The local community joined with Merton Council to celebrate one year on from the opening of Mitcham Eastfields Station at St Mark’s Academy last week.
Merton’s Mayor Councillor Nick Draper, cabinet member for finance and regeneration Councillor Diane Neil Mills along with local resident Jim Wyatt cut a specially baked cake to mark the special occasion.
Merton Council’s Leader Councillor David Williams then spoke of the importance of Mitcham Eastfields Station to Mitcham residents in particular, and to the borough as a whole. He mentioned how first year figures for journeys made from the award-winning station reveal that Mitcham Eastfields is benefiting thousands of people every month. Chief rail operator Southern Rail has reported more than 78,000 journeys made to and from the station since it was opened in July last year. Fellow rail operator First Capital Connect has also reported around 55,000 journeys made on its trains. In financial terms Southern has taken £500,000 in ticket purchases across the counter alone.
The event ended with a walk from St Mark’s Academy, via the station and the improved St Mark’s Road to the new-look Laburnum Estate home zone – the first of its kind in Merton. The refurbished walkway along the Laburnum Estate links the station to Mitcham town centre and the revamped market which was opened earlier this year.
St Mark’s Samba Band played a major role in the celebrations. Beating out rhythms on their drums and blowing their whistles, the musicians gave a stirring and heart-felt performance lending a festive feel to the proceedings.
Cabinet member for finance and regeneration Councillor Diane Neil Mills said: ‘Mitcham Eastfields Station is providing great transport opportunities for residents and businesses both into and out of Mitcham. Transport infrastructure is vital to an area’s prosperity and plays a critical role in improving mobility for all. It is wonderful that we are now seeing thousands of people benefiting from Mitcham Eastfields station both for leisure and business purposes. And we are of course delighted that the Mayor of London will see the new station for himself when he uses it to travel to Merton for a visit next week.’