Sussex Community Rail Partnership (SCRP) link railways with local businesses who offer time, resources and funding to help brighten up stations and make them feel more welcoming for the community, encouraging people to travel by train and to engage in their local railway. The organisation celebrated 50 successful board meetings last week, holding their celebration to mark the milestone in Shoreham Port’s Visitor Centre.
This year, SCRP have had a major drive for sustainability, and this week’s celebrations focused on their own sustainability goals as well as those in the wider transport sector. The rail partnership also invited inspiring key speakers from a variety of organisations, including Shoreham Port who have been a Station Partner for eight years, to discuss their own initiatives and the ways in which they could collaborate or share ideas to tackle environmental issues.
Tim Barkley, Chairman of SCRP said, “Many of our towns and cities have declared a climate emergency. There is a desire from communities to become involved in local practical initiatives that will have a visible impact on carbon reduction targets. At Community Rail our core aim is to get people out of their cars and into low carbon transport options through rail and bus travel, walking and cycling. We brought together key transport providers and voluntary groups to hear what was being done already and how we could work together in future.”
Key speakers included Darryl Moore, Director of Cityscapes, who create innovative temporary and permanent parks, gardens and installations. Martin Harris, Director of Brighton & Hove Buses who discussed sustainable travel and their new Live & Breathe campaign and Programme Manager, Sarah Dobson from the The Living Coast Biosphere who shared a range of upcoming events across the city, including Nature2020.
Sarah commented “I was thrilled to join the SCRP meeting at Shoreham Port this week. It was a fantastic opportunity to share the work of The Living Coast, Brighton & Lewes Downs UNESCO world Biosphere region with key people from the Sussex transport sector, and particularly to introduce some of the current flagship projects of the Biosphere such as Nature2020 which is marking the end of the International Decade of Biodiversity this year.
“Nature2020 is a year-long, community led celebration of biodiversity across the Biosphere. It is brilliant that Shoreham Port are already involved in Nature2020 and will be hosting some of their free boat tours this summer under the Nature2020 banner.”
The Port’s Director of Infrastructure & Sustainability, Tony Parker, discussed Shoreham Port’s biodiversity corridor initiative, which aims to help join the two seaward ends of the Brighton & Lewes Downs Biosphere together along the coast on the seaward side of the City, and suggested railways could also get involved by setting up corridors along their rail tracks.
Tony Parker, commented “With our strategy for net zero air quality emissions from Port activities well underway and with our net-zero greenhouse gas plans not far behind, Shoreham Port is working hard to put our goals for climate crisis action into practice as quickly as possible. Cooperating with other determined groups like the SCRP and the Living Coast Biosphere gives an opportunity for mutual support and inspiration to flow both ways. To sign up to the SCRP newsletter or to find out more about becoming a Station Partner visit their website.”