Thanks to funding from ACoRP, the Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership (TVCRP) has commissioned Shane O'Leary MSc., BSc. of IMP Well Being (www.impwellbeing.com) to undertake training for our wonderful volunteers situated at the 14 stations of the Tyne Valley line which runs from Newcastle – Carlisle.
In September Shane ran the first training workshop which 7 Station Ambassadors attended. The workshop was designed to help the volunteers all of whom have detailed local knowledge to undertake walking and cycling audits to and from all the stations.
As the meeting was held in the Old Booking Hall, we used Haltwhistle station as an example. We began with the Waiting Room. It was well lit but very basic and rubbish strewn. Someone suggested a litter bin, until we were told the last one had been set alight. Later I discovered it was used as an unofficial youth club as there were at least 12 teenagers sheltering in it. We went on to examine the footbridge and a wheelchair entrance.
Thankfully most of the stations will be a little less complex to assess than Haltwhistle. Apart from the manual which is very useful, Shane produced route maps passengers can use to walk or cycle to and from the station. Over the coming months these will have to be assessed, walked and scored. (1 Very Bad – 5 Excellent). At first this looked a daunting task but it has to be undertaken as a good team event and not an individual one. The station representatives, using local knowledge, know how much of the route to assess.
It is anticipated once these routes are scored, then maps can be produced to assist passengers who walk or cycle to the station. The information obtained can be used to access any funding which suddenly becomes available to improve access to the stations.
We are looking forward to becoming very proficient in the marketing of Active Travel.
Notes to Editors.