What is our aim? To realise an integrated transport network accessible to all


Community Rail Partnerships (CRP) have operated in England since the 1990s, as a formal mechanism to reinvigorate local and rural railways that were seen to be neglected, threatened, under-utilised or potentially unsuitable.  CRP status provides a framework for greater community involvement in strategic planning, development and operation of a specific railway line.

The East Lothian Community Rail Partnership was initially formed in 2014 prior to the current ScotRail franchise being awarded as a pilot by ACORP (Association of Community Rail Partnerships). East Lothian Council was originally heavily involved in the project.

Since that time, CRPs have developed considerably and became formally accepted in Scotland following their inclusion within the ScotRail franchise let to Abellio with effect from April 2015.  One of the principal attributes of a CRP is that it involves representatives from local communities who not only use the railway, but are also involved in other aspects of local life and can integrate the railway into these. By providing a local input, CRPs can bridge the apparent gap between a large, possibly remote organisation running the trains, and real local needs, issues and requirements.

CRPs are grass-roots organisations, which aim to link local railways with the communities they serve.  They involve local people in the development and promotion of local and rural routes, services and stations. They can also encourage the community to get directly involved improving the railway environment through use of disused buildings, provision of additional facilities (such as cafes) and improved signage and pathways to / from stations.

The East Lothian Community Rail Partnership involves a wide range of organisations and community groups. The nature of the work of CRPs in that organisations can be involved in aspects of the CRP’s work related to them.

Our Mission:

To fix the link between train stations, town centres and the surrounding areas to realise an integrated transport network accessible to all.   To achieve this we will work with the train operators, Scottish Government, East Lothian Council, Regional Transport Partnership local businesses and community groups to achieve the following priorities:

Priority 1: Improve sustainable access options to train stations

We will look at ways to improve cycling and walking access to stations and seek ways to improve general accessibility to stations.  Working with train and bus operators and East Lothian Council, we will seek to improve bus / train integration.  This will include coordinating and promoting bus and train timetables and locating bus stops next to train stations (or signposting where not practicable).

Priority 2: Improve equal access options to train stations

We will look at ways to make stations fully accessible to people with any kind of disability.  We will work with community transport services and providers to seek opportunities to improve access from remote areas for those, particularly elderly and disabled individuals – without access to a car.

Priority 3: Improve awareness and promote East Lothian by rail

We will seek ways to promote travel to / from and through East Lothian by rail, for those that live here and visitors to the area.  With bus / rail operators and SESTrans we will look at the opportunities for integrated tickets for public transport across East Lothian and the region.  Working with local businesses, we will develop offers / discounts to visitor attractions, restaurants, etc. across the county.  We will ensure that all stations have train timetables and that information for travel to local onward destinations is provided.  To compliment station information, we will develop an informative East Lothian Community Rail Partnership website and promotional materials.

Priority 4: Improve station environments, facilities and rail operations

We will seek opportunities to improve and expand the facilities on offer at train stations and support a network of station adopters to keep our stations looking beautiful and seek to improve the link from stations to town centres.  We will support the case for increased services to all stations in East Lothian.

Aims & Objectives

  • Support the local economy by promoting rail use and rail facilities.
  • Actively promote the use of rail and other public and low carbon-emitting transport.
  • Support safety, security and access initiatives relating to railway use.
  • Work with the station adopters to provide a more pleasant environment within the station areas.

All of the above to involve local organisations and people in achieving progress.

  • To increase the user-friendliness and accessibility of the rail services.
  • To assist in rail-related developments that benefit local businesses.
  • To support station development projects along the Railway Line.
  • To identify and encourage possible growth markets for the rail service.
  • To work with the local tourism industry to further promote the use of rail travel.
  • To work proactively and positively with other transport providers in the area.
  • To identify potential external funding for projects which meet these objectives and work to secure such funding.

These aims and objectives for ELCRP will be delivered through programmes of work agreed by the Board.



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