Town helps spruce up its ‘tired’ train station

Lorraine Clode, chairman Emsworth Residents Association and Caroline Fisk school liason Emsworth Residents Association have been revamping Emsworth train station.   Pictured in the platform waiting room.  Picture: Allan Hutchings (113502-940)
Lorraine Clode, chairman Emsworth Residents Association and Caroline Fisk school liason Emsworth Residents Association have been revamping Emsworth train station. Pictured in the platform waiting room. Picture: Allan Hutchings (113502-940)

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A BID to give Emsworth Railway Station a new lease of life is closer to becoming a reality.

Residents have rallied round to spruce up the 100-year-old building, which was looking tired and had no waiting room or toilets.

Local schoolchildren from Emsworth Primary School have created flower window boxes to give the station a splash of colour.

And a total of £21,000 is set to be pumped into renovating the waiting room and toilets.

Lorraine Clode, chairwoman of Emsworth Residents’ Association, has worked to secure grant funding from Southern Railway, Hampshire County Council, and the South East of England Development Agency.

She said: ‘It’s difficult to get funding, but there is money out there.

‘Grants are out there but you have to put in a lot of effort. Everybody who has been to see what we are trying to do can see the level of community enthusiasm there is for it.’

Southern Railway is set to use its own contractors to carry out the improvement works – with a target date for reopening the waiting room and toilets of March next year.

Two community boards have been put up by the ticket office to promote activities in Emsworth.

Mrs Clode said: ‘It’s the community having a sense of ownership of it, certainly not having to shiver on the platform during the winter.

‘It will be a much more sociable place and a better and more representative gateway into Emsworth.’

Mrs Clode has also teamed up with Councillor Richard Galloway to press the rail authorities for a ramp on to the north platform.

There are currently only steps – meaning disabled people have to travel to the next station to change platform.

Mrs Clode added: ‘It’s outrageous. It’s a real priority and has been for a long time.’

The residents’ association is pressing for the bridge outside the station to be given a lick of paint as it is an eyesore.

Mrs Clode said: ‘As a first impression of Emsworth when you come out of that station, it’s pretty poor. It lets down the rest of the work we are doing. It’s good progress and we are absolutely not giving up. Failure is not an option.’