All Change at Cherry Tree aimed to establish Cherry Tree Station as a gateway to the local community and to the nearby Witton Country Park.
The station is on the Preston to Colne line and is served by an hourly diesel service between Preston and Colne. The facilities offered to passengers were very basic, with approaches infested with weeds and litter and shelters and running in boards bearing the brunt of regular bouts of vandalism over a number of years. No wonder it was viewed as a no go area especially in the evenings. Yet, despite this the station has averaged growth of 12% per annum over the last 5 years and the East Lancashire CRP and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council both recognised the potential for considerable latent demand given its proximity to commuter hubs of Preston and Blackburn and the growth of students needing to travel to college in both towns.
This has been a community project with over 12 community based groups of varying ages and ability working together to produce a very satisfying end result. The regular working groups, particularly the students have attracted favourable comments by users of the station many commenting how nice to see youngsters working in the community to benefit the community. The parents who accompanied their children in the bulb planting saw the day as an opportunity to contribute working side by side with their children on a project that would impact on the local community in a positive manner. Through the involvement of so many groups it is hoped that a sense of ownership of the station has been achieved that will reduce vandalism and make the station feel a secure environment and thus further increase ridership. We expect usage of the station to grow better than in previous years and we will monitor this as a CRP in the usual way.
For more information please visit http://www.communityraillancashire.co.uk/all-change-at-cherry-tree-2/