|Tim Shoveller, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains, has officially opened the wedge shaped waiting room on platforms two and three at Kidsgrove railway station following a £42,000 refurbishment. The work has been jointly funded by Network Rail and Staffordshire County Council, which is a member of North Staffordshire Rail Partnership.The brick building, used by passengers travelling north towards Macclesfield and Manchester, and east to Stoke and Derby, has been completely gutted and the old fixtures and fittings replaced by modern facilities.
Mr Shoveller said: “It’s fantastic to see the successes that can be achieved through partnership working. We’re extremely pleased to have this new waiting facility at Kidsgrove station and would like to thank all the partners involved in delivering this scheme, which we know will be welcomed by our passengers.”
Network Rail’s route director said: “As one of the biggest engineering companies in the country we spend many millions of pounds on major projects. However, this refurbishment demonstrates that even small schemes are equally important to us. Passengers now have a bright, warm and dry waiting room in which to shelter from the elements.”
Throughout the project Network Rail has been working closely with North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership, whose officer Faye Lambert, said:”Our aim as a Community Rail Partnership is to develop North Staffordshire Line stations for the benefit of rail passengers, so we are delighted that Kidsgrove station will now have this new waiting facility.”
Staffordshire County Councillor for Newcastle South, Steve Sweeney, said: “These improvements will have a really positive impact on people using the waiting room. The safety features, such as CCTV and the electronic door that automatically locks at 6pm, will be a big boost to passengers who are catching trains early in the morning or late in the evening.
“This investment will encourage more people to take advantage of public transport which will reduce the number of cars on our roads, cutting congestion and helping to combat harmful C02 emissions that damage the environment.”
Inside the waiting room the walls have been repaired and repainted, skirting boards have been replaced and the wooden floor now has a new tiled surface. The windows are now uPVC but the stone lintels and wooden cills have been retained and repaired and a new glazed door gives out onto the platform.
The new door will have an electronic mechanism that automatically locks it after 6pm. This is to substantially reduce the risk of vandalism and anti social activities, however, there will be an emergency door release in the waiting room should anyone be accidentally locked in after this time.
To cut down on drafts, the other door has been removed and the opening partially bricked up to allow a new window to be installed. A second new window has been put in and both give a clear view of the new customer information screen on the platform, which means passengers can keep an eye on when their train is due and still stay warm and dry.
Lighting inside the waiting room is linked to a motion sensor. It only comes on when it detects movement in the room, reducing unnecessary waste and improving the station’s green credentials. The heating is also on a motion sensor so again, there is no wasted energy.
New seating has been provided and is a mixture of eight conventional seats and six that are ‘stand and perch’ style.
There are also two poster cases that have been provided for use by the Community Rail Partnership for the display of artwork created by local school children and other local groups. Four colourful canvases, created by pupils from Kidsgrove’s Clough Hall Technology School, also decorate the waiting room interior.
Outside the waiting room, the brickwork has been repaired and guttering and fascias renewed.
There is also a new CCTV system to deter vandalism and the Friends of Kidsgrove Station, who are all volunteers from the local community and have adopted the station, will keep a watchful eye on the new facilities.