Travelling into Manchester last week I noticed that Wilmslow station is looking somewhat tired.

The platforms have weeds growing everywhere, the tubs are overgrown, weedy and uncared for and the window boxes are empty.

I sometimes travel from Handforth which is quite a contrast thanks to the Friends of Handforth Station, who keep it not only pleasant with flowers and shrubs, but also interesting with different events and displays.

The state of Wilmslow station (pictured) is all the more surprising when you consider the town’s reputation in the Britain in Bloom competition.

You would think that the station was an important reflection of the town’s commitment to the ‘bloom’ idea.

Just last week, after three gold medal years, the successful team behind Wilmslow in Bloom, announced that their theme for this year will be, ‘Walk on the wild side’.

I’m not sure who takes responsibility for the upkeep of the station in terms of weeding and planting - so who knows, this may be their idea of a ‘Walk on the wild side’!

In no way are the railway staff to blame either.

They are always courteous and helpful, gardening really isn’t part of their job descriptions.

But someone must look after the station environs because previously it has been cared for and only last year a lovely handcart full of flowers was positioned beneath the platforms.

Perhaps the station’s ‘bloom’ was funded through sponsorship and that has fallen away, whatever, it needs some TLC at the moment and certainly before the judges arrive again for the Britain in Bloom competition.

And while I’m talking about the station, have you noticed that we now seem to have to show our tickets before going onto a platform?

It all seems a bit chaotic.

You show your ticket as you go through but there are people having to go through to get their tickets from the automatic ticket machine who may, or may not, actually buy one.

And then there are people like us who want to go onto the platform to see one of our children off to wherever they are going, who are waved through without a ticket.

People alighting from trains in Wilmslow have to show their tickets as they leave the station but if that’s in the evening there’s no-one there.

And at Manchester Piccadilly I have yet to see the newly installed ticket machines at the entrance/exit to platforms, working.

There’s usually two or three rail staff on duty to check your tickets.

Many years ago you had to have a ticket to get onto a platform, even if you were just seeing someone off, but it was easier to enforce things then with much fewer people travelling.

It all seems a bit haphazard now and you would think that with the developments in electronics, phones etc they would be able to come up with a solution.

Perhaps someone, somewhere is madly working on it...