An Innovative project to promote improvements to the service on the Preston to Ormskirk route has just been awarded a grant of £10,000 from Arriva Rail North’s Seed Corn Fund.
The project will emphasise use of the service for leisure purposes including encouraging travel across county and TOC boundaries. The West of Lancashire CRP will be working in partnership with local schools (mainstream and special needs), local businesses and charities (Rice Lane City Farm and Rufford Old Hall with the National Trust), Merseyrail, Merseytravel and Northern.
The marketing campaign will focus on encouraging families in particular to travel using both TOCs into Lancashire and Liverpool for heritage and leisure purposes, with a focus on the newly improved service. The theme of the campaign also aims to highlight the environmental benefits of rail travel, as well as providing nature revitalisation spots through bee-friendly planting.
With Northern, Merseyrail and Merseytravel, two schools will be engaged at the stations; Rufford CE and Rice Lane Primary in February and March 2018.
With Rice Lane City Farm as a community project partner, the children will learn about eco-friendly travel through the CRL education programme (with children with special educational needs and disabilities undertaking CRL’s Railway Confidence Programme), as well as key facts about plant growth and bumblebees through practical planting with City Farm staff. The Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Grow Wild will advise on suitable planting to enable flourishing wildlife.
Planters will be created by the farm, and these will be secured at the stations and planted with bee-friendly flowers by the children. The planters will be maintained in the future by Rice Lane City Farm groups and Rice Lane School at Walton, and by Rufford station adopters and Rufford CE at Rufford.