Many congratulations to Friends of Chippenham Station (FOCS) who are now official members of ACoRP.

We will be working closely with FOCS to help deliver the government’s Community Rail Development Strategy. This strategy outlines how community rail activity can play an important role in four main ways:

  • providing a voice for the community;
  • promoting sustainable and healthy travel;
  • bringing communities together, and supporting diversity and inclusion;
  • supporting social and economic development.

FOCS members help to promote Chippenham station use as part of sustainable transport and connectivity for the whole town. They have a positive view of conservation and the re-use of town buildings (e.g Brunel office) and artefacts such as the station red phone box which the hope to adopt in the not too distant future.

“Station adoption groups often become immersed within their local area and their railway, and so are well placed to work with the community and rail industry

to ensure the railway is serving local people’s needs. This might include feeding into consultations on service or timetable changes, or making suggestions about station accessibility or community use of redundant buildings.

The station adoption movement also plays a key role in bringing communities together and supporting social inclusion, in some cases having a life-changing effect. This includes improving con dence and skills among volunteers and providing opportunities for healthy, outdoor activities, helping to address health inequalities and social isolation.

Simply having a human presence at stations has shown to be important to passengers, increasing their feelings of safety, comfort and wellbeing. Any station adoption project can help to bring the station into the heart of the community, increasing feelings of pride and ownership, leading to reduced levels of vandalism and anti-social behaviour.”

If you would like to join the growing community rail movement, please feel free to contact Sophie Martin – or FOCS secretary Sue McGill Please follow – @OfChippenham on Twitter for more information.