Greater Anglia invites people in Essex to get involved with local rail station improvements

Published on: Wednesday, 24 January 2024
Last updated: Wednesday, 24 January 2024

A Greater Anglia train passing over Chappel Viaduct.

Above: A Greater Anglia train passing over Chappel Viaduct. Credit: Greater Anglia

Greater Anglia is appealing for community volunteers to get involved with their local railway stations to help drive improvements and help make them more welcoming to passengers.

Vacancies for ‘station adopters’ currently exist at four rail stations in Essex:

  • Harlow Town
  • Kelvedon
  • Shenfield
  • Thorpe-le-Soken

The train operator hopes that individuals, community organisations or local councils who have an interest in improving their local rail station and bringing it into the heart of the community will come forward with their ideas.

Greater Anglia provides funding to help cover the costs of small projects, tools, and materials to help improve the station environment.

The station adoption programme in East Anglia, which was launched in 2003, has been a great success. It enables individuals or groups to adopt their local railway station and contribute to its presentation and welfare for the benefit of the local community.

The voluntary scheme was originally created to improve lines of communication between the train operator and station users however, over the years, it has grown to become much more, with station adopters now playing an active role in keeping stations looking good through gardening projects that create an attractive welcome and support local wildlife and biodiversity, creative community art projects, taking part in station ‘health checks’ or being the eyes and ears of their station.

Station adopters have also played a key role in raising money for new initiatives, such as improved waiting facilities or planting beautiful station gardens.

Most stations on the Greater Anglia network are adopted, but the train operator is seeking adopters for the final few that are not yet part of the positive scheme or where a previously adopted station has become available for adoption again.

Anyone interested in adopting their station should contact Alan Neville, who runs the station adoption initiative, at [email protected] .

Alan, who is Greater Anglia’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager, said:

“We would love to see every station on the network adopted as it makes such a positive difference when the community is actively involved in their local station.

“Station adoption creates mutually beneficial relationships and dialogue to help us understand what improvements are important to local people and promotes civic pride and wellbeing by bringing people together and enhancing public spaces.”

Greater Anglia now has over 330 adopters at over 125 stations across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire.