Working with key partners in 2017 Southeast Communities Rail Partnership (SCRP) developed a programme of Independent Train Travel Training to break down barriers experienced by young people in travelling independently by rail and to encourage a more active sustainable way of travelling. The Active Access for Growth programme coordinated through East Sussex County Council included partners such as Sustrans and Living Streets came to its conclusion this March after four years of successful train travel training even with a particularly challenging past year. The training sessions included a classroom workshop followed by a visit to the local train station and a train trip to a nearby destination.
During the programme 654miles were travelled with 207 participants with the support of Southern Railway and the fantastic ‘Try a Train’ scheme. Station managers and staff have been incredibly supportive during this time providing assistance on the day and sometimes an opportunity to make onboard announcements! Particular thanks to Station Managers Kate Richards and Andy Gardner, the team at Lewes, Hampden Park and Eastbourne, Su from Moulsecoomb Station and Antony Merlyn GTR Accessibility Manager.
A huge thankyou also to all those who participated for making this such an enjoyable rewarding programme and particularly for support from staff and students at Hazelcourt Secondary and FE College in Eastbourne.
- Participants felt more confident to travel by train and would choose to do so in the future. Schools and colleges felt more confident in travelling by train with students and would like to repeat the experience.
- Increased awareness of barriers to travel for some passengers such as disability, anxiety and inexperience in railway staff .
- A total of 207 young people participated in ITTT from 17 organisations.
- 100% Key Partner satisfaction.
- The ITTT programme was promoted to 229 businesses, organisations and educational establishments.
- 98% felt they had learnt new skills and had met new people.
- 87% of participants were satisfied with the training.
- 65% of participants felt more confident travelling by train with 100% agreeing that further repeated training would give more confidence. Some participants travelled by train for the first time.
- Online provision and signposting for educational materials with assistance of SCRP Education Officer on website and social media. Working in conjunction with Network Rail, GTR and community rail partnerships across the country.
- Ongoing promotion of how to travel by train safely through the creation of an educational video #TravelSafely shared through AAfG colleagues, school and college contacts and railway company.
- Work alongside train operating companies to send positive travel safely messaging via social media and website.
- Additional work on the Schools Travel Programme working to encourage pupils returning in September and March to choose a more active sustainable mode of travel
“ The trouble with this country is there are too many cars everybody should go by train!”
Neil, ‘’ ‘Get Into Trains’ participant
“This training was perfect for our young people, the training was flexible, which particularly supports our SEN students”
Teacher, Hazelcourt FE College
Lessons learned: Practice makes perfect!