A NEW transport service has been launched in Gilsland to connect local residents with railway stations and visitor attractions.

Go Gilsland and the Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership have combined to create a new demand-led service and purchase a ‘G-Gaxy’ electric car, with the capacity to carry four passengers and their luggage.

The aim of the project is to connect the community of Gilsland with the national rail network. The village’s railway station on the Tyne Valley line closed in the late 1960s and a campaign to reopen it is ongoing.

The new service will help public transport users connect with existing bus services and trains as well as visiting the numerous attractions in the area.

Volunteer drivers for the car have now been recruited and trained, and the scheme will work by prospective users booking the car via the telephone number, 07399 993979.

A range of sponsors have contributed to the project, including Northumberland National Park, the Joicey Trust, the Campaign to Open Gilsland Station, Gilsland Primary School, the National Lottery, Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership and CrossCountry.

Lady Jane Gibson, chairwoman of the Hadrian’s Wall Partnership, pulled the ribbon to launch the new resource for the community on Wednesday.

Fiona Forsythe, the Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership’s officer said: “We were delighted to be able to work with Go Gilsland and CrossCountry to secure funding for this project.”

Alex Bray, stakeholder liaison manager at CrossCountry, added: “We are delighted to see that Tyne Valley Community Railway Partnership has been able to develop an idea that will bring the railway closer to the heart of the communities they serve. The use of the car will be a great incentive to deliver greater social and economic benefits.”