About the Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership
The Marston Vale Railway was officially designated a Community Railway in November 2006. Community Railways adopt a different approach to managing the less well-used rail routes in the UK, by encouraging local people to use and become involved in their local railway. This is led by Community Rail Partnerships (CRPs), of which we are one. By doing this, it is hoped that the future of these vital rail services can be secured, and people can rediscover their local railways. We certainly hope to adopt this ethos to our work!
Our Aims and Steering Group
The Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership formally came into being in November 2006, however prior to this we worked under an informal organisation known as the Marston Vale Railway Development Group. The Community Rail Partnership has 4 aims:
- To improve conditions for existing users of the rail service
- To encourage new people to use the line
- To increase the number of people using the line for work and leisure
- Ensuring the line has a long and financially stable future
We are doing this by taking a community-led approach to our work, encouraging local communities to become involved in their local railway. This work is undertaken by our Community Rail Officer, and is overseen (and jointly funded) by a Steering Group consisting of the following organisations:
- Bedford Borough Council
- Bedford to Bletchley Rail Users Association
- Bedfordshire Association of Town and Parish Councils
- Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity
- Central Bedfordshire Council
- Forest of Marston Vale
- London Midland
- Milton Keynes Council
- Milton Keynes Association of Town and Parish Councils
- Network Rail
Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity acts as the lead partner, and also hosts the Community Rail Officer.
The Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership Constitution is the series of rules by which the Community Rail Partnership is governed, as agreed jointly between all of the Steering Group members. It covers many matters associated with the Community Rail Partnership, from its governance to holding public meetings. Feel free to download it and have a look through at your leisure.
Community Rail Officer – Stephen Sleight
The vast majority of our work is undertaken by Stephen Sleight, our dedicated Community Rail Partnership Officer. Working 20 hours a week, and based at the Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity’s offices in Cardington, Stephen has a busy time delivering the work of the Community Rail Partnership (although he is helped out by others!). This site hopefully gives you a bit of insight into the work that Stephen does!