Crowthorne Parish Councillor celebrates completion of station "wish list"By Becky Barnes
August 22, 2012
Improved security, a self-service ticket machine and extra carriages on rush hour trains have brought the smiles back to commuters’ faces at Crowthorne railway station.
The improvements, which also include security lights, CCTV, information displays and cycle racks, were part of the community’s wishlist championed by parish councillor Tina McKenzie-Boyle.
Cllr McKenzie-Boyle said: “As a commuter I found the customer experience was not getting people to work with a smile on their face.
“People came to me because they know I am a councillor – I wanted to improve the wellbeing of all station users.”
Cllr McKenzie-Boyle, who works in Reading and uses the station twice a day, began working with First Great Western to improve the Duke’s Ride station in June 2010.
The final item on the list, a self-service ticket machine, was put in place last month.
Cllr McKenzie-Boyle said: “My wish list from two years ago has all been actioned. We needed security, information and comfort.
“It has gone from being pitch black at night to having the stairs lit.”
She held regular meetings with Mal Thurman, First Great Western station manager for North Downs, and in July he promised an extra carriage would be added to prime time trains by the end of the summer, bringing them from two to three.
Cllr McKenzie-Boyle said: “This has already been actioned and now there is little squash – it used to be a bit of a pain to get a seat in the morning.”
Mr Thurman said: “I am delighted at the work that has been carried out.
“We now have a help point, CCTV, display screens, a public address system, as well as a ticket vending machine, which all go to improve the station environment for passengers.
“We have also been working with the parish council to establish a Station Adoption Scheme, whereby members of the community can come along and help us look after the garden and surrounding area.”
Mr Thurman suggested the community adopt scrubland around the station to create a traditional railway station garden and offered First Great Western’s financial backing for the makeover.
Cllr McKenzie-Boyle suggested four concrete panels by platform one, for schools in Crowthorne to adopt and paint a mural of their view of the village or their school.
First Great Western has agreed to pay for plaques for each of the murals and the parish council will arrange this with the community’s schools.
Cllr McKenzie-Boyle said: “It is a very community spirited idea to me and the next step is that we take pride and make it more of a community area.”