Gainsborough station turning into a ‘wildlife reserve’

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Gainsborough Central Station has been branded the town’s ‘newest wildlife reserve’ as overgrowth of weeds and plants on the platform continues to go uncontrolled.

And the lack of maintenance has been attacked for undermining efforts to encourage more people to use the station, in the hoping of one day increasing services.

Once home to a listed grand station building, Gainsborough Central hasn’t had a daily timetable since the 80s - and now only runs a handful of services on Saturdays.

Paul Johnson of the Gainsborough, Retford & Brigg Bus and Rail Group (GRaB) which is campaigning for better local transport links, said: “It’s become a wildlife reserve, or like a scene from Day of the Triffids.

“The station operators are saying it’s not a priority because there’s only trains one day a week - but we’ve been working for years to bring more passengers to the station and it’s working. We’ve had a 30 per cent increase year on year, and station maintenance is central to encouraging more passengers.

“It should be Gainsbourough’s main station – it’s right by the town centre, and we’re seeing more and more people travel in to this station at the weekend, and go home again from Lea Road.

The station has previously been compared to ‘a desert in Beirut’ and last year it was named one of the country’s top ten “Haunting, Forgotten Stations Served by Britain’s ‘Ghost Trains’.”

The station faced closure in the 90s but it was thanks to an act of parliament that it was protected, and since then only the bare minimum of services have continued.

But the campaigners say what few services are already in place are popular, and a positive approach would see

Mr Johnson added: “The two car train on Saturday morning is always packed - people are left standing.”

“I’m not expecting the station rebuilt overnight, but we can at least hope for some basic station maintenance.

“One day we could structure a daily timetable with a train every two hours, and already you’d see passengers using them again.”

A spokesperson for Northern, run by Arriva North Rail, said at present there were no plans to alter services on the Brigg line.

They added: “We appreciate the local community would like to see more passenger services along the line – beyond the three passenger services every Saturday – and recognise that a compelling business case must be designed for the Department of Transport to consider further development of services.”