The first instalment of cash granted after significant disruption to train journeys has been spent at Elstree & Borehamwood station.

The station has started to see its share of a £15 million Passenger Benefit Fund created by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR).

The fund is being used to provide tangible benefits for passengers who had faced disruption after major timetable changes in 2018.

First Impressions, a voluntary initiative formed by the town, borough and county councils, Thameslink and Elstree Screen Heritage, carried out a public consultation to ask passengers and stakeholders how they would like a grant to be spent.

A grant of £80,000 was confirmed for Elstree & Borehamwood in October 2019 and the projects have been approved.

The first of these projects has been to add planting to the station forecourt and to the open space in Allum Lane.

Borehamwood Times:

For years, the forecourt has been bleak and barren. Displaying colourful banners on the lighting columns has helped, but adding six new planters has made the area much more attractive at ground level.

Borehamwood Times:

Thameslink commissioned Groundwork East to carry out similar improvements at 18 railway stations.

Operations Manager Chris Dungate said: "We are passionate about creating vibrant and green neighbourhoods and are delighted to have been part of the work undertaken at Elstree and Borehamwood."

A key objective of the First Impressions initiative has always been to create more welcoming public spaces, and over the past decade it has added planters and flower beds.

Borehamwood Times:

Chairman of First Impressions, Bob Redman, said: "The new planters are a welcome addition to the station. But just as welcome are improvements to the rest area beside Allum Lane. Covid restrictions in 2020 meant the large planter had become over-grown but Groundwork Trust has tidied it up as well."

Borehamwood Times:

Tom Moran, managing director for Thameslink and Great Northern, said: "Our improvement programme is making stations smarter, more efficient and more sustainable. It’s great to be working with local partners here at Elstree & Borehamwood to make the station a better experience for passengers, and the best asset it can be for the community."

Combined with the enlargement of the station in 2019, First Impressions says this project funded by Thameslink has taken another large step in helping transform an eyesore into a welcoming space enjoyed

by rail commuters, residents and visitors.