Leighton station is on the right track

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A SMALL group in Leighton is making huge tracks in nearby towns to encourage people to take pride in their railway station.

Off The Rails has been established a year and spent time planting tubs and pots at Leighton Buzzard station and also created a wildflower meadow. Their ideas and dedication has started to spread and this week visitors from First Capital Connect spent time at Leighton’s station meeting with chairman of the group Sylvia Lay-Flurrie, treasurer and photographer Daphne Walker, and Victoria Harvey from South Bedfordshire Friends of the Earth.

James Gleave, Senior Strategic Transport Officer for Get on Track, together with Debbie Johnson and Annamarrie Izzard of London Midland welcomed Larry Heyman, Integration & Partnership Manager of First Capital Connect, Lynn Howarth CS Team Administrator, and Arthur Taylor of the Bedford Commuter Association wanted to know if such a project could be implimented at Flitwick.

The guests spent time speaking to Mrs Lay-Flurrie, Mrs Walker and Ms Harvey to find out what they had achieved and get some advice as to how they could do something along these lines.

Mrs Lay-Flurrie said: “Leighton Buzzard station has become the talk of Bedfordshire. Last year Off The Rails was formed as a community project, working in partnership with London Midland, Friends of The Earth, Leighton Buzzard Garden Centre, Leighton Linslade Town Council and members of the local community to improve the appearance of the station.”

Mrs Lay-Flurrie has also been speaking to people from Woburn Sands who would also like to adopt their station.

Leighton Buzzard Station has now joined ACoRP the nationwide station adoption scheme of Community Rail Partnerships whose aim is to improve stations throughout England with the help of the community. ACoRP organise a lot of incentives to encourage station adoption including nationwide awards which are granted annually. Off The Rails LB has been nominated for three categories of awards.

Mrs Lay-Flurrie has also been speaking to people from Woburn Sands who would also like to adopt their station.

More good news for the group is that the photography skills of Mrs Walker have have put them on track for a photographic award with ACoRP.

The results will be announced in September.

On the nomination Mrs Walker said she has really enjoyed being involved in this project and the encouraging remarks made by many of the commuters make it all worthwhile.