Thriving city railway station at centre of talks

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Rail chiefs have pledged to continue talks with Canterbury City Council aimed at creating a thriving station fit for the future in Canterbury’s Station Road West.

Officers and councillors met representatives from Southeastern and Network Rail on Friday 6 July to discuss ways of accommodating the growing number of passengers using Canterbury West station.

Leader of the council Cllr Simon Cook said: “We really appreciate the representatives from the rail industry taking the time to talk to us. We are certain this is the start of some very interesting and exciting conversations about this massively important part of the city.

“Our plans for a multi-storey car park could be the key to unlock the potential of Canterbury West station. It opens up the opportunity for the station to be reconfigured in a way that provides more space for passengers, pedestrians, taxis and bikes. Buses already stop on the road outside the station.”

Last month, the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission, a powerful committee of experts advising central government, recommended better railway connections for the city and called for Crossrail to be extended to Ebbsfleet which would connect the district’s high-speed trains to a much wider network.

Chief executive Colin Carmichael said: “High speed trains have already brought enormous benefits to the city and the wider district. We need to build on those benefits now to make the most of them for the future, otherwise we will be left kicking ourselves in 25 years’ time having left the way open for other towns in Kent to benefit.

“Canterbury West station will help us to do so and we’re pleased our talks were so positive.”

Pedestrian links to the city centre from Station Road West have recently been enhanced with wider pavements in St Dunstan’s and the repaving work in front of the Westgate Towers.

Plans for the multi-storey car park include top-of-the-range bike storage facilities and electric charging points.

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