Go Gilsland and Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership (TVCRP) have announced the formal launch of a new demand led service to connect people from Gilsland to local railway stations and visitor attractions. Go Gilsland have been able to purchase a “G-Gaxy” electric car, with the capacity to carry four passengers plus luggage.
The launch will take place at Gilsland on Wednesday 11th September 2019, when Lady Jane Gibson, Chair of Hadrian’s Wall Partnership, will pull the ribbon to launch this new resource for the community.
The aim of the project is to connect the community of Gilsland with the national rail network and to connect visitors (be they tourists or on business) arriving by train, with both the World Heritage Site of Hadrian’s Wall and Gilsland. The area has considerable tourism potential and it is hoped that this new service will assist public transport users to connect with existing bus services and the Tyne Valley Railway Line as well as visiting the numerous attractions in the area. Volunteer drivers for the car have now been recruited and trained.
The scheme will work by prospective users booking the car via a telephone number 07399993979.
A range of sponsors have contributed to this project, including Northumberland National Park, The Joicey Trust, The Campaign to Open Gilsland Station, Gilsland Church of England School, The National Lottery, Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership and CrossCountry.
Fiona Forsythe, Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership Officer said, ‘We were delighted to be able to work with Go Gilsland and CrossCountry to secure funding for this project. Through reading a toolkit which had been sponsored by Cross Country on The Socially Enterprising Railway we realised that we too could be ‘socially enterprising’ and happily support the project.’
Alex Bray, Stakeholder Liaison Manager at CrossCountry, commented ‘We are delighted to see that Tyne Valley Community Railway Partnership has been able to use the Socially Enterprising Toolkit to develop an idea that will bring the railway closer to the heart of the communities they serve. The use of the car will be a great incentive to make visiting Gilsland more accessible and deliver a range of social and economic benefits to the area.’
Launch Day will be a great community event. Local school children will have the opportunity to develop their understanding of the technology behind electric cars through exploring the “G-Gaxy” with Tim Coombe of Sustainable Brampton (& Beyond) and throughout the coming term.