Category: Transport

Bedford Borough Council launches Rail Investment Strategy

Bedford Borough Council has launched a Rail Investment Strategy, setting out priorities for railway services for the Borough.

The Council’s vision is for Bedford Borough to be a great place to live, work and visit. To do this, the Borough needs to attract international business and highly skilled and sustainable jobs.

The Council says that rail services are a key part of supporting economic growth and prosperity and to improve life choices for people living here as the population grows.

The priorities of the Rail Investment Strategy focus around new and better connectivity and new and better stations.

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Compensation for London Northwestern Railway season ticket holders in 2020

West Midlands Trains (WMT) has announced a discount on season tickets that more than covers the annual 2.8% increase.

Season ticket holders, on West Midlands Railway (WMR) and London Northwestern Railway (LNR) services, will not have to pay the upcoming national fares rise. A spokesperson said that all LNR routes are affected, including Bedford-Bletchley.

Following a drop in train performance since May, WMT pledged to compensate passengers. This measure will take the form of a 3% reduction in the cost of weekly, monthly and annual season tickets, offsetting the upcoming national fares rise on Thursday 2 January 2020.

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Reg, Bedfordshire’s Road Safety Rat urges motorists not to drink-drive this Christmas

Protecting Bedfordshire’s road users is the remit of Reg, a Road Safety Rat introduced by Bedfordshire’s Road Safety Partnership.

The road safety rat mascot has been created by agencies who make up the Bedfordshire Road Safety Partnership (BRSP). Including Bedfordshire Police and the tri-force Joint Protective Services, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Highways England, the Road Victims Trust as well as all three of the county’s local authorities: Bedford Borough Council, Central Bedfordshire Council and Luton Borough Council.

Reg’s very first job to support multi-agency awareness campaigns advising motorists against drink and drug driving over the festive season

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Ho Ho Ho! Santa goes ‘Grotto Style’ on the Marston Vale Line

The popular Santa Special switched tracks to Lidlington on the Marston Vale Line between Bedford and Bletchley on Saturday 14th December.

Lidlington Church Hall was transformed into a winter wonderland for the occasion, with Santa & his elves hard at work taking Christmas requests from all the children. A special Christmas gift was given to each child visiting the Grotto.

Families were kept entertained whilst waiting to see Santa by a face painter, balloon modeler, model railway layouts (including a ‘have a go’ Playmobil Twins set & another from Milton Keynes Model Railway Society), stalls and live music from special guests Chasing Deer.

Children also had the opportunity to try a range of Festive Crafts. A variety of refreshments were on sale, including the renowned Bedfordshire Clanger, courtesy of Gunn’s Bakery.

‘Santa’s Special’ Grotto was arranged by the Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership in association with the Bedford – St Albans City Community Rail Partnership. Entry to the Grotto was free; a small charge was made for Festive Crafts.

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All aboard the Bedford to Brighton Santa train!

Santa swapped his sleigh for a Thameslink train to give deserving families a fun-packed journey at the weekend.

Youngsters from the Bedford and Brighton areas boarded the festive train on Saturday (14 December) for a round trip, during which they met Father Christmas, received goodie bags, enjoyed magic tricks, face-painting and took part in craft activities.

Govia Thameslink Railway worked with Bedford Borough Council, Brighton and Hove City Council, Sussex Community Rail Partnership and Beds to St Albans Community Rail Partnership to reach out to families in need of an uplifting trip.

GTR then provided complimentary tickets to 25 family groups, who otherwise may not have enjoyed a treat this Christmas.

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Govia Thameslink Railway’s Great Sock Appeal collects over 4,000 socks

More than 4,170 pairs of socks were donated at stations across the Govia Thameslink Railway network on Thursday 5th December, to support six key homeless shelters across the route.

Sock collections took place at train stations across the network, as selected homeless charities and Govia Thameslink Railway – the UK’s largest rail network – joined forces to give those sleeping rough a new pair of socks over the festive period.

