Is it time for train station re-vamp?

FRUSTRATED commuters have spoken out about the ‘poor state’ of Gainsborough’s Lea Road Station and called for improvements to be made to its service, appearance and security.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 18th June 2012, 8:08 am

The station is known for having fallen into disrepair over the years, and rail-users have spoken out about how little has been done to bring about development.

In 2010, West Lindsey District Council announced that improvements to the station were part of their Growth Point Plan. Not only that, but last July it was announced that a £2.2 million joint investment programme delivered by East Midlands Trains and Network Rail would see new information screens installed in Gainsborough.

Back in February, rail ticket prices increased by an average of 5.9 per cent, with East Midlands Trains MD David Horne defending the price hike by saying: “Money raised through fares helps to pay for better train services and improved facilities at stations.”

Since then however, very little has been done to improve facilities and services at the station.

Now East Midlands Trains say that they are making a significant investment to improve Gainsborough Lea Road, with plans including more CCTV, a re-painting and the possibly new waiting shelters. Town Mayor and member of the Gainsborough Rail and Bus Users Group, Coun Lesley Rollings said that she wanted to see more done to turn the station into a ‘hub for the community’.

“I would hope that more will be done to see this project move forwards,” she said. “It would be great to see that building as more of an interactive hub for passengers and a true focus for the community - we’d love to support that.”

Coun Rollings continued: “Everyone is keen for the station to become better for everyone. We want to see action taken to make it more safe and comfortable and to provide more of a friendly welcome for people coming into Gainsborough. In most places, a train station is a centre for the community with restaurants and info of what people can see and do - that’s what this town deserves.”

When asked what improvements they’d like to see made at the station, Standard readers had a number of suggestions.

Tracy Lannigan said: “It would be good to see manned. Litter bins, toilets and a shop that stayed open would also be nice.”

Maggie Mavrick added: “A ticket machine would be good, and a help phone.”

A spokesman from East Midlands Trains said that a number of initiatives were in place in an attempt to make improvements at the station - with new CCTV cameras due to be installed soon.

“We have been working with the local authority on the installation of CCTV, and are currently putting the final arrangements in place for this to be fitted at the station,” he said. “East Midlands Trains are committed to making improvements at our stations and are currently investing around £10 million in station improvements across the network. As part of our station enhancements programme, we are looking to re-paint the station and are also considering the installation of new waiting shelters.”

He continued: “In addition, we have held a successful community day at the station where we cleared a lot of the vegetation and waste from one side of the station and will be shortly arranging another community day to improve the gardens and look at providing tubs and planters to brighten up the station.”

A spokesman from West Lindsey District Council added: “WLDC as been working with East Midlands Trains and Lincolnshire County Council to look at ways of improving the station.”

“The wider project to improve station facilities and car-parking is currently on hold as the land is in private ownership but the station remains a priority identified within the Gainsborough Transport Strategy.”