Warwick station Down Under: glorious flowers, full disabled access and its own shops
WHAT a terrible first impression people get when they arrive at Warwick railway station.
This is the view of the Warwick Society and local man Raymond West, who has just come back from a holiday in Perth in Western Australia.
Passengers at Warwick’s Antipodean namesake enjoy a super-smart station with all the facilities that its UK counterpart lacks.
This includes not only glorious floral displays but full disabled access, toilets and a shopping mall with cafés.
Mr West said: “By contrast we only have a loo you can use when the ticket office is open and you can get permission.
“There is no access to the London train for disabled passengers because the slope has gone, there is no lift and the whole station looks drab and uninteresting.
“What a terrible first impression for visitors to what is, after all, the county town of Warwickshire.”
Mr West is full of praise for the staff at the town station but after seeing its bourgainvillea-draped namesake in Perth with its lifts, toilets, flowers and attached shopping mall, it made him feel ashamed.
He added: “All the investment by Chiltern Railways seems to go to Warwick Parkway, which is of little use to local people unless they want to pay high parking charges.”
As it happens, the state of the station was a recent topic for discussion by members of the Warwick Society whose chairman James Mackay said: “We share Mr West’s views as our station does lose out to Warwick Parkway which has double the number of trains stopping. We have unsuccessfully pursued the need for access to the platform for the London trains for a very long time.”
One ray of light comes from local MP Chris White who often uses the station to get to Westminster. Following an appeal in the Courier, the MP has collected the names of several volunteer gardeners willing to form a ‘friends’ group similar to the one operating at Leamington station, which has won prizes for its platform greenery.
Chiltern station manager Karen Bowden said; “Warwick station is extremely important to us. We’re continuing to make improvements and last year refurbished the subway and are planning to open a small café before the year is out. We are also working with the council to improve cycling and waiting facilities.”
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Weather for Warwick
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 5 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North west