New partnership on track to promote stations and their communities north of Shrewsbury

A new community rail partnership has been launched to serve railway stations and their communities including those in Shropshire and its northern borders.

Sian Jones – Community Rail Ambassador at Transport for WalesMelanie Lawton – Community Rail Manager at Transport for WalesJessica Wragg – Community Rail Officer at Groundwork North Wales
Sian Jones – Community Rail Ambassador at Transport for WalesMelanie Lawton – Community Rail Manager at Transport for WalesJessica Wragg – Community Rail Officer at Groundwork North Wales

The 3 Counties Connected Community Rail Partnership is a new initiative from Groundwork North Wales, Transport for Wales and community partners.

Succeeding the former Chester to Shrewsbury Community Rail Partnership its aims include developing and promoting the Chester to Shrewsbury to Crewe railway line as a green railway line. This, organisers say will include a high level of community involvement, attractive station facilities, co-ordination with other forms of transport and a service that meets the needs of local people, commuters and of visitors, and in so doing provides value for money for passengers.

It will cover communities close to stations Chester, Wrexham General, Wrexham Central, Ruabon, Chirk, Gobowen and Shrewsbury. Yorton, Wem, Prees, Whitchurch, Wrenbury, Nantwich and Crewe.

Jessica Wragg, Community Rail Officer said: "The railway line is a vital link between communities on the borders of England and Wales and the partnership will develop and support several green initiatives, encouraging sustainable tourism and promoting outdoor activities using public transport along the Rail Line. The partnership will encourage volunteering for all ages; supporting friends of groups, school and youth groups to look after and make local stations greener and more accessible.

“The first month of the partnership has been extremely busy and I have connected with many different organisations and groups to see the amazing work that is going on with other community rail partnerships and groups and to see first-hand the difference they are making.”

“I have also met station adopters in Chirk and Ruabon who work hard to create pride in their stations and community, they play a critical role in making their stations really welcoming and attractive places, and I hope we can encourage more volunteer groups to become station adopters along the line.”

Head of Community Rail at Transport for Wales, Hugh Evans said: “We are delighted to welcome Jess and Groundwork North Wales into the Community Rail family. Community Rail can drive real change for the better across our network, helping make rail travel more accessible, sustainable, and inclusive, which in turn creates a real economic benefit and an opportunity to support the health and mental wellbeing of people in these communities.”

Two events are planned for Community Rail Week which begins on May 23. There will be an hour long Community Well-being Walk in Chirk, meeting at Chirk Train Station at 10.30am on May 26 while Jess will attend The Community Rail Showcase in Manchester on May 25 promoting the Rail line.

A Queen’s Jubilee event is also planned at Alyn Waters Country Park near Wrexham May 31 where sustainable and safe rail travel will be promoted, as well as celebrating the Queens Jubilee with a royal-themed quiz, whilst enjoying the tasty food and drink at Caffi Cyfle.

Anyone wanting to find out more about the partnership should contact Jessica Wragg at Groundwork North Wales on 01978 757524 or email jessica.wragg@groundworknorthwales.org.uk.

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