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A new garden is now in full bloom at Blythe Bridge railway station.
The project, part of a programme of station improvement projects for the North Staffordshire Line (Crewe-Derby) by the North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership, has been transformed thanks to a £250 grant from the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP) and work by station adoption volunteers.
Blythe Bridge station adoption volunteers Graham and Norah Stanier have used their green-fingered expertise to plant up the 70 evergreen flowering shrubs purchased.
The display includes species such as forsythia and azaleas and has completely transformed the once overgrown plot adjacent to Platform 2.
The project follows on from the complete renewal by the volunteers in 2008 of the extensive garden bed on Platform 1. Then a weed-grown plot was turned into a colourful, eye-catching display of over 100 flowering shrubs and herbaceous plants, which has welcomed passengers to the station ever since.
Commented Graham: “We’ve really enjoyed improving the station for passengers and the community. We also tend and maintain the gardens to ensure they continue to look their best throughout the seasons.”
The new garden is the latest in a whole range of improvements made possible at Blythe Bridge via funding raised by the North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership.
New customer information screens (CIS), which help keep passengers more informed about local rail services, have been installed on both platforms, as have anti-vandal-design shelters, providing a modern and sustainable waiting facility for passengers using the hourly East Midlands Trains’ Crewe-Derby service, which serves the station.
Blythe Bridge station is also now covered by CCTV, installed both as a deterrent against incidents of minor vandalism and to improve the security of passengers waiting at what is an unstaffed station.
Other projects also delivered at Blythe Bridge station through the Partnership include the provision of new platform signage, passenger notice boards and painting improvements using anti-vandal coatings.
The improvements at Blythe Bridge are having a very positive impact on passenger numbers using the station. Partnership Officer, Faye Lambert, said: “39,000 passengers a year are now using Blythe Bridge station; that compares to 32,000 in 2008/09, a growth of almost 20%. The adoption project at Blythe Bridge is led by Forsbrook Parish Council and illustrates just how much communities can achieve by working together in partnership.”
Claire Ansley, Route Manager for East Midlands Trains said: “The station adoption volunteers across the North Staffordshire Line are doing a fantastic job of brightening up the stations, and we are really pleased with the improvements that have been made. These further improvements at Blythe Bridge will make a big difference and we would like to thank the team for their hard work.”
Photocall opportunity: Tuesday 20 April 2010, 10.00 a.m. at Blythe Bridge station, Uttoxeter Road, Blythe Bridge, with members of the Blythe Bridge station adoption group. Please ask for Faye Lambert on arrival.