GTR Passenger Benefit Fund

What Is It?

Following the disruption faced by Thameslink passengers after new timetables were introduced in May last year, the Secretary of State for Transport has announced that GTR (Govia Thameslink Railways) will contribute £15 million towards a Passenger Benefit Fund.

Taking into account the inconvenience suffered by passengers here in Elstree & Borehamwood, our station has been allocated a potential grant of £80,000

This is a new fund and has nothing to do with refunds paid to individual customers.

How Will It Work?

Before the end of July, local passengers and groups need to submit their ideas for how the potential grant could best be spent to the benefit of passengers at their railway station. Over 280 stations are involved.

This money could be spent on projects to improve the station and its vicinity, or on supporting GTR’s efforts to provide more accurate and timely information to passengers.  On its website, GTR has suggested examples of such projects.

In August and September, GTR will review all bids and then decide how much grant funding to award to each station. It is by no means certain that GTR will award the full grant, which in our case is £80,000.

What Is First Impressions?

Over 10 years ago local voluntary group Elstree Screen Heritage proposed a joint initiative with the Town, Borough and County Councils as well as Thameslink, the train operator.

The aim of this alliance was to make local public spaces more welcoming and attractive by adding artwork featuring our unique film and TV heritage. Much of our work has been at the railway station, a key gateway to Elstree & Borehamwood.

Over the years, the station and its forecourt have been transformed, an effort appreciated by residents and recognised by ACoRP, the national Association of Community Rail Partnerships.

From this…

To this…

What Happens Next?

GTR has asked First Impressions and local groups at other stations to pull together ideas on how best to invest funds to the benefit of our local rail passengers.

The suggestions and priorities of each Council will form part of a combined bid to GTR, but we need to know what passengers think.

Using this simple survey, your suggestions will be combined with those of the Councils and local groups (e.g. EBRA, the Residents Association) to create a bid which is inclusive and convincing on behalf of Elstree & Borehamwood.

You may prefer to contact GTR direct using its own online survey form, but if you do, we will not be able to include what you tell GTR in the bid we are preparing locally.

How Can I Find Out More?

The GTR website describes the Passenger Benefit Fund.

If you can’t find an answer there to your question, please feel free to contact First Impressions.

How Can I Tell You My Ideas?

Please take a minute or so now to take part in the survey.


  • Posted 20th June 2019 Carol 3:31 pm

    Put a shelter over the bridge so when we walk over the bridge when it’s poring with rain we don’t get soaked

    • Posted 21st June 2019 ehadmin 8:52 am

      Many thanks for your comment Carol. As a frequent rail user I entirely agree! Please include your suggestion in your reply to the short online survey if you haven’t already done so.

  • Posted 27th June 2019 Sam Bernstein 9:39 am


    • Posted 3rd July 2019 ehadmin 8:18 am

      And your comment is ??

  • Posted 27th June 2019 Meera Doshi 12:07 pm

    -Traffic at drop off point has risen quite a bit if there can be something done to improve this by adding an extra drop of lane that would be great.
    -shelter on the stairs would be great. I am bit short and I feel lights come straight in my eye when climbing stairs so may be lights can on the sheltered roof?
    -with so many studios around I think we can really make the station branding really amazing to give that first impression of the area. If we don’t have that much budget then make be put some really nice colourful flowers?

    • Posted 3rd July 2019 ehadmin 8:17 am

      All points clear. Re branding, the multi-agency ‘First Impressions’ group of which Elstree Screen Heritage is a founder member has been working over the past 10 years to do as you suggest to boost the unique local brand based on over 100 years of film and TV activity e.g. the wall mural, 5 heritage panels, large panels on the new coffee shop, large images and a film frieze in waiting room one, stars in the pavement. Unfortunately the new design of the station is mostly glass panels, leaving very little blank wall space for us to decorate. Oh, and we’ve just reinstated the planters by the station entrance AND created a 9 metre long planter along the side of the coffee shop. But ideas for what else we can do are always appreciated!

  • Posted 27th June 2019 Lynn Boswell 1:31 pm

    The stairs at this station are terrible. I have a partially sighted daughter who has a problem seeing the edge of each step. The lighting is also very poor. In bad weather they are very slippery and can be dangerous.I appreciate there is a lift but this is only on one platform. The handrails on the stairs are worn and rusty as well. Please do what you can for the disabled people using your station.

    • Posted 3rd July 2019 ehadmin 8:10 am

      Your comments are very clear and specific. They will be included in the bid.

  • Posted 27th June 2019 John T 1:37 pm

    Hurry up and extend Oyster to Radlett. Do it now not only ‘at the end of the year’. Why? Then we will be helping to ease the congestion at Elstree &BW as currently we board the train at Radlett, get out at E & BW to swipe the Oystercard and then have to wait for the next train. Just stupid! Common sense would be a good start

    • Posted 3rd July 2019 ehadmin 8:07 am

      Understood! I’ll request clarification on extension of Oystercard past Elstree & Borehamwood.

