> Promote practical environmental enhancement works, especially by volunteers, for the benefit of the community and train passengers.
Six sleeper flowerbeds have been created, planted (including herbs, roses etc ) and maintained along with three further flower beds in the car park and a shrub planted roundabout in the bus turning circle.
The environs have been further enhanced with three large hanging baskets on the station façade and five manger baskets under the canopy. After clearance of ash saplings and tree roots, a community orchard with 9 trees has also been planted and six flower tubs now sit on the platform. Six bat/insect/bird nesting boxes have also been specially made and erected, including a unique "Pacer" nesting box. Two compost bins have also been constructed.
Continuing work on the large platform embankment has resulted in a major restructure with bulbs planted along with perennials and two crab apple trees.
Also completed is the clearing of the car park embankment areas with a box hedge and annuals in place supplemented with regular cleaning of the car park area.
Essential for gardening, we have been able to build up a good stock of tools which are stored within the waiting room area. A water tap with a lockable cover has been installed but we still do not have access to electricity.
Within the waiting room, a very popular book swap library has been established with new shelves now constructed and fitted.
In addition, after preparing and submitting a proposal including Risk Assessments, we have painted the station canopy, both inside and outside, the spandrels, bargeboards and sundry pipes.
In the longer term there is also a plan to restore, to the original North Staffordshire Railway style, the valance boards on the station canopy.
In recognition of our enhancement works we have also received four Cheshire Best Kept Station awards and a Marple Civic Society award.
Fraternal visits to Eccles and Alsager station groups have also been of mutual benefit together with assisting with the launch of Friends of Strines Station and re-launch of Friends of Romiley Station. We also work closely with Friends of Marple Station.
> To publicise and raise awareness of the benefits of "green transport plans", the train and the attractions of the station area and its environs to increase station footfall and usage.
Passenger footfall counts are carried out in April and November and a survey questionnaire has also been carried out. The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) data shows that since 2008/2009, passenger numbers have increased by over 75% supported by obtaining two trains per hour in the off peak period. Favourable comments also mention the improved station environment and Northern Rail's (NR) stationmaster Tony Tweedie.
On the publicity/awareness front, the regularly updated website www.forhs.org.uk gets around 800 to 1000 hits per month but we also still rely on our two station notice boards to keep our travelling public updated on activities and station news.
Introduction to train travel for children has also been made by organising four Santa Specials and a Story Train.
Our station is on National Cycle Network (NCN) 55 and our campaign to further promote "green transport" was rewarded by the installation of a cycle shelter in June 2014 and, more recently, a new sign pointing in the directions of Middlewood Way and Stockport Hydro.
> To encourage community involvement and ownership, particularly by young people and schools and colleges in conservation, environment and associated educational artworks, poetry, competitions etc at the station and its environs.
Two local schools who use the station viz. Marple Hall School and Rose Hill Primary School are heavily involved with our community initiatives.
Marple Hall School produced an 8metre long 1.5 metre high 'Holiday Destinations by Rail' mural for the platform unveiled by the Mayor of Stockport, our local MP and their Headmaster. We both have plans to extend the work to other areas in the station.
Rose Hill Primary School provides a changing art exhibition in the waiting room and has planted roses and trees including a specially named "Rosa of Rose Hill" Hybrid rose. This school's involvement was recognised by another award last year by Cheshire Best Kept stations.
We have also published a sponsored Guide to Five Walks leaflet from Rose Hill Station with the print run of 5000. Very favourable responses have been received in person and on our Facebook page.
> To encourage local businesses to improve their own properties and to sponsor environmental enhancements at the station area.
The Vernon Building Society and Manchester Airport Group have grant aided the community orchard and major garden works.
Donations in kind from a local paint supplier, builders' merchant and garden centre have been received
Regular donations from ACoRP must also be recognised.
> To Campaign for improved train services and infrastructure facilities.
We attend meetings of SEMCRP, Northern Rail and TfGM to press our case for a late night and a Sunday service from Manchester. Since our formation NR/ GMPTE, now TfGM, have installed CCTV, passenger information screen, a new booking office facility (DDA compliant) and a "stationmaster" who opens the office from 06.00 until 12.50 Monday to Friday. These improvements, aided by an enthusiastic and welcoming stationmaster (Tony Tweedie) have contributed to the big increase in passenger numbers.
Friends of Rose Hill Station and Friends of Marple Station
Briefing note for William Wragg MP - 18 June 2016
> FoRHS and FoMS are established community groups formed to improve, promote and lobby for service and physical improvements at Rose Hill and Marple Stations.
> Both have surveyed/counted passengers, improved their stations and won awards
> Marple is the 9th most used GM station (out of c. 90 GM non-city/town centre) (*1)
> ALL GM stations with greater usage, and many with less have fast/frequent electric trains (or electrification underway); the only Rose Hill/Marple commitment in the next 7 years is for refurbished 30-year-old diesel trains
>Marple/Rose Hill stations have four trains per hour Mon-Sat day time, but these are un-coordinated; evening trains are infrequent and erratic (ending early at Rose Hill)
>Sunday services are almost unchanged since the 1960s - the commitment to a two trains per hour service to Marple/New Mills is welcome, but it will still leave none at Rose Hill. Moving one train per hour to Rose Hill would disadvantage New Mills.
>Car parks at Marple are full before 8.00 most days and are full sometimes at Rose Hill. TfGM prepared a 'Station Travel Plan' 2015 but has not implemented it.
> Marple area has significant economic growth potential based on better rail services
> Regional devolution, existence of Rail North and the potential station transfer to TfGM all mean that there are potential resources to improve stations and services.
Priorities for improvement we would like you to help us achieve
> Monday-Saturday - Marple/Rose Hill should have a coordinated four trains per hour service throughout the day and into the late evening.
> New waiting room on Marple Manchester-bound platform - at least same size as current, with better waiting facilities (*2) including access for disabled people
> Station maintenance - Northern/Network Rail must respond quicker to leaking gutters, flooding onto platform, broken fences, platform edge repainting, etc.
> Car parking and other access modes - better access by car, bus, walk and cycle will increase passenger numbers. The Station Travel Plan should be implemented by TfGM and extra car parking planned (although other modes must not be ignored).
Marketing - both FoMS and FoRHS are well-placed to promote the stations/services
> ALL of these measures would increase the numbers of passengers and revenue
Note prepared by Peter Black/David Sumner - last updated 23 June 2016.
*1 City and town centre stations: Piccadilly, Oxford Road, Victoria, Bolton, Stockport, MIA, Wigan Wallgate/NW, Stalybridge, Salford Crescent, Rochdale.
*2 There are some good nationwide examples of how to provide a quality waiting environment
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