Green light for Rochester's new £26m station
by Jim Dunton Thu 12 September 2013, 3:24 pm
Network Rail's proposals to create a new £26 million station for Rochester have been approved by Medway Council's planning committee.
The new interchange, which will be built on the site of the town’s Corporation Street car park, is part of the infrastructure operator's East Kent investment programme to improve high-speed rail services, increasing capacity and shortening journey times.
It is expected to boost the attractiveness of Medway as a commuter town, increase tourism, and will make the station more accessible from the town centre.
As well as giving Rochester the capacity to cater for 12-car trains, the new station will also provide a pedestrian tunnel to the Rochester Riverside development.
Council leader Rodney Chambers said the new station would help Medway deal with a projected rise in rail passengers of 30 per cent, and was a huge vote of confidence in the borough’s regeneration.
“The fact that this scheme has got the go ahead is very good news,” he said.
“It will lead to a new, better train station for Rochester, which will result in a quicker, more reliable service with more space for passengers.
“Rochester – like the rest of Medway – is benefiting from regeneration and more and more people are viewing it as a place to buy a family home and commute from.
“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.”
Fiona Taylor, Network Rail’s route managing director for Kent, said she believed the new station would help to kick-start the wider regeneration of the Riverside area.
A new council-owned car park will be built on the Rochester Riverside development site to replace lost spaces, and to serve residents and visitors to the area.
In addition to the new station for Rochester, Network Rail’s investment in the borough comes to around £40 million - including the cost of improvements already made at Gillingham and planned work at Strood and Rainham stations.
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