Station group gets results

Coun Gwen Lowe with Friends of Batley Station at a cleanup.
Coun Gwen Lowe with Friends of Batley Station at a cleanup.

A campaign group has made headway transforming Batley Railway Station into a more pleasant place for passengers.

Friends of Batley Station has secured new flower beds, signs and seats for the station through a mixture of lobbying operator Northern Rail and old fashioned hard work.

Coun Gwen Lowe (Lab, Batley West), who set up the friends group, said: “Fourteen people came to our last cleanup and we had five apologies. We put in an hours’ clear-up and tied up the flower beds – the station is very well looked after.

“It was lovely because there were people waiting on the platform for trains who said ‘thank you’.”

She said the campaign had won the backing of the town’s commuters and that the hard work put in by volunteers was paying dividends.

“A couple of weeks ago a man left me a message saying he uses the station frequently and he just wanted to say thank you for setting up the group and what a difference it had made.”

She said later, when the volunteers were at the station clearing up, she was approached by a man who identified himself as Daniel and said he had left the message. It was so lovely to meet my secret messenger. Thank you to Daniel for such positive feedback,” she said.

Since the group was set up it has won numerous improvements.

With help from Northern Rail Batley now boasts electronic signs, new seats, flower tubs, an automatic ticket machine and a new sign outside with a corrected spelling.

Coun Lowe said: “We feel Northern Rail paid attention.

“We have our fingers crossed that the station should be getting a new lick of paint as well. We feel that things are moving on.”

The group’s next cleanup will take place on Saturday September 5 at 10.30am.

The campaign, which was backed by the Batley News, was set up in autumn last year by councillors, then parliamentary candidate Jo Cox and Batley residents who wanted to see change in the town.