Major work starts next week to make long-lasting improvements to access and facilities for more than two million passengers who pass through Sittingbourne station every year.
The biggest part of the project is the installation of two new lifts and a footbridge which will create a step-free route between the station entrance and platforms. Funded through the Government’s Access for All programme, this will make it easier for everyone to use train services, especially those with reduced mobility, parents with young children or people with heavy luggage.
The work also includes a series of enhancements to station facilities which will improve the overall travelling experience for passengers. These are being funded through the national stations improvement programme and include:
- Relocating and increasing the number of cycle parking spaces outside the station
- Renovating all passenger toilets
- Creating new waiting shelters on the platforms and a new waiting room on platform 2
- Repositioning the ticket gates to create more space for passengers in the ticket office
- Installing a new customer information screen and non-slip flooring in the ticket office
Dave Ward, Network Rail’s route director for Kent, said: “Improving access and facilities at stations is an important part of building a bigger and better railway. The enhancements planned at Sittingbourne will make it easier for everyone to travel by train and better meet the ever-changing needs of passengers and businesses.”
A Southeastern spokesperson added: “Any improvement to the quality of journeys on the railways is a step in the right direction. By making Sittingbourne an accessible station, more people will be able to use our services. Alongside this, the other works will help to improve the environment for all our passengers and we will work with Network Rail to ensure minimal disruption while the works are happening.”
The main construction work is due to be completed in spring 2012. Train services should be largely unaffected for the duration of the construction work, however Network Rail will be working closely with Southeastern to keep any disruption for passengers and line-side neighbours to a minimum.