Work at Chatham station in Kent has started to provide step-free platform access making the station much easier to use for passengers with mobility issues, older people and parents with young children. The new tactile surface will also improve the station experience for visually impaired passengers.
This project is being delivered as part of the Department for Transport’s Access for All programme and includes:
- The installation of two lifts and a new footbridge which will provide an accessible route to and in between platforms
- New tactile paving on both platforms to keep passengers safe on platforms
- New CCTV cameras and PA speakers
Chatham railway station is on the Chatham Main Line in England, serving the town of Chatham, Kent. It is 34 miles down the line from London Victoria and is situated between Rochester and Gillingham. There are two platforms, one for each direction and both capable of accommodating 12-coach trains.
A plaque in the waiting room also commemorates Asquith Xavier, a local resident who ended a colour bar at British Railways in London by fighting to become the first non-white train guard at Euston railway station in 1966.
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris, said:
“It is fantastic that the major upgrades for Chatham Station will deliver a step free, accessible route at the station.
“As we build back fairer, it is crucial that our network is inclusive for all users.”
Fiona Taylor, Kent route director for Network Rail, said:
“Work is now underway to make it easier for passengers to access Chatham station, providing step-free access to both platforms and give passengers even more journey opportunities.
“We are working closely with contractors to keep disruption to a minimum and I’d like to thank passengers in advance, for their patience and understanding whilst the work takes place.”
Amanjeet Malait, station manager at Chatham for Southeastern, said:
“We’re always wanting to do more for our passengers and so when this work is completed by Network Rail it will make an enormous difference to the way people use Chatham Station – making it fully accessible for the first time ever. The work will benefit everyone who uses this busy station, including our passengers who use wheelchairs, parents with pushchairs, those who have more difficulty with steps and people with heavy luggage.”
The old footbridge has already been removed earlier this month and work has started on laying the foundations for the new bridge and lift shafts.
The project is due to be completed by Spring 2022.
Photo credit: Network Rail