Dear Supporter, A very brief note to wish you a happy New Year and a good 2022, and to give an update. The success of the crowdfunding scheme has been my own highlight of 2021 and I’m indebted to everyone that contributed and showed support. Over the past year the world (yes, even here in the Cotswolds) has become more aware of the need for safer, healthier, cheaper and more sustainable ways of getting around. Ideas like this, that ten years ago were dismissed as pointless, cranky or impossible, are now more often than not met with interest and enthusiasm. Things are changing quickly but time will tell if that is quickly enough, for public health or for the climate. In the summer a group of us walked the whole line and it is obvious that, physically, the line would be easily transformable. We also walked to and from Stow on the Wold, via Maugersbury, to join the line; a transformed line could serve the Stow on the Wold community just as well as those of Bourton, Bledington and Kingham. There’s a lung-busting hill, it’s true, but regular exercise, a small battery or the use of a horse would soon deal with that. The crossing of the A424 might prove one of the bigger challenges; the railway dipped down to go under a road bridge and in their wisdom the highway engineers of the time opted to fill the ditch and flatten the road. Hopefully, Sustrans will tell us how to get past that hurdle. I had hoped that by now we would have the Sustrans report but it has been unavoidably delayed. Sustrans have apologised to me for the delay, and in turn I’m apologising to you. It’s very good that Sustrans are so busy, but frustrating that we can’t start looking at the next steps. It should however be with us early in 2022. During the last two years the number of cyclists dying in accidents on rural roads in England has increased dramatically (48 in 2018, 60 in 2019, 89 in 2020). Alternative ways of getting around the Cotswolds, without a motor vehicle and as safely as possible, can’t come soon enough. It feels to me now, and I hope to you too, that repurposing this and other railways in Gloucestershire is finally receiving the interest that it deserves. It has been discussed at Parish, District and County council levels and has been the subject of enthusiastic discussion on local radio. Groups have formed to look at other disused railways in Gloucestershire, and to find other paths and tracks that could provide sustainable transport links. Whatever else this project achieves, it has raised awareness and brought together interested people and groups. So here’s to a 2022 with (hopefully) less virus, a population that is more aware than ever of the fragility of our world and of our own health, and a Sustrans report to get our teeth into, Paul Morrish Ps the attached image some extracts from the book “Railway Renaissance” by Gareth David. His father Trefor campaigned to save the Cheltenham Kingham railway route from the Beeching axe and Gareth has put some of that campaigning into the introduction to his (excellent) book.