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New lifts at rail station

By Faversham Times  |  Posted: November 04, 2011

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LIFTS are to be installed at Faversham station – two years after they were originally promised.

In a letter addressed to the town council, Network Rail said that the railway operators were finalising the plans with Swale and expected them to be in place by the end of the year.

The long-awaited lifts will replace those removed in 2009 during a multi-million pound upgrade of the station. But plans for replacements were stalled by a stalemate between the council and Network Rail over the design.

Swale Council granted an application for Network Rail to build the lifts at the town's grade Ii-listed station complex, with a planning condition that they have a timber-boarded covering to blend in with the historic platform buildings. Now the railway operator says a compromise has now been reached.

One passenger in particular was delighted at the news. Retired teacher Freda Costa appealed in the Faversham Times in September calling for transport bosses to improve access to buses and trains for disabled people, as well as parents with pushchairs.

Freda, of Briton Road, has severe spinal problems and often has to rely on expensive taxis to travel outside Faversham, because of poor disabled access to public transport in the town.

She said: "I'd be very pleased to have the freedom to be able to use the train to go to Canterbury again, to visit the theatre or go shopping, after years of being unable to use Faversham station.

"It would be very good news if it finally happens, though I won't hold my breath if they haven't even started on it yet."

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