Hope Valley Railway Users’ Group was reconstituted in September 2008 with the aim of improving the Hope Valley service. Our key objective is to increase the frequency of services that stop in the Hope Valley. We are a membership organisation, and currently have around one hundred members, most of whom are regular users of the Hope Valley line.
Surveys carried out by HVRUG clearly show that the railway is highly valued by residents and tourists alike, and that passenger numbers have been increasing despite the limited service. Data from the Office of the Rail Regulator (ORR) also shows a 60% increase in passenger numbers in the last ten years. Four of the five Hope Valley stations register a passenger ‘footfall’ of over 60,000 per year.
In 2012 HVRUG’s survey of Hope Valley residents found 60% of respondents would use the rail service more for both commuting and leisure, if there was a better timetable. HVRUG believes that this line has untapped potential to attract significantly more visitors to the Peak District, boosting the local economy whilst helping reduce the level of road traffic and parking problems. So we welcomed Northern’s May 2018 timetable which provides an hourly service through the Hope Valley every day. This more frequent service should attract more users to the line to the benefit of all users.
However, HVRUG is keen to see further improvements on the line. We have proposals for improving the service, including timetabled stops at more stations, working ticket machines on all stations, a better system for the collection of fares and better management of car parking.