COMMUTERS were treated to cake and balloons when they visited Cam and Dursley railway station this week as the station enjoyed its 20th birthday.

The first train to depart Cam and Dursley was the CoJAC Express on Sunday May 14 1994.

The train took its name from Coaley Junction Action Committee (CoJAC) which was set up and successfully campaigned for the re-opening of the site after Coaley Junction further down the line was closed in 1965.

Since its opening, passenger numbers have tripled to more than 153,000 a year and the car park is now often full.

CoJAC still presses for improvements at the station including better rail links with local bus services and to act as a voice for rail users but founding member Robert Harris, 64, from Stinchcombe is pleased with its success.

“My pleasure is in seeing how Cam and Dursley provides such a valuable amenity for commuters and my heart lifts when I see people greeting visiting friends and relations off the train: something that hadn't been possible for the thirty years of closure,” he said.

“If you want proof of Cam and Dursley's success, just see how the car park is completely full by 8am, with some people parking on the road outside.

“Long may the parking at the station remain in Stroud District Council's possession - and free.”

The station’s manager Linda Swainger was on hand to give out birthday cake to First Great Western’s passengers on Monday, May 9.

“We are committed to supporting the communities we serve and these events mark how important these stations are to the local community,” she said.

“With a combined station footfall of just under half a million in the last year alone a lot has changed in 20 years, and we look forward to continuing to work with local partners to improve the full range of services we offer.”

Chairman of CoJAC was Wotton-under-Edge Cllr John Cordwell who was also part of the steering group which helped in the process of reopening it.

“I am delighted that the station has been so successful, which is shown by the number of passengers using it.”