Hard work at a market town’s train station was recognised at an awards ceremony.
Local volunteers in Neston, the train operator and the town council were rewarded for their efforts at the Cheshire Best Kept Station Awards.
The town was highly commended for its bright and attractive station on Ladies Walk which features an impressive mural in the underpass.
Enthusiasts have been hard at work since 2006, the council explains, but it has been some years since Neston station last featured in the annual awards.
Success follows efforts made in the last year or two to improve the flower arrangements on the platform, provide extra litter bins and repaint the underpass.
The improvements are the result of a partnership between the station adopters, a group of volunteers led by former Neston mayor Pat Hughes, the train operator, the town council and Sion Jones, one of the council’s contractors.
In recent years the council has taken an increasing interest in its railway and was responsible for starting a campaign for a half-hourly service on the line in 2014.
The decision of the town council to become a station adopter in 2016 was another sign of its commitment to public transport and improvements in the appearance of important public places in the town including the painting of the mural in the station underpass.
This features work by pupils from Neston primary school and Neston high school whose efforts were coordinated by graffiti artist Andy Birch from North Wales.
Pat Hughes said: “The volunteer station adopters are grateful for the support of Neston Town Council and Arriva Trains Wales, the train operator.
“This partnership has enabled us to make significant improvements to the station for the benefit of the public ultimately leading to this recognition at the awards ceremony. We would welcome any offers from residents to help in our efforts at the station.”
Cllr Ceri Lloyd, a town councillor and station adopter said: “Neston station is an important gateway to our town and we need it to convey the right impression.
“The town council has backed the efforts of the volunteers and the train operator with useful contributions to station improvement as part of its wider interest in public transport.
“It is committed to protecting these improvements with proper security cameras and is working with other agencies to make those arrangements.”
Anyone interested in maintaining the station can leave contact details at Neston town hall.