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Stations to benefit from £15m from Govia Thameslink

PUBLISHED: 18:21 19 July 2019

Slade Green just one of many stations in region to benefit from cash boost. Picture: Google

Slade Green just one of many stations in region to benefit from cash boost. Picture: Google

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Stations across northern Kent are starting to benefit from a £15million "passenger benefit fund" following poor levels of service last summer,

The money is being shared out over three tiers. Tier one stations singled out for a share in the cash get £80,000 per station, tier two get £50,000; and tier three each get £30,000.

The tier one group includes Gravesend, Higham, Northfleet, Swanscombe, and Bromley South.

Tier two has Dartford, Greenhithe, Stone Crossing, Slade Green, St Mary Cray, Orpington, and Petts Wood.

And tier three includes Abbey Wood.

The Department for Transport instructed train operator Govia Thameslink to pay £15 million towards what is being called a passenger benefit fund after all the chaos on the lines last year.

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And now the company wants some public input on how all the money should be spent.

A GTR spokesman said: "We are keen to hear rail users' ideas on how the money from the Passenger Benefit Fund should be spent to provide tangible benefits for passengers at their local stations."

They said at the end of a three-month engagement process it will review all the suggestions and produce a list of schemes that proved to be most the popular with the majority of people who sent in ideas.

These will then be put before passenger groups and stakeholders before a final list is produced for implementation. At that time, GTR said it will allocate funding into the ideas selected for the wider passenger benefit schemes.

Labour councillors at Slade Green welcome the investment in their local station and already have an idea to increase passenger comfort.

Cllr. Stefano Borella, shadow cabinet member for transport said: "I have requested the reopening of the station toilets that have been closed for many years or investigate opening a post office counter in the station."

GTR is also running a series of days to promote the fund and answer questions from interested groups. One is on the evening of July 16 at Dartford Council.

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