  • Posted 27th June 2019 Sushil Patel 9:14 pm

    We, the Senior Citizens of Borehamwood, Elstree & Radlett, demand that money should be made available to facilitate free travel ‘TFL Freedom Pass’. It is shame on Hertsmere Borough Council when neighbouring Barnet and Harrow Council willingly take care and look after their elderly residents. TFL Freedom Pass is a life line to get out and about for housebound elderly pensioners. Please wake up and do something about this. Shame on You.

    • Posted 3rd July 2019 ehadmin 8:05 am

      As you say, this is a multi-agency issue and outside the control of GTR Thameslink. I’ll pass on your comment to Hertsmere Borough Council requesting their point of view on your request.

  • Posted 28th June 2019 Simon 6:53 am

    Provide Oyster paying ASAP

    • Posted 3rd July 2019 ehadmin 8:02 am

      I’ve used my Oyster card at the station for ages; I’ll check on that for you.

  • Posted 28th June 2019 Burton 7:09 am

    The footbridge is in an appalling state and lets the station down it is rusting and needs a full refurbishment. A cover for the bridge would be good too.

    • Posted 3rd July 2019 ehadmin 8:01 am

      Network Rail should have a repainting schedule for this; we’ll try to find out more about that.

  • Posted 28th June 2019 John T 8:46 am

    More trains?

    • Posted 3rd July 2019 ehadmin 8:00 am

      Always an objective, but the Passenger Benefit Fund is restricted to investment in the station and surrounding areas (e.g. the forecourt, approach paths)

  • Posted 8th July 2019 Nick Male 2:31 pm

    More seats are needed outside the station.

    • Posted 9th July 2019 ehadmin 11:14 am

      Very clear and very specific!

  • Posted 8th July 2019 Brian Burton 3:39 pm

    My suggestion is to have more covered areas along the length of the platforms, so when the bad weather comes we Don’t all get soaked waiting for the trains to arrive.

    • Posted 9th July 2019 ehadmin 11:14 am

      Thanks; I’m sure every rail passenger would agree with you!

  • Posted 8th July 2019 Asif 4:03 pm

    Additional parking at the station or a multi story option would be fantastic but probably at a much higher cost then the budget allocated. It has become a game of chance as to if you will get a parking space after half 7 in the morning

    • Posted 9th July 2019 ehadmin 11:13 am

      Understood, although I believe this is outside the scope of the fund. We’ll make sure your comment is included.

  • Posted 9th July 2019 Kat 7:12 am

    Much bigger car park without rip off fees

    • Posted 9th July 2019 ehadmin 11:11 am

      I believe that’s outside the scope of what’s on offer but will check. Thanks!

    • Posted 9th July 2019 ehadmin 11:15 am

      Probably outside the scope of the fund but thanks for raising this concern.

  • Posted 9th July 2019 Michelle Supper 12:15 pm

    A few specific things would be helpful:
    1. A digital information board before the ticket barrier saying when the next train will be. This will stop the annoyance of going through the barrier, only to find that the next train has been cancelled.
    2. A white board so that the station staff can communicate with the passengers the circumstances which have caused cancellations/delays, and the alternative routes into London if required.
    3. Digital information boards that show the station stops of the next train at a glance. The current boards scroll through the stations, but this takes too long to be useful, particularly now that the new routes are open. The current boards also say how many carriages there are in the train, and where first class is, neither of which are helpful, and just take more time to scroll through.

    • Posted 9th July 2019 ehadmin 5:21 pm

      Exactly as you say, specific and clearly helpful to would-be rail passengers! Many thanks.

  • Posted 9th July 2019 Mrs Christine Manning 7:25 pm

    I think the stairs need refurbishment and a cover. They can be quite slippery in wet weather

    • Posted 10th July 2019 ehadmin 10:43 am

      Entirely agreed! Many thanks.

  • Posted 13th July 2019 Helen Stammers 5:24 pm

    Funding for the planned Book Swap scheme to allow train users to borrow books free of charge to read on their journey.

    • Posted 15th July 2019 ehadmin 10:58 am

      Thanks Helen!

  • Posted 19th July 2019 Irmine Mason 6:30 pm

    Well done on everything that has been achieved so far! It’s all looking so much better.
    A few suggestions:
    . More recycling bins for plastic, aluminium cans and paper on the platforms.
    . Planting low maintenance greenery along the wall separating the end of platform 1 from the flats (towards Mill Hill) would save money in repainting and might even stop trespassers climbing over the wall.
    . More cycling arches to attach bikes. There would be less need for car parking.
    . More shelter over the bridge and at the end of platform 1 for when it is raining.
    . As a bonus, more hanging baskets with seasonal flowers would finish the fabulous refurbishment of the station and would be very welcoming. An attractive environment encourages people to not spoil it.

  • Posted 1st August 2019 Joel Berkowitz 1:53 am

    1. The waiting room could do with a full refurbishment
    2. There is a gap between the station building and canopy that should be roofed
    3. A repaint of existing, rusting canopies along with shelter extension along platform 1.

    • Posted 5th August 2019 ehadmin 6:00 pm

      Thanks Joel. All strong points to consider.

Add Comment

Leave a Reply to ehadmin Cancel reply