Security improvements have been announced for Alsager’s train station following a request from volunteers.
It is to share in £120,000 of investment for cctv cameras to help reduce anti-social behaviour, vandalism and litter.
Members of the Friends of Alsager Station volunteer group visit the station each week to look after the extensive gardens and to keep the public areas looking smart for passengers.
However, they regularly have to remove litter from the waiting shelters and report damage to windows, litter bins and seats. As a result, the group requested better cctv coverage of the shelters and this week East Midlands Railway, responsible for train services on the
Crewe to Derby line, awarded funding to North Staffs Community Rail Partnership to have a new camera installed in one of the shelters and for one of the existing platform cameras to be upgraded.
Claire Sandys, community rail partnership officer, said: “We are really looking forward to seeing improved cctv coverage at Alsager Station.
“The volunteers work very hard to improve the station environment for passengers and it is disheartening for them to arrive and find the place strewn with litter.”
East Midlands Railway has worked closely with volunteers and rail community groups to identify areas at the station, which require camera coverage such as hot spots for anti-social behaviour, vandalism and graffiti.
Lisa Angus, transition and projects director at East Midlands Railway, added: “We work closely with our station adoption teams and local people across our network to fully understand the issues at their local station and address areas of concerns.
“Many of these stations are gateways to communities and quite rightly people are very proud of their appearance.
“We hope these new cctv cameras will help to cut down anti-social behaviour, graffiti and vandalism and help customers feel reassured when they use the station.”
Coun Michael Unett, chair of Alsager Town Council, said: “I would welcome any investment in anything that will improve our railway station and the experience of users. Hopefully the investment in cctv will allow passengers and those living near the station to feel safer.”
In another attempt to curb anti-social behaviour the platform two shelter has recently been adopted by pupils from Alsager’s Excalibur Primary School. They have planted plants in two new trough planters and their work is displayed in poster cases on the wall.
The other stations to benefit from East Midland Railway’s funding for cctv are Belper, Matlock Bath and Willington in Derbyshire.
Work continued on improvements to Alsager’s station during the pandemic, achievements that were celebrated last year. They included new dementia friendly signage, a Cheshire Best Kept Station award and the return of the full East Midlands Railway service to the town after the hourly service was axed in 2020.
The Friends of Alsager Station group was also presented with a special Cheshire Best Kept Station award for its contribution to the dementia friendly project and for ongoing work on the station’s extensive gardens.
The gardens include areas of wildflowers, fruit trees and perennial shrubs, which are complemented by trough planters and baskets full of bulbs and bedding plants.
Volunteers meet every Tuesday morning during the spring and summer months to maintain the platform gardens.