From Lesley Hampshire, co-ordinator, Green Towns Shanklin, Shanklin:

In RESPONSE to Bob Seely’s column (CP, 27-09-19), I’d like to congratulate him on all his hard work, involving  local groups, in securing a £26 million investment in Island Line and thus securing its future. 

This is long overdue and shows in our current political climate of anger and division, communities working together can still succeed.

Amid all the excitement of ‘newer rolling stock, better track, more regular services, ticket machines and wi-fi on trains and stations’ can I submit a plea for at least a portion of the funds to be reserved for improving the state of some of the stations?  

Here in Shanklin, the toilets are permanently closed as their condition makes them a health hazard. 

What are the travelling public, especially the elderly and those with young children, supposed to do?  The waiting room is also closed and the state of the drains, paintwork and general appearance of the building is deplorable.  The ticket office is often closed too, even in the mornings so no wonder footfall is dropping.  

Green Towns Shanklin is a local volunteer group and among our other activities, we maintain and plant up the station garden, forecourt tubs and hanging baskets. 

We have been asked by South West Trains to adopt the station as a means of securing more funds.

However, we see little point in providing more beautiful flower displays to decorate an increasingly derelict-looking station.   We have tried many times to get this point across to SWT. 

Perhaps Mr Seely will be able to succeed where we have failed?