All welcome at March rail station public coffee morning

Published on: Friday, 30 June 2023
Last updated: Friday, 30 June 2023

A coffee morning event will be held at March railway station on Wednesday 5 July.

Rail passengers and local people will be able to enjoy a cuppa and ask rail managers and transport representatives questions about the train service and the station, from 7.00 to 12.00 noon.

The event, organised by the Hereward Community Rail Partnership, is also intended to provide a social space for local people with free hot drinks and snacks provided, and activities for children.

Beverly Bishop, Hereward Line CRP Officer, said:

“Now that the station redevelopment is complete, we have a lovely large booking hall where we are able to host community events. We are hoping to encourage not only rail passengers, but also people from the community to come along and enjoy a free hot drink, cake and biscuits and have a chat.

“Everyone is welcome, and we’d love to see people who haven’t yet visited the transformed station or travelled on a train in a while as we can help with lots of practical advice to build confidence and ideas for where to visit.

“The coffee morning is an inclusive event, open to all and a space where people can meet, chat and find out about active, sustainable travel.”

The Friends of March Railway station, a volunteer group which helps to look after the station, will also be opening the station’s community rooms to visitors from 9am until 12pm.

The group has carried out a lot of fundraising and work over the last few years to restore the old station room interiors, including opening a permanent model railway room in one of them, and which will be available to see on the day.

Hereward CRP, which is managed by Fenland District Council in partnership with train operators, railway user groups, station adoption groups and local residents who all look after the Hereward Line in Fenland, is currently running a survey to find out people’s views about the recent redevelopment of March station, which has seen the buildings’ interiors completely remodeled and a new and extended car park created.

Cllr Chris Seaton, Chairman of the Hereward CRP, Fenland District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Transport and Chairman of the March Station Project Board, said:

“We’d love to hear what people think to the redevelopment of the station, which was delivered through our Railway Station Masterplans Project, and also how facilities can be further improved in future.

“It’s also a chance to find out more about the Hereward Community Rail Partnership which champions improvements to the Hereward Line, and at its stations at March, Manea and Whittlesea, and engages communities to help them get the most out of their railway.”

Over the last two years, Greater Anglia has redeveloped the entire station to create an open-plan ticket hall and waiting area, with accessible modern toilet facilities and retail outlets on platform 1, and a bigger, upgraded car park.

The major redevelopment was delivered through Fenland District Council’s Railway Station Masterplans project, as part of a £9.5million package of funding from the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, chaired by Mayor Dr Nik Johnson, and support from Greater Anglia.

The Masterplans project is delivering improvements to passenger facilities at the three Fenland stations – Manea, March and Whittlesea – along the Ely to Peterborough Hereward Line, to improve connections between the Fenland towns and other regional centers of education and employment, creating an attractive alternative to the car for more sustainable journeys.

Greater Anglia also worked with the Bee Friendly Trust and station adoption volunteers to install hundreds of bee-friendly flowers, shrubs and trees to create green areas in the new car park.