Transport for Wales is a young and developing organisation on an exciting journey. We are growing and seeking ways to better engage our customers, stakeholders, the public and local communities. We want our customers, stakeholders, the public and local communities to be part of this journey, so we encourage contact and engagement with them.
Our newly appointed Regional Stakeholder Managers will lead and manage local relationships, aiming to find ways to maximise the impact of our work and better understand local people’s needs to bring rail closer to communities.
We are also in the process of establishing a Pan-Wales and Borders Community and Stakeholder Board in addition to four sub-groups – regional community and stakeholder forums – with a varied membership including the Welsh Government, Network Rail, British Transport Police, local authorities, rail user groups, business groups etc. This Board and its sub-groups will improve collaboration between stakeholders, creating the opportunity to discuss our performance and progress as well as to provide us with valuable feedback that will allow us to continually improve and shape our plans.
On our journey to transform transport across Wales and the Borders, we have put a clear focus on working with our communities to build a railway fit for the future and we have defined this in our Community Rail Strategy. We are investing heavily in community rail and will:
- More than double the number of Community Rail Partnerships (CRPs) to cover the entire network. We will also expand our station adoption scheme to cover 90% of our stations over the next four years.
- Provide substantial funds annually (over £660,000 p.a. by 2021-22 shared between all partnerships) for CRPs to promote and encourage rail use in their communities.
- Employ up to 22 community ambassadors who will work with voluntary organisations, schools and local health boards to enable us to develop closer relationships with local stakeholders.
- Introduce two new marketing positions to work with CRPs to help them develop and deliver specific marketing plans.
- Engage with regional tourism organisations to develop an integrated rail and tourism strategy in line with Visit Wales’ ‘‘Wales Way” strategy.
- Invest in improving station environments, including transforming up to 40 sites to be contemporary community facilities. We will consult communities and local stakeholders to understand their views on how to make the best use of this space. We will also encourage small local businesses to make use of disused space at stations to promote local services and products.