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
  • West Midlands Railway
  • 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, Claire Sandys

Prior to taking on this role Claire has worked in the fields of horticulture research, education, museums and public health. She gained a degree in Ecology followed by a PhD in Plant Pathology, working on a disease of tomatoes. Claire then worked abroad, in the Cape Verde Islands, researching multipurpose drought tolerant tree species. Back in the UK she enjoyed 17 years as a primary school teacher, then museum educator at the Stoke-on-Trent Museums, working with schools and community groups. Since then Claire has worked as a freelance Heritage Consultant and Project Coordinator for the Living Streets Stoke-on-Trent Wayfinding Project.

Claire volunteers for the RNIB and for various local projects.

And last, but by no means least, she loves travelling by train!

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