Construction work has started at Canterbury West station to provide passengers with step-free access between the station entrance and the platforms as part of the national Access for All programme to make the railway more accessible for everyone.
The project, which will create a step-free route between the station entrance and both platforms, will include the installation of a new footbridge and two new lifts and new tactile paving along the edge of the platform to assist the visually impaired.
Canterbury West passengers will also benefit from further station improvements in the coming months through funding from the national stations improvement programme. These will include the installation of a new toilet, new customer information screens and lighting, the redecoration of the ticket office and changes to the car park layout.
To minimise the impact of these improvements works on passengers, construction of both schemes is being carried out at the same time. All major works should be completed in early 2011.
Dave Ward, Network Rail’s route director for Kent, said: “We strive to provide facilities at stations which make the railway easier to use, safer and more accessible for everyone. Once finished, this investment will make a real positive difference for passengers, including those with reduced mobility, small children or heavy luggage.”
Vince Lucas, service delivery director, Southeastern, added: “Since December we have seen the numbers of passengers using the station increase dramatically, as the popularity of the high-speed service continues. Now passengers will be able to have a station that matches its needs and allow better access for all passengers. Having recently completed upgrade work at Ashford International it is pleasing to see another station benefiting. We will be working with Network Rail to keep disruption for passengers to an absolute minimum while this important work is carried out.”
Network Rail is managing and delivering the accessibility improvements, which are being funded through the Department for Transport’s (DfT) £370m Access For All scheme.