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Station move reflects Medway boom

Thu 10 January 2013, 11:55 am

Network Rail has tabled £26 million proposals to move Rochester Station to allow for longer trains and quicker services to cater for the area's expected growth.

The plans would see a new station with greater capacity built a short distance north-west of the current station, on part of the Corporation Street car park.

According to Medway Council, the scheme would also provide better access to the Riverside development and create new parking provision.

Ahead of cabinet discussion of the proposals, the authority said redeveloping Rochester Station would help to deal with a predicted 30 per cent rise in rail passengers over “the next few years”.

Medway said the predicted surge was due to a “a number of factors",  including the high-speed train service making it faster to travel to London for commuters, and the redevelopment of Rochester Riverside as well as other regeneration sites across Medway.

Council leader Rodney Chambers said a new station would allow Rochester to capitalise on its current regeneration projects by promoting its attractiveness as a commuter town.

“Rochester, like the rest of Medway, is benefitting from regeneration and more and more people are viewing it as a place to buy a family home and commute from,” he said.

“The number of rail passengers is forecast to grow significantly and freeing up this space for a new station will not only improve the service for commuters and other passengers, but also make sure it grows with future demand.

"It would also result in the train station moving closer to the centre of Rochester, and the places that visitors come to, and give local people a newer, better station that is easier to get to and has better links with local bus services."

Under the proposals, the new station - which would be expected to open in 2015, would be able to handle 12-car trains instead of the current 10-car capacity.

Medway Council’s cabinet will consider the proposals on 15 January.

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