Canterbury East station in Kent benefits from step-free access for the first time, thanks to £4.8m investment: Canterbury East entrance

Wednesday 21 Oct 2020

Canterbury East station in Kent benefits from step-free access for the first time, thanks to £4.8m investment

Region & Route:
Southern: Kent
| Southern

Network Rail is upgrading Canterbury East station with new lifts and a new footbridge, providing step free access at Canterbury East for the first time. Tactiles will also be installed along both platforms to improve use for passengers with visual impairment.

Canterbury East station is located on the Dover branch of the Chatham Main Line and 61 miles from London Victoria. The £4.8m investment will make the station much easier to use for passengers with mobility issues, older people and parents with young children.

This project is being delivered as part of the Department for Transport’s Access for All programme where more than £300m has been secured to make further accessibility improvements at stations over the next five years.

The new footbridge, lift and stair structure is of a high-quality design which is sympathetic to the existing station buildings and wider conservation area. The use of brick at the lower level of the proposed lift shaft will also be in keeping with the existing station buildings while the proposed cladding will resemble the signal box’s weather boarding.

The typical Monday to Saturday off-peak service from the station is:

  • 2tph (trains per hour) to Dover Priory (of which 1 train calls at all stations and 1 is fast to Dover Priory)
  • 2tph to London Victoria via Faversham and Chatham (of which 1 train calls at Selling and 1 is fast to Faversham)

The typical Sunday service from the station is:

  • 1tph to Dover Priory calling at all stations
  • 2tph to London Victoria via Faversham and Chatham (of which 1 train is fast between Rochester and Bromley South and 1 train calls at all stops between Faversham and St Mary Cray)

Fiona Taylor, Kent route director for Network Rail, said:

“Access for All is a significant investment, which helps to make using the railway even easier for the millions of passengers, who travel by train every year. Canterbury East will have step-free access for the first time and the new bridge and lifts will be a valuable addition to the station’s facilities.”

Rail Accessibility Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said:

“Making stations more accessible is vital to allowing more people to get out and about, either to work or see friends and family.

“Step-free access at Canterbury East, thanks to a new bridge and lifts, will give disabled people more confidence to use public transport.”

Kyle Miller, station manager for Southeastern, said:

“We’re always wanting to do more for our passengers to make the railway as easy to use as possible, and the start of work at Canterbury East means that full step-free access is now well on the way to becoming a reality.

“The new footbridge and lifts will not just make getting around the station easier for people with accessibility issues, but will also be of great benefit to people with luggage, which is particularly important for a station in a popular tourist destination as well as providing an additional route to cross between the platforms.”

The proposed works will preserve and respect the railway character and appearance of the area and the project is due to be completed by July 2021.

Notes to Editors

Canterbury is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Canterbury Cathedral, with its stunning mixture of Romanesque and Perpendicular Gothic architecture, the modest Church of St Martin (the oldest church in the English-speaking world) and the ruins of St Augustine’s Abbey, once a burial place for the Anglo-Saxon kings of Kent.

Canterbury East station also boasts a tenuous link to the work of esteemed author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In Doyle's short story, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, Holmes and Watson are described hiding from Professor Moriarty in a train station in Canterbury; while the station is not specifically named, the fact that the pair were heading for the Continental Express via London Victoria suggests the station in question is Canterbury East.

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Leonard Bennett

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