Transport minister Baroness Kramer visited Kent today (29 July 2015) to see how £1.7 million of investment has transformed Folkestone West station, providing more comfort and convenience for passengers.
Baroness Kramer officially opened the new facilities, which include a new waiting room and booking office, and an expanded car park providing an extra 200 spaces. Additional bike racks have also been installed, and the customer information system has been upgraded.
Baroness Kramer said:
These improvements at Folkestone West will transform the passenger experience, providing greater comfort and convenience, and making it easier for people to travel to work and leisure opportunities.
As part of our long-term economic plan, we have invested £1.7 million at this station and we are committing £38 billion over the next 5 years to improve and maintain the UK’s rail network, in order to meet the needs of the increasing numbers of passengers using the railways, and the work at Folkestone West is a great example of this.
Work to the car park started earlier this year and has boosted the number of available spaces to 270, in order to accommodate the increasing number of passengers using the station now and in the future.
The station also has a new forecourt area with a customer drop-off point, and a new ticket office designed to meet accessibility requirements. A new ticket vending machine and information monitors have been installed, along with an upgraded public address system.
Charles Horton, managing director of Southeastern, said:
The new car park and booking hall at Folkestone West provides a more welcoming station environment for our passengers and offers us room for growth.
We chose to develop the facilities at this station in response to calls from passengers for more parking spaces and have worked with our industry partners to deliver facilities that are fit for the future. At a time when rail passenger numbers are rocketing and we’re expanding high speed services through the station, this investment offers a welcome boost to Folkestone.
The work has been funded by the Department for Transport and Network Rail through the National Stations Improvement Programme and Station Commercial Project Fund (SCPF).
During her visit to Folkestone, Baroness Kramer also travelled on Southeastern’s high speed train to see first-hand how the service is providing improved connections to London and benefiting the local economy.