Bid for funding to develop cross-border group to improve Calder Valley rail services

Funding bids are being developed by a new cross-council, cross-border rail partnership which aims to improve rail services in the Calder Valley, including campaigning for electrification of the line.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 2nd February 2022, 7:00 am

Last June, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet discussed and approved development of a community rail partnership (CRP) along the Calder Valley line to help improve access to, and use of, rail services.

It will also campaign and press for improvements which would have to be undertaken at a national level, particularly the electrification of the line, which is a major trans-Pennine route linking West Yorkshire cities Leeds and Bradford with Manchester.

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Walsden train station

Now the CRP has been formed in partnership between Calderdale and Rochdale Councils, with Rochdale Council carrying out its accounting, purchasing and employment functions.

The two councils have issued a joint statement explaining what are the partnership’s aims, remit and what will happen next.

They say: “We’re really pleased to be working together, and with other local groups and partner organisations, to help improve the Calder Valley line and bring many benefits for the communities who use this important route.

“Rail improvements help us all to make travel choices that reduce carbon emissions and tackle the climate emergency.

“They also connect people and businesses and attract inward investment, which is crucial to help develop stronger and sustainable towns.

“The Community Rail Partnership (CRP) builds on our continued calls to get the Calder Valley line electrified.”

The partnership has appointed Karen Hornby as Community Rail Officer.

Ms Hornby has extensive experience in community rail and partnership working after 27 years of working for Network Rail and she is tasked with developing the CRP, say the partners.

“We have started developing funding bids to deliver the CRP programme, and our next steps are to agree our activity programme with the steering group and key stakeholders, and to apply for membership of the Community Rail Network (CRN), leading to eventual accreditation for the Calder Valley Line Community Rail Partnership,” they say.

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