Fens’ community rail project shortlisted for national industry award

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Fenland’s Hereward Community Rail Partnership (CRP) has been shortlisted in the 2024 Community Rail Awards for its free sustainable transport tool.

The online Think Travel Tool has earned the partnership a shortlisting in the ‘Influencing Positive Change and Sustainability’ category.

Now in their 19th year, the prestigious awards recognise the organisations and volunteers working across Britain’s rail network to improve stations and increase rail use. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Swansea on 18 March 2024.

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The Hereward CRP commissioned the Think Travel Tool earlier this year to enable people to compare the impacts and sustainability benefits of different types of transport.


It was created by environmental data analysts Aether, with funding support from Greater Anglia.

The tool allows users to select start and end points of journeys that are available along the Hereward railway line, which runs through Fenland between Peterborough and Ely. Users can then select different modes of transport for the journey from cycling, travelling by train or bus and different types of car – diesel, petrol, electric and hybrid.

The tool then compares the different impacts and benefits of each mode of transport for the selected journey, including environmental impacts such as carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and air pollutants, distance travelled (as different modes of transport take different routes), time taken, cost, health benefits and wider impacts too.

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Cllr Chris Seaton, Chairman of the Hereward Community Rail Partnership and Fenland District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Transport, said: “We’re delighted that our Think Travel Tool project has been shortlisted by the Community Rail Network in such an important and hard-fought category, and that our collaborative approach with our partners has been recognised. Good luck to all the entrants!”

Melanie Hobson, Technical Director at Aether, added: “We are very pleased that the Think Travel Tool has been shortlisted for this award. Travelling sustainably reduces CO2 emissions, improves air quality, and has many other benefits too including for human health. This tool provides people with information, so they can make informed decisions about the impacts of their travel choices along the Hereward railway line. This tool aims to make it easier for people to quantify the environmental impact of their selected travel modes in the area and we hope that the tool inspires other areas to provide similar information. We are grateful to Hereward CRP for the opportunity to collaborate on this project.”

Jools Townsend, chief executive of Community Rail Network, said: “Our Community Rail Awards showcase the amazing projects, initiatives, and people across Britain that make community rail. This year we’ve received 200 submissions and as always, the standard of entries has been extremely high. We’re looking forward to joining our community rail colleagues and industry partners to celebrate their hard work, positivity, and dedication at our awards evening in March.”

For more information and to see the other shortlisted submissions, visit the Community Rail Network website.

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The Hereward Community Rail Partnership is managed by Fenland District Council in partnership with train operators, railway user groups, station adoption groups and local residents who help look after Fenland’s Hereward Line and its five stations at Peterborough, Whittlesea, March, Manea and Ely.

For more information on the CRP, visit: herewardcrp.org

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