Work has started to transfrom Spalding Rail Station into a ‘gateway’ fit for the town after campaigners reached a deal to adopt it.
Volunteers from businesses, including Bakkavor Spalding and Tulip Radio, joined members of environmental group Spotless Spalding at the train station on Saturday for the first of a weekly, two-hour project to transform it.
The project came about after a deal between Spalding and Peterborough Transport Forum and East Midlands Trains in April to plant flower beds, clean up the station front and paint the shelter on one of the platforms.
George Scott, chairman of Spalding and Peterborough Transport Forum, said: “We had about 20 people down there and, in two hours, we did quite a lot thanks to those who came.
“We cleared the front of the station up, including cobble stones, cigarette boxes, car park and platform two.
“My ambition is to turn the station back into a lovely Victorian station and we’re looking for any businesses that would like to sponsor us or do anything with us to help turn it back into the rail station of old.
My ambition is to turn the station back into a lovely Victorian station and we’re looking for any businesses that would like to sponsor us or do anything with us to turn it back into the rail station of oldGeorge Scott, chairman of Spalding and Peterborough Transport Forum
“In the future, we’re looking to have a cafe, paper shop, meeting room and taxi rank there.
“Spalding Rail Station is the gateway to the town and it creates a first impression of our town, so we have to be proud of it.”
Plans for the train station were discussed at a meeting last Thursday where Mr Scott and the transport forum vice chairman Louise McGuinness were joined by James MacColl of the Campaign for Better Transport and John Hayes, MP for South Holland and the Deepings.
Mr Hayes, president of the transport forum and Minister of State for Transport, said: “I’ve been president of the forum for a number of years, but the real work has been done by George and Louise who have both played a really important part in highlighting transport issues here.
“We’ve had our successes and adopting Spalding Rail Station will, I hope, make a significant difference which is very good news given that it’s been a campaign that’s been going on for some time.”
The forum had backing from Mr Hayes to continue its efforts to reopen Littleworth Rail Station in Deeping St Nicholas, part of the Spalding to Peterborough line, and to put pressure on train operators for more services between Spalding and Lincoln.
It also emerged that talks are planned between the forum, Mr Hayes and bus operators over the possible launch of a new bus service between Spalding, the Deepings and Peterborough.
But Mrs McGuinness said: “We’ll obviously need support from Lincolnshire County Council because it’s the subsidising authority for buses.”