Friends of South Woodham Ferrers Station
The 'Friends of South Woodham Ferrers Station' is an umbrella term coined to describe a group of individuals who have elected to participate in the "Adopt a Station" initiative promoted by the Essex & South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership (ESSCRP). Each individual member acts with the encouragement of a local organisation, business or voluntary society, but is solely responsible for their own conduct in relation to the "Adopt a Station" scheme. The Group will submit a monthly questionnaire return to ESSCRP, providing feedback on conditions at the station. In the event of any other official contact (e.g. in emergency) with ESSCRP or rail staff, members are asked to inform the Group Leader at the earliest possible opportunity.
Our adopted station is the gateway to South Woodham Ferrers, a new riverside town in the south Essex countryside. Commuter trains to London (Liverpool Street) cover the distance in just over 40 minutes. The station is currently managed by ONE (the Station Facility Owner) who as the Station Franchisee and local Train Operating Company is responsible for ensuring that the station is in good decorative order and repair, as well as structurally sound, with a good standard of passenger information. For more information on these terms and their associated definitions please refer to the web site of the Office of the Rail Regulator www.rail-reg.gov.uk.
The ONE Buildings Team makes a regular inspection of all station premises carrying out maintenance work and clearing litter and vegetation where required.
Network Rail is
responsible for access to the station and the railway
track; ONE is responsible for all liaison
with Network Rail.
All sorts! We have
a clergyman and various Church members, a schoolboy who
attends William de Ferrers School, members of the local
Horticultural Society and other helpers and wellwishers
from local government and bodies such as the town's
Community Safety Forum.
As part of the overall briefing for station adopters, we aim to:
Each year we participate in the "Santa Special" by providing a group of carol singers to surprise Sunday travellers.
We have created a small garden within the car park, with active involvement of members of the SWF horticultural society.
At especially busy times (such as the week before Christmas) we carry out extra litter-picking sessions to support the efforts of 'ONE' staff in keeping the platforms tidy and welcoming.
There is a
possibility that government legislation may at some point
in the future give greater recognition and responsibility
to groups such as the Friends. In the meantime we might
start to look at ways of improving contact with local
businesses who could benefit from increased rail usage.
We might want to explore the possibilities of special
events or other promotions that would bring tourists and
shoppers to our station and its surroundings. We could
also think of visiting a branch line where greater steps
have been taken towards returning the railway to
community ownership (the nearest place would be the
Watford Junction to St Alban's Abbey branch).