New Oxfordshire Community Rail Partnership to launch this summer, supporting local communities through transport with support from Great Western Railway and Chiltern Railways.
Oxfordshire Community Rail Partnership (OxCRP) will be launching this summer across the county, supporting local communities and visitors alike to benefit from sustainable transport. Following on from a feasibility study produced by Gloucestershire Community Rail Partnership (GCRP), which was commissioned by Great Western Railway (GWR) last year, OxCRP will be launching activities this summer with the mission of using the railway to improve the lives of people living in Oxfordshire while giving visitors to the county a high-quality welcome.
Oxfordshire Community Rail Partnership is focused on improving access to opportunities in the county through grassroots community projects that empower local voice, support the local economy and work to combat climate change. With a key focus on supporting diverse and less advantaged groups, OxCRP will work with local communities and stakeholders, including station adoption groups, council members, researchers, and community centres, to develop rail-based solutions that address short-term needs and enable longer-term change.
OxCRP’s first year of activity will see the launch of three new community projects, including ‘Getaway to Independent Travel’, ‘Route2Work’, and ‘Connecting New Communities’. These core projects will focus on encouraging hard-to-reach communities to access opportunities via rail, while encouraging new visitors to enjoy the county sustainably.
This focus is closely aligned to the Department of Transport’s four pillars of community rail, namely: providing a voice for the community, promoting sustainable, healthy, and accessible travel, bringing communities together, supporting diversity and inclusion, and supporting social and economic development.
Hannah McDonnell, Executive Director of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire Community Rail Partnership, said:
"We are delighted to be expanding our work, impact and reach through establishing the Oxfordshire Community Rail Partnership. Ready to hit the ground running, our experienced and dedicated team will look closely at Oxfordshire’s specific needs to build and adapt our tried and tested approaches to supporting local people through transport and connectivity. We look forward to working with our new Oxfordshire partners and local communities.”
The partnership is pleased to have the support of Great Western Railway and Chiltern Railways and hopes to work with a wide range of local partners as it continues to grow.
Zach Bailey, Stakeholder Manager for Chiltern Railways added:
“Chiltern Railways is delighted to be joining the new Community Rail Partnership in Oxfordshire. This builds on our track record of effective community engagement across our network. We already have strong community links with stakeholders in the area, from our work with the Junior Citizens Trust on school education programmes, to collaborative partnerships with Bicester Village and Banbury Business Improvement District.
Our focus for this new partnership is to expand these activities to new areas of our network, providing volunteering and engagement opportunities for local people who share our goal of improving the look and feel of our stations for the benefit of the wider community."
Emma Morris, Community Manager for Great Western Railway, said:
"Throughout the GWR network, community rail partnerships play a leading role, bringing local people and communities together to add value to projects designed to improve services, and make stations safer, more welcoming and greener spaces. We welcome the commitment to this new partnership, and efforts to further improve access to transport links in Oxfordshire, in support of the local economy."
Download the OxCRP Prospectus here.
If you have any questions about OxCRP please contact Alayne McDonald at Alayne@oxcrp.org.uk
As part of the feasibility study, the Charlbury Walking Trail map (below) was produced.