The newly redeveloped station building at Snodland was officially re-opened by Tracey last week after a £1.1Million investment.
Passenger numbers have increased significantly at Snodland since Southeastern's successful High Speed service was introduced in 2009. This coupled with growth and investment in the area, has resulted in the ticket office being reopened for a growing number of commuters, three decades after it was originally shut down
The redevelopment of the station has created a new ‘transport interchange’ at the front of the station with an extended car park and included work in the main station building to reopen the ticket office for the first time since 1986.
Tracey was joined by Southeastern’s Managing Director, David Statham, local councillors, contractors who carried out the work, members of the Railway Heritage Trust and the Department for Transport for a plaque unveiling and a slice of cake.
In the new booking hall, Southeastern who organised the event, displayed picture montages of the work taking place at the station before, during and after the work was completed, as well as having light refreshments provided by a local caterer in Snodland.
With passenger numbers steadily on the rise, up to 40% in some areas, the upgrades to the listed building and forecourt are a welcome improvement to the station.
The station ticket office at Snodland was closed by British Rail in 1986.
David Statham, Managing Director at Southeastern, said: “We are over the moon to be re-opening the station ticket office and upgrading the station building at Snodland. Since the introduction of high speed services the number of passengers using Snodland station has grown significantly and we want to give those passengers who use the station a better experience.”
Tracey said: “It’s fantastic to see that after years of being closed the station ticket office is now in use again for passengers. This is much needed as housing developments in the area are completed, seeing more and more people use the station. This is very welcome investment to the town of Snodland and I’m very humbled to be asked to officially open the station building.”
The work was completed at the end of September and was jointly funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) with £600,000 from its National Station Improvement Programme (NSIP), Kent County Council with £485,000 from its Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) and the Railway Heritage Trust (£32,000).
Network Rail carried out some of the work at the station and their Route Enhancement manager Mike Smith said: “Our Railway Upgrade Plan is not just about trains and railways, it’s about people.
“The rebirth of Snodland is a great example of how the railway industry can work with local partners to the benefit of the people who make the community and the local economy across Kent.”
Other partners include Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, Kent Community Rail Partnership and Network Rail, which Southeastern is working with to improve facilities at stations across the network.