The multi-million pound project, which is being funded through the government’s Access for All scheme and national stations improvement programme, was originally planned for delivery at a later date. However, with Brands Hatch hosting cycling for the Paralympic Games, the plans being developed have been brought forward for delivery before this major sporting event.
Although the plans are still under development, it is intended that the improvements will include:
▪ Two new lifts to provide step-free access between the station entrance and all platforms.
▪ Improved retail facilities
▪ Re-cladding the front of the main station entrance and improving signage to make it easier for passengers to navigate the station
▪ Refurbished ticket office, including accessible ticket window, non-slip flooring and better lighting
▪ Installation of 30 cycle parking spaces
▪ Upgraded passenger information screens
▪ Renovated waiting facilities on all platforms, including better seating, improved PA system and heating
▪ Enhanced toilet facilities
Dave Ward, Network Rail’s route managing director for Kent, said: “This is a true legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games which will make a big difference to the daily lives of thousands of passengers in Swanley for many years to come. It means commuters, leisure passengers and Paralympic spectators can all benefit from better access, improved facilities and a station which better meets the needs of passengers in the 21st Century.”
Vince Lucas, service delivery director for Southeastern, said: “Making our stations fully accessible will encourage more and more people to use the trains. The railway has a vital part to play to any local economy bringing more people and business to the area. The more people that can get to the station can only be a good thing.”
Simon Goldsmith, development manager from Community Futures Kent - a charity serving people with learning disabilities - said: “We are delighted with the news Swanley is to be made step free. This will make a huge difference to lives of disabled people, those with mobility difficulties as well as parents travelling with young children. We look forward to working with Network Rail and Southeastern on this important project and in preparing for the 2012 Paralympics.”
Subject to planning approval being granted and no unforeseen issues arising, it is hoped construction work can start early next year and be completed by summer 2012.
Also in Europe today, City.Mobi is celebrating the success of its new guide to London.
City.Mobi offers the most comprehensive mobile travel guides available, with over 800 cities in 200 countries listed. Each is developed by the City.Mobi team to combine into a single global travel directory.
London.Mobi is the latest in this illustrious line up, offering click to call functionality – which means no scribbling down telephone numbers.
Most entries are also linked to websites where users can quickly access more detailed information if needed.
Other key features include information on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and transport.
City.Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.