A NORTHFIELD woman, who has recently become an officer with the Worcestershire Community Rail Partnership, is urging people and groups to adopt their railway station.
Fiona Saxon spoke about her hopes to get every station in the county adopted during Community Rail Week which ran from October 18 to Sunday, October 24.
She will be working with residents, volunteers, stakeholders and rail and station staff to create environments that are welcoming and vibrant but also conducive to regeneration and identity building.
She said: “It will be a challenging yet rewarding role and I can’t wait to find out about all the diverse communities.
“By expressing a station’s individuality, through the pride and self-belief engendered by making a station their own, the community has a natural draw for travellers passing through who will want to discover more about the area.
“This means that by taking an active role in showcasing their local stations, communities can encourage tourism and new businesses to come to their home towns and communities will thrive.”
The CRP works with several rail operators and receives funding from them. It has a joint board whose representatives meet four times a year to decide what projects to look at and what to focus on.
Fiona added: “In Droitwich Spa, funding was allocated for the Friends of Droitwich Spa to maintain planters, but this could have been artwork such as the mural that can be found at Worcestershire Parkway.
“These projects are community led so it’s what locals feel is right for the station.”
Kidderminster has a community group which is interested in maintaining the station and is hoping to get plants donated from a local garden centre.
In Hagley, local schools are being approached to see if they would like to support the adoption of the station.
“It’s all about bringing the community together to make change happen.
“Travel is an essential part of the community, and we remind people the station is there to serve them and the more they use the stations and railway network, the more integrated it becomes.
“With more people using the railway and station, the more improvements we can make.”
Fiona has many ideas for Worcestershire’s stations but getting every one adopted is the first priority.
“I will be encouraging local people to get involved with that.
“Sustainable travel and environmentally friendly stations are also a high priority so I’m particularly excited to facilitate any projects that support this such as bike hire, good walking and cycling routes to the station and planting insect friendly flowers and shrubs.”
Local people and organisations should visit westmidlandsrailway.co.uk/adopt-station for more on adopting a railway station.