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A gardening project on the platforms at Alsager rail station is now complete thanks to a station adoption project with local residents.
Friends of Alsager station, a group of local residents, have joined forces with the North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership (NSCRP) to improve Alsager station for passengers and the community.
Using funds won by the Partnership from the O2 ‘It’s Your Community’ fund and the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP), the hard-working group has transformed the extensive garden beds on the station platforms.
All the weeds have been cleared, the beds dug with compost and hundreds of new, easy maintenance shrubs have been planted to provide a more attractive waiting environment for passengers using the station.
Now members of the group will maintain the plants and keep the beds looking good through the seasons.
Two of the Friends members also provide additional support to the Partnership, taking it in turns to regularly check the station and report on issues like track litter and graffiti, helping to ensure the station is well maintained for passengers.
Peter Smith, spokesperson for the Friends said: “The project has given us a real sense of pride and we’re keen to maintain a station garden that is worthy of our lovely village.”
Partnership Officer for the North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership, Faye Lambert said: “Projects such are this are the lynchpin of community rail. They show how community rail partnerships add value by giving local people the opportunity to work with the train operator to improve local rail services.”
Emma Knight, Head of External Communications for East Midlands Trains, said: “At East Midlands Trains we are very supportive of community rail and an active member of the North Staffordshire Partnership. This project is a great example of involving the community in developing the local rail service. Congratulations to the Friends for their outstanding achievement.”
The North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership joins local authorities, businesses and community groups with the aim of improving the North Staffordshire Line (Crewe-Stoke-Derby). Current partners are North Staffordshire Line train operator East Midlands Trains; Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire County Councils; Stoke-on-Trent City Council; the North Staffordshire Rail Promotion Group and ‘Railfuture’ (West Midlands branch).