Bury St Edmunds: Train station Friends group is on hold
06:00 25 February 2013
A TRAIN station supporters’ group has folded for the time being due to “total non-communication” from the organisation which runs the site, it has been claimed.
The Friends of Bury Station was formed more than a year ago with the aim of improving the appearance of the station in Bury St Edmunds and also finding out more about its history.
But Alan Jary, chairman of the Bury Society, of which the friends is a sub-group, said “it didn’t happen because we just didn’t get any communication coming back from Greater Anglia”.
“We are very disappointed communication from Greater Anglia has been non-existent,” he said.
But a spokeswoman for the train operator said: “An initial meeting was held with the Friends of Bury Station Group some time ago where we provided advice on how to take forward the establishment of a station support group.
“Unfortunately, we have not recently been contacted by the group, but we will be more than happy to have a further dialogue with them to discuss their aspirations.”
She added: “We have developed a wide network of station adopters and station adopter groups across our franchise area.
“We work very closely with these adopters and adopter groups who contribute greatly to their local communities and work with us in promoting and improving train services and our local stations.”
Mr Jary said a number of people had shown interest in joining the friends group, but there had not yet been anything to offer them.
“We would have worked on the history of it and the visual side of the station. It looks very neglected,” he said.
He described the group as “in abeyance,” adding it might be resurrected if Greater Anglia showed they were on board.
David Nettleton, a councillor for the Risbygate ward, which includes the train station, said work needed to be done inside the station on the platforms.
“It’s the first impression of Bury St Edmunds people get, and a lot of people use that train station and a lot more people are using trains. I think if they invested in the inside of the station they could do quite a bit with not a lot of money.”
He added: “Greater Anglia should be taking the lead on it. They should be wanting to improve their station.”
Improvements have been made to the station in the past couple of years, including to the booking hall, due to an investment of about £160,000 by National Express East Anglia (NXEA), which was formerly the train operator.
And an old station building there would be brought back into use if plans come to fruition for a folk art centre for people with disabilities.