Bishop Line Community Rail Partnership endorsed by Government

The Bishop Line Community Rail Partnership (CRP) has received confirmation that it has been awarded accreditation status by the Department for Transport (DfT).

04 February 2020

The Bishop Line Community Rail Partnership (CRP) has received confirmation that it has been awarded accreditation status by the Department for Transport (DfT).

Accreditation is formal recognition by the DfT that a CRP operates to a high standard and that its objectives and activities are supported by Government. It is in place to provide assurance to others, including potential funders and partners, that the Bishop Line CRP operates to high standards of governance and financial propriety; adopts a collaborative approach; is worthy of trust by others; and is a suitable entity for receiving public funds. Further Government considers it a good representative of the local community.

Jools Townsend, chief executive of the Association of Community Rail Partnerships, said: “It’s fantastic to see the Bishop Line Community Rail Partnership receive community rail accreditation. This underlines the value of their work, engaging and benefitting local communities in connection with their local railway and stations. As well as highlighting local needs and opportunities to rail industry partners, they have a keen focus on promoting sustainable and healthy travel, bringing local people together, supporting station-based volunteering, and supporting wider access to opportunity.”

Robert Whitehouse, chair of the Bishop Line Community Rail Partnership commented “I am absolutely delighted that the partnership has received accreditation from the Department for Transport. This underlines the great amount of work which has been undertaken by the community rail officer and the partners.”

Bishop Line CRP is engaging with its communities to help people get the most from their railways, promoting social inclusion and sustainable travel, working alongside train operators to bring about improvements, and bringing stations back to life. Some of the Bishop Line’s priorities highlighted in the accreditation meeting and annual plan include:

  • Recruit a more diverse and active membership by end March 2021
  • Customer Engagement through regular customer surveys
  • Community Engagement to understand the rail travel needs of the local community through station and community events and engagement meetings
  • Promote travelling by train to tourist attractions along the line
  • Work with Train Operating Company to provide a half hourly service
  • Work with Heritage lines more collaboratively to promote connecting services

The Accreditation meeting took place on Wednesday 27th November 2019 at Darlington Town Hall. Present were the chair and officer of the Bishop Line CRP, a representative of ACoRP, The Association of Community Rail Partnerships who are carrying out accreditation meetings on behalf of DfT, along with representatives from Northern and Cross Country.

The accreditation system for community rail partnerships in England and Wales commenced on 1st April 2019.

Membership of the Bishop Line CRP is open to those with an interest in the Bishop Line, in particular representatives of local charities, schools, groups and businesses. All are welcome to attend meetings and activities. To get involved please contact