St Mary Cray Railway Station in Kent

Passengers using a station in Kent are set to soon benefit from greater accessibility, after a £4 million scheme to improve convenient access to St Mary Cray station was approved.

As part of the works, two new easy-access lifts are set to be installed at the station, according to a report by Rail Technology Magazine.

A range of accessibility features inside and outside the station building will also be included, particularly helping those with mobility issues, older people and parents with young children.

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The improvements are being funded by the Department for Transport’s ‘Access for All’ programme.

Each of the large lifts have capacity for 16 people and are the ‘through’ type, with exists at each end, to improve accessibility for those using them.

Further improvements are also being made to the ticket office and the relocation of a retail unit into the old taxi office to create more space for the new lift shaft. New handrails and tactile surfacing are also being installed on the existing platform staircases.

Paul Harwood, Network Rail’s Investment Director for Southern Region, said: “The ‘Access for All’ programme enables a significant investment in our stations in Kent and the wider Southern Region which will help all our passengers and especially those with mobility issues.

“St Mary Cray will have modern step-free access to its platforms for the first time and dozens of other measures throughout the station will make access much easier for all passengers.”

Both Network Rail and the train operating company Southeastern will engage and work with passengers to communicate progress throughout the works.

Matt Hawken, Southeastern Station Manager for St Mary Cray, said: “At Southeastern we are committed to providing a safe and comfortable journey for everyone.

“A key part of that is how easily people can get around our stations and on or off the trains.

“This work at St Mary Cray means that another one of our stations will have step-free access. It does make a real difference to disabled people and those with heavy luggage or prams.”

The work will begin on the February 15, 2021 and is due to be completed by the end of autumn.

It was announced in February that 124 rail stations across Great Britain will receive a share of a new £20 million government fund for accessibility improvements such as new lifts, accessible toilets and customer information screens.

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