Back to blog

Dec 2023

Partnership Chairman Keith Walton in New Years Honours List

Severnside Community Rail Partnership’s founder and Chairman Keith Walton has been awarded an MBE for services to Urban Rail Transport in Bristol.

The Partnership was established in 2004 to encourage the use of rail on routes radiating from Bristol, and to involve communities in improving stations and facilities.

The work of the Partnership has contributed to the continued growth of rail in the area. Total passenger footfall on Severn Beach line stations in 2004/5 was about 502,000.  In 2022/23 this had increased to 1,839,000.  The Weekday train service in 2004 comprised 15 trains a day to/from Avonmouth, with 7 being extended to/from Severn Beach.  For most of the day passengers to/from Severn Beach had to change at Avonmouth to/from a bus shuttle.  There was no Sunday service on the line. The service today is half-hourly to Avonmouth with trains hourly running though to Severn Beach.  The Sunday service is hourly with all trains going to/from Severn Beach.

Over recent years Severnside Community Rail Partnership has expanded it’s range of activities to encourage local people to try the train and use wider public transport network, including supporting those with perceived barrier to rail travel.  Encouraging young people to make sustainable, healthy travel choices is another core focus; this area of work is delivered by a team of qualified teachers under a scheme know as Platform.

Keith Walton said “I am extremely pleased to be awarded this honour, which came as a complete surprise”.