Benefits

Benefits

Rail is a very safe means of transport, it’s also the most likely to tempt drivers out of their cars

Rail is a very safe means of transport, it’s also the most likely to tempt drivers out of their cars. In fact people with good rail services near where they live are less likely to own or use a car. Similarly tourist destinations with good rail access are most likely to attract people without cars. So getting a community (back) on the rail map can make a big difference.

Particularly where there is electrification, rail has a very low impact on the environment and the case for shifting travel to rail is even stronger for freight than passenger travel. Perhaps less appreciated is the beneficial impact of rail on making efficient use of land. Rail can help concentrate development around stations - rather than road based development which can lead to sprawl. Rail stations can be community hubs and provide a focus for local public transport networks.

These arguments do not work however for out-of-town ‘parkway’ stations, which can have a negative impact on land use and transport patterns. It can be better to open smaller local stations that are within walking and cycling distance of people’s homes and businesses instead.

Promoting your local railway helps increase passengers, which in turn underpins the viability of existing services and can help make the case for new ones. Using community partnerships can harness local skills and enthusiasm and so get more bang for your buck: Community Rail Partnerships can generate £4.60 for every pound invested in them, for example.

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