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Stagecoach’s rail franchises – East Midlands Trains and South West Trains – have picked up five of the top awards and three runners-up prizes in this year’s Community Rail Awards, highlighting the transport group’s continued commitment to community involvement.
At East Midlands Trains, the North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership collected two winner’s awards. The first was in the category of best small community project for the Bee Friendly project at Alsager station, a partnership initiative which is helping to sustain wildlife by providing pollinating plants and bee boxes within the station gardens. The team also picked up the winning award for Outstanding Teamwork for its 45 station adopters and all the volunteers who have helped to delivered extensive improvements to stations along the North Staffordshire Line.
East Midlands Trains also collected first prize in the community rail photo competition for its ‘Cromford Challenge Teams Unite’ photo, taken during the train operators’ gardening challenge at Cromford station in conjunction with the Derwent Valley Community Rail Partnership. On the same route, the Belper station volunteers team received third place in the category of Best Station Volunteer Project for the transition of Belper station garden.
The Poacher Line Community Rail Partnership won second place in the innovative stations at small projects award for the revival and redevelopment of Skegness station, a scheme completed in partnership with Lincolnshire County Council, East Midlands Trains and Network Rail.
Community initiatives on South West Trains also had success at the awards, recognising the rail operators' strong links with the Community Rail Partnerships on its network. The Three Rivers Community Rail Partnership picked up first place for its ‘Marwell Zoo Bus Leaflet’ linking up bus services from rail stations to key tourist attractions in Hampshire. In addition, the Lymington-Brockenhurst and Isle of Wight Community Rail Partnerships collected the winner’s award for the ‘Exploring the Solent and Isle of Wight map boards’ project. The Chandlers Ford fundraising tea stall also received second place in the Outstanding Teamwork award.
Emma Knight, Stagecoach Group Head of Media and Public Affairs, said: “The Community Rail Partnerships across our rail network do a fantastic job in helping us to attract more people onto the rail network and delivering some very worthwhile practical improvements to station and train facilities.
“These awards are a well deserved endorsement of the dedication and commitment of our Community Rail Partnerships, our valued station volunteers and the other organisations we work with to create a better train service for our passengers. We would like to pass on our congratulations to all of the winners.”
The Community Rail Awards is an annual awards event run by ACoRP (the Association of Community Rail Partnerships). They were set up in 2005 so that the unsung heroes and heroines of the community rail world would have their hard work and dedication publicly recognised and rewarded. This year’s awards were held in Llandudno on 27 September.
For more information about the ACoRP awards, visit www.acorp.uk.com.