CRL - Community Rail Lancashire

Bentham Line Grant Successes


The Bentham Line CRP (Leeds, Lancaster & Morecambe) has recently heard that they have been awarded a grant from Arriva Rail North’s (ARN) Seed Corn Fund.

The £30,000 grant will be used to develop a pilot scheme that will offer dementia sufferers a friendly travel experience. The CRP working in partnership with Arriva Rail North, Alzheimer’s Research UK, the Forest of Bowland and other local groups, will use the funding to develop a rail travel and destination toolkit that will help dementia support groups experience rail travel on the Bentham Line, and destinations beyond, in a safe a friendly way.

Revisiting and triggering moments we remember from our journeys, seaside holidays, walks in the countryside or visits to attractions can be hugely beneficial to people with dementia. Reminiscing should be encouraged; it’s good for the person to talk and share old memories which usually makes them feel good too.

Speaking to Alzheimer’s Research UK, it is obvious that there is a great gap between the needs of those suffering from dementia and the knowledge and understanding of those in public transport and society as a whole.

Arranging travel on trains can be a stressful experience not only for the person with dementia but also their carer, the effects are multiplied even more when arranging group travel. An initiative such as this can help to alleviate the stresses and help those participating and those around feel at ease.

Arriva Rail North took over the operation of the Northern franchise in April 2017 and the Seed Corn Fund is a source of funding being made available through their franchise commitments.

In addition to the above the Friends of Bare Lane Station (the Lancaster Conservation Volunteer Group) have also been awarded a grant from ARN’s Station Adoption Fund. The £1300 grant is destined to be used to develop the now redundant site where the signal box at the station has recently been demolished. The group are hopeful of securing a Network Rail Community Licence to work on the disused site that is very close to the live railway and to the now automatically controlled level crossing.

Arriva Rail North recognises the invaluable work that volunteers carry out on stations and are making available a source of money through the Station Adoption Fund for recognised groups to help support them in their work.

Craig Harrop, ARN’s Client & Stakeholder Manager (West) commented: “We have many brilliant adoption groups across our network including the various Friends of Stations groups along the Bentham Line, who do an amazing job making our stations attractive and pleasant environments for our customers.