The Partnership

At the North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership, we work to promote and develop the Crewe-Stoke-Derby route, known as the North Staffordshire Line.

Formed in 2005, our funding partners are

  • Cheshire East Council
  • Derbyshire County Council
  • Staffordshire County Council
  • Stoke-on-Trent City Council, and
  • East Midlands Trains
  • CrossCountry

Our achievements include:

  • Over £1million of investment for the route has been raised through successful Partnership bids to schemes like Access for All, North Staffordshire Regeneration Zone and other external funding bodies
  • Through raising this capital, the Partnership has funded major improvements at intermediate stations on the route (the majority of which are unstaffed), including anti-vandal shelters, CCTV, Customer Information Screens (CIS, with public address, providing train timetable information), and improved station lighting
  • Over 50 station ‘adoption’ volunteers have been actively recruited by the Partnership, with whose support we have greatly improved the station environment for passengers, transforming station gardens and delivering many other projects, such as improved passenger information and station artwork
  • We’ve won the support and involvement of numerous schools and community groups, residents, organisations and businesses including Parish and Town Councils, Civic Societies, TESCO, JCB and the British Transport Police to improve the route through events like our Station Community Days and community art and gardening projects. These initiatives have served to reduce anti-social behaviour at stations, so creating a more welcoming station environment for passengers
  • Our on-going promotion of the route through dedicated marketing, including our annual line visitor guide with local attractions discount vouchers, and an on-going press campaign, have helped to increase passenger growth on the route

Our Chairman, Michael Willmot

Mike has been involved in the volunteering movement for more than 40 years, first with VSO and later becoming a board member of International Voluntary Service. This, together with enthusiasm for public transport, meant that he supported the community rail movement from the outset. He successfully campaigned for, and became chairman of the North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership in 2005.


Community Rail Officer, Marika Latham

Prior to taking on the role of CRPO, Marika has held a variety of posts, as an Information Technology tutor, Franchise Development Administrator, followed by promotion to Company Vehicle Controller for a large car manufacturing company. In 2008 Marika graduated from university with a First Class Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree in Traditional Chinese medicine which led her to working on board a cruise liner for 6 months before starting her own business as an acupuncturist.

She is no stranger to the partnership, having been involved with a very successful team of station adopters at Uttoxeter. For a number of years Marika also served as treasurer and one of the co-ordinators of the Uttoxeter & District Forum 50 plus group.

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