Left to right: Station adopters Cllr Ceri Lloyd, Rob Ward, Pat Hughes and Phil Lloyd with the award for Neston Station
The efforts of local volunteers, the train operator and Neston Town Council were recognised at the prestigious Chester Best Kept Station Awards. The ceremony was held at the Grange theatre in Hartford on 23 January and Neston was highly commended for its bright and attractive station that features an impressive mural in the underpass.
Volunteers have been hard at work since 2006 but has been some years since Neston station last featured in the annual best kept station awards. This new recognition is a result of the efforts that have been made in the last year or two to improve the flower arrangements on the platform, provide extra litter bins and, of course, repaint the underpass. The improvements are the product of a partnership between the station adopters, a group of volunteers led by former Neston Mayor Pat Hughes, the train operator, Neston Town Council and Sion Jones, one of the council’s contractors.
In recent years, the Town Council has taken an increasing interest in the local railway, and was responsible for starting the campaign for a half-hourly service on the local line in September 2014. The decision of the Town Council to become a station adopter in April 2016 was another sign of its commitment to public transport and improvements in the appearance of important public places in the town, including the painting of an impressive mural in the station underpass. The mural features work by pupils from Neston Primary School and Neston High School whose efforts were coordinated by graffiti artist Andy Birch from North Wales.
Pat Hughes said, ‘The volunteer station adopters are grateful for the support of Neston Town Council and Arriva Trains Wales, the train operator. This partnership has enabled us to make significant improvements to the station for the benefit of the public – ultimately leading to this recognition at the awards ceremony. We would welcome any offers from residents to help in our efforts at the station. Anyone interested should leave contact details at the reception desk in the town hall.’
Councillor Ceri Lloyd, a town councillor and station adopter said, ‘Neston station is an important gateway to our town and we need it to convey the right impression. The town council has backed the efforts of the volunteers and the train operator with useful contributions to station improvement as part of its wider interest in public transport. It is committed to protecting these improvements with proper security cameras and is working with other agencies to make those arrangements’.
Anyone who can offer any input to maintaining the station should visit Neston Town Hall and leave contact details at reception. Opening hours are 9.30am to 12 noon Monday to Friday.
Left to right: Phil Lloyd, Cllr Ceri Lloyd, Pat Hughes and Rob Ward in the station underpass