As part of the rail operator’s commitment to support homelessness initiatives in local communities, GTR volunteers held the festive collections at eight stations across the network, as well as teams collecting at offices and depots across the network.

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Rail strike this weekend – Marston Vale Line

With another rail strike currently expected this Saturday, 7 December, train companies are warning passengers to plan ahead.

As the run up to Christmas attracts more people onto the network, London Northwestern Railway and West Midlands Railway are concerned that less frequent rail users may not be aware of the industrial action.

The two companies will be running reduced train services this Saturday, 7 December. Passengers are being advised to check their journeys due to planned strike action by members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT).

Travel between Birmingham New Street and Euston via Northampton is expected to be very badly affected.

Passengers using London Northwestern Railway services have been affected most of all in recent weeks due to drivers refusing to cross picket lines. This has resulted in a large number of un-planned cancellations.

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Industrial action on Marston Vale Line

West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway are warning of a reduced train service this Saturday, 30 November.

Passengers are being reminded to check their journeys due to planned industrial action by members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT). Travel between Northampton and Euston is expected to be very badly affected.

Passengers using London Northwestern Railway services have been affected most of all in recent weeks due to drivers refusing to cross pickets lines. This has resulted in a large number of un-planned cancellations.

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Great Sock Appeal needs you this Christmas

Selected homeless charities and Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) are joining forces this Christmas to provide support for the homeless as the winter frost takes hold.

The new initiative, Great Sock Appeal, will encourage rail commuters to donate a new pair of socks for those sleeping rough over the festive period.

Often overlooked as an unimportant item, for those sleeping rough, a pair of socks is essential for keeping feet warm and dry. Without them, there is great risk of blisters, fungal infections and even trench foot.

Also, it takes just 30 minutes for frostbite to take hold, meaning socks are crucial for surviving the winter.

This basic item of clothing is also responsible for keeping feet healthy, maintaining good circulation and managing diabetes.

Collections will take place at stations on 5th December between 7am – 10am.

In Bedfordshire, the participating charity is NOAH Enterprise donation collections will take place at Bedford and Luton Stations.

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Election candidates told to “make our streets safer” in new ‘A Manifesto for Walking’

Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking, is urging all the political parties to prioritise safer streets in the upcoming election. It has released ‘A Manifesto for Walking’, today (18 November), which is also the start of Road Safety Week (18 – 24 November).

It wants politicians to commit long-term funding for walking and back stronger laws to create cleaner, safer and less congested streets.

The road safety pioneers celebrate their 90th anniversary this year and its early campaigning led to the UK’s first zebra crossings and speed limits.

The charity says that 26,000 people are killed or seriously injured on our roads each year and 36,000 premature deaths a year are attributable to air pollution. It adds that physical inactivity is costing the NHS £1.1 billion a year. Living Streets believes a better walking environment can be part of the solution.

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Call for motorists to help children stay safe near schools

Campaigning schoolchildren included Wootton-based Holywell School students

Bedford Borough Liberal Democrats have issued a plea for motorists to help children stay safe, following a debate on children’s road safety at a Council meeting last week.

At the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC), councillors heard from children from Wootton. They have been campaigning on the issue of road safety in their community.

The schoolchildren raised a wide range of issues, and in response Council representatives set out work that will take place to address them. This will include the appointment of a new school crossing patrol, assessing bus stops and crossings in the area and reviewing road safety information campaigns for young people.

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What do you think of the roads across Central Bedfordshire?

An online survey has been opened for Central Bedfordshire residents to share their views on road maintenance in order to inform the council’s future planning.

Central Bedfordshire Council is just one of over 100 Local Authorities to sign up to the National Highways and Transport Public (NHT) Satisfaction Survey. The standardised survey that will ask members of the public exactly the same questions, whether they live in Central Bedfordshire, Edinburgh or London. Participating councils can then compare results and share best practice.

The online survey is open to all Central Bedfordshire residents and covers views about highways maintenance including roads and pavements, potholes, street lighting, drain clearance and gritting as well as looking at traffic congestion, road safety and accessibility.

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