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A host of East Midlands Trains stations and employees from across Derbyshire, Leicestershire, South Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincoln have been recognised in the company’s Annual Best Stations Awards.
The awards, which are now in their sixth year, celebrate the best of the train operator’s 89 stations under the categories of Best Small Station, Best Medium Station, Best Large Station and Most Improved station. The awards also include Best Community Partnership, most environmentally friendly station and Outstanding Personal Contribution to recognise the employees who work hard to deliver the best service for customers. This year for the first time, there was also an award for the best station event team.
Kidsgrove won the award for best small station following the opening of a new community station cafe “A Spotter Tea” and the involvement of a wide range of external business and local schools to create an improved station environment. Market Harborough was named best medium station with the judges commenting on how impressed they were with the ‘can do’ attitude of the team there, including the external team of volunteers. Sheffield remained unbeaten as best large station for the fourth year running for its continuing excellent work with local charities, large number of customer praise letters and a number of local staff initiatives to create a better service for customers.
This year’s most improved station and station environment award went to two stations on the Derwent Valley Community Rail Line. Cromford was winner of the station environment award whilst Ambergate was most improved station. Ambergate impressed the judges for a variety of reasons including the improved access for customers and the very active station adopters who have created fantastic floral displays.
The community partnership award went to Alsager for its award winning station gardens including bespoke floral displays to mark special events and the involvement of local schools which has made a huge impact on reducing anti-social behaviour.
The new award for special event team, designed to recognise the challenges presented by large public events such as major sporting events, music festivals and concerts and other tourism events, went to the Lincoln Christmas Market Team. The annual Christmas Market at Lincoln is one of the largest in the country and attracts over 250,000 visitors. As a result of excellent team work and detailed planning, extra train services ran successfully and thousands of extra passengers travelled through the station.
Two East Midlands Trains employees were named as winners in the Outstanding Personal Contribution Award. Sue Drake, from the First Class Lounge at Leicester was nominated by the Area Station Manager who said of Sue; “she is a fantastic ambassador, not only for the First Class Lounge in Leicester but for East Midlands Trains. Her energy, constant strive for perfection and pleasant manner is a credit to her and us”. Shaun Leonard from Sheffield station was nominated by the management team who said of him; “Shaun strives to deliver an outstanding level of customer service and nothing is too much trouble for him”. Kim Sharman, from the Interserve Initial Cleaning Team at Nottingham, was also awarded in Outstanding Personal Contribution (non-station staff).
The awards are made by a panel of judges comprising independent passenger watchdog, Transport Focus, as well as East Midlands Trains’ directors and senior managers
Neil Micklethwaite, Customer Experience & Commercial Director for East Midlands Trains, said: “This is now the sixth year of our Best Stations Awards and the awards this year attracted more entries than ever before. For many of our customers, our stations and station teams will be the first point of contact with East Midlands Trains, and these awards are great recognition for our people and the work they are doing to make a real difference for their colleagues, customers and communities."
Stuart Edwards from Transport Focus, who helped to judge the awards, said: “Passengers value helpful staff and well-maintained stations. I was pleased to be invited to help judge the awards, which was a good opportunity to visit stations and witness first-hand the hard work that goes in to making them such integrated parts of the community.”
Voting is now open for East Midlands Trains Great Service Awards, where customers can nominate their favourite member of staff by picking a leaflet at any East Midlands Trains station or visiting eastmidlandstrains.co.uk. These awards will take place in November.