GERALDTownson, of Friends of Bentham Station, has been elected chairman of the Leeds-Lancaster Morecambe Community Rail Partnership (CRP).

He succeeds Richard Rollins, who stepped down after three years feeling it was important that there have a change every so often to help re-invigorate the organisation and bring in fresh ideas and dynamism.

At the annual general meeting, Mr Rollinson reflected on progress for the CRP over the past three years and marketed as the Bentham Line.

He said one of the most significant developments was service designation had been achieved which gave the CRP a role as an official consultee for franchise changes as well as access to additional funding. Investigations are proceeding as to how this can best be used to appoint an additional part-time CRP officer based on the line.

Publicity has increased, with a successful Bentham Line poster campaign displayed at stations throughout northern England. A guided walks programme has been published every six months, a new Windowgazer Guide has been produced and a branding scheme is progressing with boards, part funded by the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP) being erected at stations from Heysham to Skipton.

The line runs from Leeds to Morecambe and for more details, visit