Rail partnership celebrates successful year

The Community Rail Partnership for the Stranraer line SAYLSA contributed over £68,000 of direct benefit to the ScotRail franchise and £438,000 of benefit to the local communities in 2010-11.

It also made a surplus of nearly £13,000 over the year, which has been ploughed into community projects including highly acclaimed cycling and walk maps covering Carrick and Wigtownshire and the Barrhill Community Rail Bus project.

“This Partnership demonstrates the success of third sector community involvement and highlights the need for having community involvement in local and national government initiatives such as the Stranraer Waterfront Task Force” said Chairman Peter Jeal.

“The only disappointing thing is the ambivalence still shown by the local authorities towards the Partnership.

“Hopefully now they have created the Ayr-Stranraer stakeholder group this attitude may change.”

One of the most effective projects was the publication of station specific pocket timetables.

“At Stranraer they contributed to a 13.4% increase in passenger numbers following their introduction in December 2010.

“Further north at Barrhill this rose to 16%. At Maybole SAYLSA turned around a 20% decline in year on year usage to a 7% increase over the winter months whilst at Girvan the line’s busiest station numbers increased 14% over the same period.

The Partnership recently hosted the Stranraer to Ayr line Strategy Group meeting in Stranraer attended by all the industry key players. The next meeting will be in Maybole.

SAYLSA’s AGM is to be held in the ancient capital of Carrick at the end of March.