A COMMUNITY rail service has been given a cash boost – to try persuade more people to use the line.
The Penistone Line Partnership has received thousands of pounds, after securing rural development funding to promote using off-peak trains for having fun.
The Penistone Line runs between Huddersfield and Sheffield, with both on-peak and off-peak services being available.
The injection of funds will help the Penistone Line Partnership promote the line for leisure use and to promote the economy in the rural areas of the East Peak.
The funding comes via the East Peak Innovation Partnership Leader programme, which distributes money from the Rural Development Programme for England. This is jointly funded by The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the European Union.
The Penistone Line Partnership is a voluntary organisation that supports and promotes community involvement along the Huddersfield to Sheffield railway line.
It includes stations at Lockwood, Berry Brow, Honley, Brockholes, Stocksmoor, Shepley, Denby Dale, Penistone, Silkstone Common, Dodworth and Barnsley Interchange.
Rowena Chantler, Community Rail Officer with the partnership, said: “We have direct transport connections to amazing scenery, world-class walking and cycling trails, a wealth of industrial heritage and towns and villages full of character and traditions.
“Lots of things are going on and taking a day out by train is easy and not as expensive as people may think.
“We want to encourage people who don’t use the line at the moment to give it a go, or for them to tell us why it’s not for them.”
Neil Bentley, who chairs the Penistone Line Partnership, explained the importance of growing passenger numbers on the route.
He said: “Making sure that the off-peak trains are as full as possible helps to ensure the line has a healthy future and can even justify further improvements to the line.”
The Partnership will be running a number of events and activities aimed at getting the word out there.
Initially, thy will be asking local people to tell them about where they like to spend their leisure time.