and make a difference to their local station and in their local community.”

 
Brian Barnsley from The Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP) said, “We are thrilled to be supporting South West Trains and the new Community Rail Partnership on the Hounslow Line. By working with the local community on practical initiatives, we can help produce a more sustainable local railway with improved station facilities and more integrated transport systems.”

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