My email to our Community Rail Partners:
I am delighted to let you know that we have been successful in obtaining funding from the Community Rail Network to deliver a project that aims to encourage people to jump on their bikes either for the first time, or to return to cycling to improve both mental and physical health while also increasing the use of the valuable town centre station car park spaces. We will be offering heavily subsidised cycle training in partnership with Surrey County Council, free bike doctor repair sessions and guided cycle rides for all abilities from our partner stations (Haslemere, Milford, Witley, Godalming and Farncombe).
The project seeks to:
Make use of the station car parks at the stations within the Surrey Hills to South Downs Community Rail Partnership which are now often empty due to the reduction in commuter parking because of Covid restrictions – permission has been granted by SWR management to use station parking capacity within the Surrey Hills to South Downs CRP for both cycle training and bike doctor maintenance sessions.
Encourage station staff to get involved and use the training themselves. (This has been requested by the station manager, who fully endorses the idea of the project)
- Re-acquaint people with their local stations
- Create more community activity around rail stations, bringing more local people to the station
- Promote the cycle facilities that are available at stations
- Increase inbound tourism by bicycle
- Encourage greater use of trains by people with bicycles.
- Support more integrated travel planning – individual or group business and leisure users
- We have linked up with Surrey Hills Cycle Hire who have agreed to map out some new rides to suit all abilities and rides that start and end at our stations
Surrey CC have agreed to deliver the training at a subsidised rate and are looking forward to working with us. They have already agreed that the bookings for the training can go through their website which is designed to take the bookings
East Hants Rail Partnership have also been successful in obtaining a grant so will work in partnership to promote this exciting project.
We plan to start the project in Spring 2021, depending on the Covid restrictions and look forward to engaging all partners in this exciting initiative.