From 1993 onward townsfolk began to notice the station slowly declining. From a peak of integrated services in the mid eighties, services were reduced, becoming less convenient and thus less useful. By the turn of the century, the number of trains was reduced to just 10 a day with the first southbound train being at 1pm!
The station was unkempt and uncared for, with increasing levels of vandalism and graffiti. Worse still, and this was what really got people annoyed, in 2004 the Department for Transport (DfT) decided to reinstate the Nottingham-Leeds service that had been withdrawn some years before and issued a consultative document in which all stations on the line were included except Dronfield! Dr Peter Hayward was one of those complaining, and wondered why the facility with such huge potential was being run down. He wrote to the local papers and was gratified to see such a good response. Then our MP at the time, Natascha Engel, called a meeting and Dronfield Station Action Group (DSAG) was formed. Research and surveys were done and ears were bent throughout the county and indeed at the DfT and in Parliament and eventually after much persuading the DfT changed its mind and decided to stop the new service at Dronfield too.
Who’s in FoDS?
Anyone who wants to be! FoDS are a group of people originally determined not to let the station 'go to the wall'. We come from all walks of life and bring varied skills from administration, through strategic planning, to practical things such as painting, gardening, publicity and IT. If you want to join us then just contact us and be willing to pay £5 per year for the privilege. See the link below for more information.
Friends of Dronfield Station, or FoDS as you will soon come to know it, has been running now for over 10 years. We transformed from DSAG to become more focused on the station itself rather than just the services we wanted to call. We still are very involved with the services but now also ensure the station is a nice place to use. As a result we’ve won awards for the gardens at the station and the total number of trains calling each week has risen from 58 to 276 (including 55 extra trains added in May).
Ridership has risen from 32,000 per year in 2006 to 250,000 in 2018 so we know we are on the right track!