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Lincoln, Derby, East Midlands Parkway, Kidsgrove and Market Rasen all named as winners
East Midlands Trains’ station staff are celebrating after the winners of the company’s second annual ‘Best Station Awards’ were announced. The awards look to recognise the best of the company’s 89 stations under the categories of Best Small Station, Best Medium Station, Best Large Station and Most Improved Station. A new category of ‘Best Community Partnership’ was also introduced this year, recognising the significant station improvement work that has been delivered through successful community schemes.
Lincoln Central station scooped the award for Most Improved Station this year. The judges praised the station team for the improvements made, including the opening of a new Customer Information Point to provide a greater level of information for passengers and improved toilet and waiting room facilities. Above all, the judges were impressed with the strong sense of community and teamwork in evidence at this station.
In the large stations category, Derby was named as winner. One of the most keenly contested awards in this year’s competition, this station has been transformed with a new waiting room, new customer information screens, signage and replacement flooring as part of a multi-million investment programme. In addition to the physical improvements however, the judges were also impressed with the team’s focus on improving the customer experience at Derby.
One of the newest stations on the network, East Midlands Parkway picked up the award for Best Medium Station. The judges were particularly impressed with the team, who take great pride in their station and have established East Midlands Parkway as a key location on the network over the past two year by delivering improvements in customer service and taking a proactive approach to dealing with events to promote the new station.
Kidsgrove in Staffordshire was named as Best Small Station, which has benefitted from new and improved facilities including a refurbished waiting room, new customer information screens and new station signage. However, the judges particularly praised the dedication, hard work and energy shown by Helen Gatensbury at Kidsgrove, who has also reached the shortlist in the ACoRP Community Rail Awards for Outstanding Railway Staff contribution. In addition, the support of the North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership and the dedicated team of station adopters and volunteers at Kidsgrove, who have also been shortlisted in the ACoRP awards, were highlighted as a fantastic asset to the station and one that helped to secure its place as winner of small station of the year.
Last, but by no means least, Market Rasen in Lincolnshire won the award for Best Community Partnership. The station adoption group at this station, in partnership with East Midlands Trains’ station team at Lincoln, have helped to transform the station from one which presented a dull and uninviting environment and often suffered from vandalism and graffiti, to a station that passengers can be proud to travel from. The station now benefits from some fantastic murals painted by local artists and a local school and reflect scenes associated with Market Rasen, including the racecourse, Lincoln Red Cattle and the Lancaster Bomber.
Sheffield, Lincoln, Kettering, Blythe Bridge and Kidsgrove stations all received 'Runners up' awards.
Wayne Kyte, Route Manager for East Midlands Trains who leads the Best Stations Awards, said: “Last year’s awards generated so much enthusiasm amongst our staff and it was great to see such a wide range of high quality entries this year.
“As a company, we’re investing £10 million to improve our stations, and this will make a big difference for our passengers. However, we recognise the huge impact that our people have on creating the right impression for passengers using our stations, and this awards ceremony is about recognising the hard work and commitment of our station teams.
“The judges had a really difficult decision choosing the five winning stations, but we’re confident the winners and the runners-up are fully deserving of their awards. We congratulate all the winners on their success.”
Linda McCord from Passenger Focus, who helped to judge the awards, said: “I was very pleased to be invited to join the judging panel for this year’s awards. As part of the process, I visited many stations and was very impressed with the visibility of staff across the East Midlands Trains network, which is so important for passengers.”
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