IMPROVEMENTS which have been made to Uttoxeter railway station have been recognised as it was named one of the most improved stations at a prestigious awards ceremony last week.
The railway station has seen major changes in the past 18 months thanks to the involvement of the Uttoxeter community in improving the landscape of the town’s commuter hub.
Now the station has been named runner-up in the Most Improved Station category in East Midlands Trains’ Best Stations Awards 2012.
The award was made in recognition of the improvements made to the environment of the station by the North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership, which is responsible for it.
Faye Lambert, community rail project officer at the community rail partnership, said it had engaged the invaluable support of the Uttoxeter community and station volunteers to improve the station.
She told the Advertiser: “We are absolutely delighted that Uttoxeter station has been recognised in this way.
“Thanks to the support of local businesses such as JCB and Uttoxeter Racecourse and also Uttoxeter Town Council, in 2011 we were able to develop the ‘Welcome to Uttoxeter’ community mural for the station.
“In the last 18 months, we have also been successful in securing volunteer support for the station and our sterling group of station volunteers have certainly transformed the car park area, clearing and planting the beds and making a big difference.
“So this award really reflects the great community support for Uttoxeter station.” The award ceremony was held at Derby on Friday. Uttoxeter is one of almost 90 stations managed by East Midlands Trains in its franchise.
The winner of the Most Improved Station Award was Loughborough station. Alsager station, which like Uttoxeter is on the North Staffordshire Line, Derby to Crewe route, was also recognised, winning the Community Partnership category.
As for Uttoxeter railway station, plans are in the pipeline to provide a new footbridge, staircase and ramps to make it more visitor-friendly.
The plans would also create an additional link to Uttoxeter Racecourse from the station to provide a safer access for patrons on race days.