New £4.8m access scheme ensures passengers with mobility issues can get to and from trains without using stairs
As part of the Department for Transport’s inclusive Transport Strategy – Access for All Programme, Network Rail have upgraded Canterbury East station to make it accessible to hundreds more passengers.
New lifts and a new footbridge are just two elements of £4.8m of improvements which will mean passengers will no longer need to use stairs to get to and from trains.
The new footbridge, lifts and stair structure has been completed to a high standard in a conservation area with cladding which is in-keeping with the surrounds.
The scheme will make the station much easier to use for passengers with mobility issues including older people, parents with young children, or those with luggage.
Fiona Taylor, Network Rail’s Kent Route Director, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to open our latest Access for All scheme in Kent this week which will provide step-free access to those in wheelchairs, or with pushchairs or heavy luggage to be able to reach their trains.
“We want our railway to be as inclusive as possible and Access for All is opening up travel by rail to more and more people with Canterbury East just the latest station to be completed and more to come next year.”
David Wornham, Southeastern’s Passenger Services Director, said: “It’s great that Network Rail has been able to work so closely with Southeastern to deliver this project in time for welcoming passengers back to the railway after a challenging 18 months for everyone.
“Together we’re focused on making the railway more accessible to everyone, including launching an accessibility panel to improve passenger journeys, from improved customer information systems to mobile assistance at the start and end of passengers’ journeys.
“We’re committed to providing a safe and comfortable journey for everyone, and making sure the railway is as accessible as possible to all of the communities that we serve. This new footbridge and lifts will help do just that.”
Rosie Duffield, MP for Canterbury, said: “I very much welcome this improvement for my constituents here at Canterbury East station, it will enhance passenger experience for people with disabilities. I’d like to thank Network Rail, Southeastern and BAM Nuttall for working together over the last year who have constructed this impressive scheme, including the tactiles and other additional improvements.”
Tactile paving has also been installed along both platforms to improve use for passengers with visual impairment.
With trespass being an issue at Canterbury East in the past, due to the distance between the stairs and an access gate, a new gate has been installed nearer to the new structure which will allow those crossing over the line, and not using the train, to do so more safely.
6 disabled parking bays, bike poles as well as bollards for station security have also been installed to improve the accessibility for those arriving at the station too.
Photo credit: Network Rail