Conwy Valley & North West Wales Coast Community Rail Partnership Annual Report 2021/2022
Once more, another year has seen significant changes to the CRP in a number of ways.
Our new Community Rail Officer, Karen Williams, has settled into her role and has impressed all with the enthusiasm she has brought to building on the foundations laid by Melanie Lawton. We have seen an extension to the Partnership’s area of operation to include the section of line from Llandudno Junction to Holyhead which has meant establishing new contacts and assessing the needs and aspirations of the various communities along the route. As part of this, we have increased our cooperation with Avanti West Coast, and we are grateful to that operator for their support.
The new hosting arrangements with Creating Enterprise have been successfully bedded in and are working well. We have witnessed the opening, by Lesley Griffiths MS, of the new Community Hub at Llandudno Railway Station, which has brought back into beneficial use a disused section which was formerly the old Booking Office and Parcels Room. The establishment of the Hub has provided a much-welcomed social facility. The development is the result of positive collaboration between Transport for Wales and Cartrefi Conwy.
Strong relationships have been built up with organisations such as Mind and Carneddau Landscape Partnership which have led to the provision of outdoor activities linked to the Conwy Valley line and provide opportunities for greater social inclusivity. This partnership working saw the CRP, Mind and Carneddau landscape Partnership create a ‘Walks for Wellbeing project’ which gave local people the opportunity to attend mindfulness walks. This project was shortlisted at the Community Rail Network awards, for which we achieved 3rd place under the category ‘Best Community Engagement’ Work continues to identify similar organisations which would benefit from joint working along our sections of railway. To this end, we are keen to expand our membership base to include more thirdsector bodies active in the field. In terms of operation, Covid 19 has, of course, had a significant impact on the rail industry in common with all other activities.
Temporary timetables have been in place, and it is to be hoped that the Operators will provide a more comprehensive service in the near future. North Wales is heavily dependent on the tourism and leisure sectors and the ability for people, particularly in the conurbations of North-West England and the Midlands, to travel into area is something which needs to be enhanced.
I am very grateful to Karen for her support during the past year and also my Vice-Chair, Annwen Daniels, who has provided such a very useful community link with Blaenau Ffestiniog. It has been a pleasure to work alongside our various industry partners and other organisations.
Philip C Evans JP FIoL