Partnership and Campaigning
Friends of Marple Station exists to improve and promote our local station. To do this, we improve the station physically, market the station and services and lobby for improvements where we feel this is justified by the facts. We do all this in partnership with Northern Rail, Transport for Greater Manchester, Stockport Council, Goyt Valley Rail Users, ACoRP and our elected representatives (both Councillors and MP). Occasionally we may be critical, but always in a constructive way. We have lobbied on waiting rooms, services (including peak, weekend and evening), trains, the need for a coffee shop, making the crossing of Brabyns Brow safe and better car parking. We carry out an annual passenger count, usually in November.
Half a million passengers a year need a waiting room fit for the 21st century. Apart from the new waiting room:
Key conclusions from the 2019 survey include:
Full survey results are available here.
Key conclusions from the survey include:
· Train services from the Marple area are well used;
· Most trips are in the Manchester direction, with only 3% in the Sheffield direction;
· There is a high level of peak commuting, but also significant off peak use;
· The number of inbound trips to Marple, on weekdays, seems to be relatively low, with the main flow being trips to Marple Hall High School and Marple College;
· 64% of journeys counted on the survey days were from Marple with the remainder from Rose Hill;
· The number of people taking cycles on trains is low; and
· On the survey day 88% of trains were less than 5 minutes late but less than 40% were on time.
Overall usage on the survey days has increased by 8% since 2015, with Rose Hill growing more rapidly than Marple. Punctuality has not improved compared to previous years.
The results indicate that more people are returning later from Manchester than in previous years, perhaps because of the better evening service. However Rose Hill still suffers from a very early finish, with the last departure from Manchester at 21.09. The improved Sheffield service seems to have had little impact so far, perhaps due to the wider problems Northern has been experiencing
What do we want? - new waiting room ... when do we want it? Now!
One of the main reasons our group was formed was to improve conditions for people waiting in the dank, leaky, unappetising concrete bunker (waiting room). We have brightened it up, but the only real, sustainable solution that will attract and retain rail passengers is a replacement that provides a decent level of comfort. And we don't mean the mean, bus shelter-type waiting rooms that the railways seem to specialise in. We mean weatherproof, warm, used by and integrated into the community. And is a cup of coffee and cake too much to ask?
We have completed one study and secured grants to allow consultants to refine these plans. They will be beavering away in summer 2019. Contact us if you have any ideas.
Some campaigning photos
The new Marple waiting room could look like this ... and we could win more awards like this ...