Guest column: Make stations a welcoming gateway to the town

Gainsborough Lea Road station
Gainsborough Lea Road station

Railway stations, being gateways to communities, should be welcoming.

However, many stations fall short of a welcome the local community would like.

Ten years ago a group of residents in Market Rasen came together with the idea of adopting their station.

With floral displays, painting competitions, book exchange, and much more they have made the station a welcoming gateway to the town.

All they now need is more trains as so many people are now using the railway.

Five years ago newly formed GRaB group started a station adoption group at Lea Road station.

It too has flourished as the Friends of Lea Road station bring both seasonal colour and seating to the station frontage and more recently painted over the graffiti-ridden waiting shelter on platform one.

East Midland Trains (EMT), who manage Lea Road station, have made some improvements with better lighting and a help point, but there is more to be done.

Next week EMT’s management team plan to descend upon the station to clean up platform two.

The Friends have already set a high standard with platform one.

The North Notts and Lincs Community Rail Partnership (CRP) cover 11 stations from Shireoaks in the west to Barnetby in the east.

Recently, station adoption groups have been formed for Worksop and Shireoaks.

Efforts are also in hand to adopt Retford and Barnetby stations.

That still leaves us with Gainsborough Central, Kirton in Lindsey, Brigg and Saxilby without any volunteer adoption.

Please e-mail with offers to help at any of these stations.

Missing from this list is Lincoln, the busiest station in our CRP.

The station has been adopted by Lincoln Rotary who are working on plans to tell a story to passengers through photographs mainly sourced from newspaper archives.

This is both an ambitious and exciting project.

Our Lincoln area chairman Peter Harrold has an illustrated presentation which he is delighted to show to local groups.

E-mail Peter at if you would like him to talk to your group.

The CRP is not just about making stations worthy gateways.

Already in our first month since our inaugural board meeting we have developed excellent relationships with East Midland Trains, TransPennine Express, Virgin Trains East Coast and Stagecoach East Midland buses.

Working closely with these, and other, transport providers will result in benefits to both passengers and the wider communities which they serve.

Our aim is to integrate transport from your door to your destination so that using the car becomes unattractive.