TRAIN passengers are set to get a greater say in the running of the region’s railways.
The Heart of England Community Rail Partnership (CRP), launched this week, has been hailed by rail user groups as a massive boost for passengers across Warwickshire and Solihull.
CRPs bring together the likes of local authorities, train operators, and rail user groups, including the Solihull & Leamington Spa Rail Users Association (SALRUA) and Shakespeare Line Promotion Group (SLPG), to focus on everything from station improvements to the planning of future services.
SLPG secretary Fraser Pithie, who wrote the original business case for the CRP, said “It’s a great and indeed exciting for Warwickshire and Solihull and their train services and communities.
“Having a CRP will now enable local people to get involved with their train station and service and help innovate and improve our local environment and amenity. I’d encourage people to step forward and get involved because they can each help make a real difference.”
“We think that by joining several local lines and train services together a Heart of England CRP can engage in the diversity of the area and develop the full potential of our region. The CRP joins up north and south Warwickshire and also links Birmingham Airport with Coventry, Warwickshire and the wider area of Solihull – that’s an exciting platform for communities to come together and improve the amenity of the area while contributing to making the region a great place to visit or invest in.”
Martin Lambert, chairman of SALRUA, also welcomed the new CRP.
He said: “We are pleased that part of the West Midlands now has a CRP and we look forward to Solihull and Warwickshire working together to make our train services and station facilities better and help them play a greater part in the life of our communities.”
There are 64 CRPs across the UK, but the Heart of England CRP is the first in the West Midlands.
The founding members of the Heart of England CRP are West Midlands Rail Executive, Warwickshire County Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Stratford on Avon District Council, Warwick District Council, Coventry City Council, West Midlands Railway, Chiltern Railways, Virgin Trains, Cross Country Trains, Vintage Trains of Tyseley and the Association of Community Rail Partnerships.