Bearsted station on the up as Sir Hugh Robertson and friends open Access for All scheme’s 1,000th lift

Published on : Sunday, October 26, 2014

displaymedia-1-300x199Bearsted railway station, the gateway to Leeds Castle and a popular station in its own right, has become fully accessible for the first time in its 130-year history.

Funded by the Government’s Access for All scheme and built by Network Rail, new station’s £1m lifts are the 1,000th and 1,001st lifts funded by the scheme.

They were officially opened on Friday by Sir Hugh Robertson MP, with guests from Leeds Castle – including their hawk –the Department for Transport, and operator Southeastern.

The lifts mean that families coming for a day out will no longer have to carry pushchairs and luggage up the stairs to cross between platforms.

Network Rail’s route managing director for the South East, Dave Ward, said: “It’s not just families who benefit from these lifts but anyone who finds stairs a challenge.


The railway should be for everyone and we are working on a series of projects across Kent to make that happen.”

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said: “We are transforming our railways through record levels of investment and as part of our long term economic plan.

“The improvements at Bearsted will assist thousands of passengers for years to come and I am delighted the project has now been completed.”

Alison Nolan, head of customer relations at operator Southeastern said: “We’re committed to making our stations and trains accessible to all of our customers and we’ve worked together with Network Rail to deliver this project to install a new lift at Bearsted.


This kind of investment in station facilities is vital to our local communities and is just one example of how partnership working brings real benefits for passengers.”

Bearsted station, which is used by almost 400,000 people a year, has good links with Leeds Castle, one of Kent’s top tourist attractions. Bill Lash, chief executive of Leeds Castle, said: “We have a long association with Bearsted Station as it is ‘the station for Leeds Castle’.


We welcome thousands of London’s residents and overseas visitors to the castle every year who have travelled by train to enjoy the loveliest castle in the world.


This winter will be no different, as the ease of travelling by train and the shuttle bus right to our doorstep, will leave Leeds Castle to do what we do best – entertain and provide a fantastic day out all year round.”

Source:- Network Rail

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