In addition to the It’s Your Neighbourhood Award scheme results, two of the Partnership’s projects received recognition at the Association of Community Rail Partnership’s (ACoRP) annual awards.
A new ticketing system for schools, run as a pilot with Cotham School in Bristol, was runner up in the “Innovation in Community Rail” category. The rail season ticket for travel to and from school is sold electronically via the schools “WisePay” system for parents. Rather than a national rail ticket, the school ticket is printed on the student school ID lanyard badge, worn around the students neck so it can be quickly and easily examined by guards on the train. A school rail reps committee helped to formulate a new code of conduct for travel to school which students must subscribe to be eligible for the special ticket. The result is excellent behaviour on the school train and an improved journey for rail staff and commuters.
Picking up third place in the Involving Diverse Groups category at the ACoRP Awards was the Days Out by Train in the West of England scheme. Established to improve understanding of barriers to rail travel for low-income communities living in the West of England. This was achieved with a grant from Great Western Railway’s Customers & Communities Improvement Fund, providing group rail tickets for 120 eligible organisations. The scheme benefited over 2,000 participants living in socio-economic deprivation, including refugees. Participants completed a survey, which provided the basis for a study by the Centre for Society and Transport at the University of the West of England. The findings of the report will influence future decisions around local rail.