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The community partnership that is working with Thameslink, First Impressions, is aiming to enhance the station at Elstree & Borehamwood.
The Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), which is the parent company of Thameslink, created a £15 million Passenger Benefit Fund which the community group, First impressions is now using to improve Elstree & Borehamwood station.
Passengers faced disruption in 2018 after major timetable changes, and the Passenger Benefit Fund is being used to now provide tangible benefits for passengers.
Borough and County Councils and Thameslink and Elstree Screen Heritage formed the voluntary initiative ‘First Impressions’ who have since proceeded to carry out a survey on the public querying local passengers as well as stakeholders on how they would best like the grant money to be spent.
Over the past decade, First Impressions have added many flower beds and planters to help create a more welcoming feeling to public spaces, which was a key objective set out by the initiative at the very beginning.
In October 2019, the above-average grant of £80,000 was confirmed (the usual grant being £60,000 for each of the 250 plus stations), since multiple projects have been accepted meaning that the changes are able to commence at this station.
As one of the first projects the station forecourt and the open space on Allum Lane will be gaining some new planters to replace the plain and empty areas. Previously, attempts at displaying bright banners across the lighting columns have helped; however, now adding six new planters has now made the area much more eyecatching, making the area more attractive overall.
Also in 2019, the station was enlarged, which was funder by Thameslink. This gave the station a big push in the right direction to aid the station’s transformation from an eyesore to a beautiful space that can be pleasantly enjoyed by all the rail commuters and local residents
Similar improvements have now been commissioned by Thameslink at 18 other railway stations. They have commissioned Groundwork East which is a federation of charities that work both nationally and locally even through Covid.
As Operations Manager Chris Dungate says, ‘We are passionate about creating vibrant and green neighbourhoods and are delighted to have been part of the work undertaken at Elstree and Borehamwood.’
‘The new planters are a welcome addition to the station.’ says Chair Bob Redman
‘But just as welcome are improvements to the rest area beside Allum Lane. Covid restrictions in 2020 meant the large planter had become over-grown but Groundwork Trust has tidied it up as well.’
Tom Moran, Managing Director for Thameslink and Great Northern, said: “Our improvement programme is making stations smarter, more efficient and more sustainable. It’s great to be working with local partners here at Elstree & Borehamwood to make the station a better experience for passengers, and the best asset it can be for the community.”
This article first appeared on www.railadvent.co.uk
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