Published on: Tuesday, 7 March 2023
Last updated: Tuesday, 7 March 2023
Train passengers can ask rail managers and transport representatives questions about services and improvements – and enjoy a free cuppa – during a ‘Let’s Talk’ event at March station.
Passengers using Greater Anglia, East Midlands Railway and Cross Country services in and out of March, will be able to attend the event on Wednesday 15 March 2023 from 8.00 to 12.00 noon.
Managers will be available to answer passengers’ questions and listen to feedback and comments - which will help them to help continually improve the service in line with customers’ priorities.
At the same time, the Hereward Community Rail Partnership (CRP) will hold its first ever coffee morning in the station’s booking hall. Everyone is welcome and the event is also intended to provide a warm space for local people with free hot drinks and snacks provided.
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 for the first time. 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 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.
“It’s really exciting to be holding our first coffee morning and we aim to make it an inclusive event, open to all and a space where people can get warm, chat to others and find out about active, sustainable travel.”
The Friends of March station, a volunteer group which helps to look after the station and which, over the last few years has carried out fundraising and work to restore the old station room interiors, including opening a permanent model railway room in one of them, will open the community rooms to visitors from 8am until 12pm.
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 remodelled and a new and extended car park created.
Those who cannot make the event but would like to contribute to the survey can do so online at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MarchRailwayStationSurvey
Cllr Chris Seaton, Fenland District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Transport and Chairman of the March Station Project Board, added: “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 Whittlesey, and engages communities to help them get the most out of their railway.”
Martin Moran, Greater Anglia’s Commercial, Customer Service and Train Presentation Director, said, “It’s really important to us to hear from passengers about what matters to them and answer any questions they may have.
“We are keen to listen and understand people’s experiences so that we can work to continually improve our service and meet customers’ expectations and needs.”
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 centres 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.