Rail users in Bromley, South London will soon benefit from step-free access at Shortlands station as Network Rail announces accessibility upgrades starting this January.
The £8.5m programme of work, delivered by Network Rail, will begin on Monday 15 January and is expected to be finished in spring 2025. Once complete, the station will be fully accessible making it much easier for passengers with limited mobility, visual impairments as well as those travelling with pushchairs and bicycles to make their way around the station.
The work will make the station step free for the first time since it opened in the 1950’s and will involve installing three lifts and a new footbridge with staircases which will span between the platforms at the station.
Other improvements include refreshing the lighting and adding CCTV in the station which will make passengers feel safer and more comfortable when travelling, particularly at night, as well as the installation of a new emergency staircase which will provide an additional exit for passengers to use in an emergency.
These improvements are funded by the Department for Transport’s (DfT) ‘Access for All’ scheme, which is used to create an obstacle free, accessible route from the station entrance to the platforms. This generally includes providing lifts or ramps, as well as associated works and refurbishment along the route.
Hodan Hassan, Network Rail’s commercial scheme sponsor, said: “It’s really great to see the investment being made to make stations fully accessible in the Kent region and we welcome the continued investment from the DfT and continue to work closely with local councils to provide the best experience for all rail users.
“We’d like to reassure passengers and local residents that most of the work will take place over weekdays during daytime hours and will not affect the train services during the week.”
Neil Smoker, Southeastern’s station manager for Shortlands, said: “We’re always wanting to do more for our customers, as part of our drive towards a better, more reliable, and more sustainable railway.
“We’ll see the accessibility of Shortlands station transformed by Network Rail over the next year, with the new lifts and footbridge set to make a huge difference to everyone who uses the station, whether that’s people using pushchairs or wheelchairs, bikes and those with heavy luggage. Our customers will also welcome the planned security improvements that will ensure Shortlands station remains a safe place to travel to and from.”