Friends of Alton Station
STOP PRESS: Fund-Raising Launch on Saturday 5th August at Alton Station
In order to kick off our phased fund-raising campaign, we will be holding a launch event at Alton Station to collect money from people attending the "Thomas" event on the Watercress Line. The application for our new CIO charity is being processed by the Charity Commission, but in the mean time, we will be starting the process of seeking donations, and donation pledges for those wishing to make gift aid declarations to further help our cause. For more details, see our Donate Page, where you can also download our donation leaflet (including form to fill in).
Friends of Alton Station was established to lobby and work in partnership to oversee improvements and conservation of Alton Station (in Hampshire, UK) and its environs. Our main project is saving the historic footbridge, but there are a number of other smaller projects that we are also involved in. Overall, our task is to ensure that the footbridge and the rest of Alton Station are maintained and developed to suit the needs of passengers and visitors alike.
The story of the footbridge project starts in 2013 when Network Rail built a new footbridge with lifts, an investment of £1.7million. Whilst we applaud this upgrade to the facilities at Alton Station, local people also wanted to retain the existing footbridge. Our steering group formed in March 2014 and managed to negotiate keeping the 1892 footbridge in situ in the short-term, but its future was far from certain. When work started to make repairs, it was found that the bridge needed more work than initially thought, so it was closed in July 2015. In March 2016 Network Rail decided that it was too expensive to repair, so the battle to save the footbridge started all over again.
In September 2015 we launched Friends of Alton Station as a membership organisation to increase our public profile and to enable us to more accurately reflect the views and wishes of people who use Alton Station. We set up an online petition in July 2016 and it was signed by over 1,000 people. The comments people that people made revealed that as well as local people, there are people across the world who have an interest in Alton station. In March 2017 Network Rail set a demolition deadline of April 2018, but are saying that the bridge can still be saved if an organisation is willing to take ownership and responsibility for the bridge. We have applied for CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) status to facilitate this. We are also starting our campaign to raise funds and make the required repairs. We have split the project into 3 phases and are now actively seeking donations for the first phase to recover the section to be repaired off-site.
We invite you to read about what we're doing and if you're interested, please do join us and/or make a donation. Apart from returning to this website for updates, you can subscribe to E-mail alerts (click on button on top of right-hand column) to receive automated E-mail updates when we add news and events. Updates are also on our Facebook page.