More and more community groups and individuals are adopting their local station. It’s all about local pride and seeing the station as an important part of the community. Railway companies have seen a rise in the use of adopted stations, less vandalism and in many cases externally-funded improvements.
Station Adoption Groups can undertake a wide variety of activities, ranging from feeding in comments, the provision of station enhancements such as gardens and planters, cycle racks through to art work and signage. Station adoption is a way of transforming stations, bringing them into the heart of the community and encouraging greater use of environmentally friendly public transport.
But there are some simple things which groups need to be aware of. Safety must be paramount! You also need to make sure that whatever you do, has the agreement of the train operating company and Network Rail, though they are very supportive of communities adopting their station.
To find out more about Station Adoption you can contact us at the Kent Community Rail Partnership or visit ACoRP for more information.This tells you how to go about setting up an adoption group and has lots of examples of what station adopters have achieved at stations around the country.
Network Rail’s Community Scheme
If your station adoption scheme also covers land that is not in the Southeastern lease then you may be able to do something with it via Network Rail’s Community Scheme. This enables voluntary groups to look after disused areas of Network Rail land, such as disused platforms, land adjoining stations, or land underneath viaducts. Groups keep the area tidy, pick up litter and trim vegetation. Some grow flowers, vegetables and herbs in tubs or planters.
Network Rail has devised precautions, based on the safety procedures for their track workers, to keep volunteers away from the danger of moving trains and make sure they don’t cause problems for the operating railway. They assess each proposal for a scheme in the light of these.
Adopted Stations on the SwaleRail Line
Sittingbourne – Sheppey College
Kemsley – Sheppey College
Swale – Sheppey College
Queenborough – Sheppey College
Sheerness-on-Sea – Sheppey College
Adopted Stations on the Medway Valley Line
Maidstone West (MVL) – Ian Paterson
Strood (MVL) – Bradfields Academy
How can I get involved?
At Kent CRP we are always looking for new volunteers who would like to join us and help to improve our stations along the Medway Valley and SwaleRail Line. You may wish to become a member of our line meetings and suggest fresh ideas, help out at our exciting events or even become more involved with adopting your local station. Through our partnership with Sustrans we can also provided some training.
You don’t have to be a superhero to be a volunteer, but sometimes it can come in very useful.
If you wish to volunteer to help at our events or become involved in supporting your local station then please contact us using the form below:
Alternatively email Kent.CRP@sustrans.org.uk