Kent Community Rail Partnership
Newsletter October 2020
Message from the Chair
By now it was hoped that COVID-19 restrictions would have started to be lifted and the Community Rail Partnership would have been able to start organising events and activities on our lines, so we have had to cancel a number of events that would normally have taken place in the last months of 2020. There had been a push from the Department for Transport and a desire by Train Operating Companies to encourage passengers back to rail. Although there has been evidence that Rail continues to be a very safe way to travel, even during COVID-19 restrictions, many passengers are choosing to work from home or change their travel patterns. The train companies are taking measures to clean their trains and stations more frequently and have spare capacity on their trains for people to remain 'socially distant'. This has meant that our CRP staff can start to get back to our stations again, although still limited on who they can meet.
Meanwhile, the rail industry is going through a significant organisational change. The new Franchise awarded to Southeastern never really got started when it was replaced by an Emergency Maintenance Agreement that transferred the 'revenue risk' back to DfT and Southeastern given a fee for operating the operation. Financial control had effectively been transferred back to the Government. This arrangement, initially for 6-months, has now been extended by Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements, with the intention to come up with a new structure for the future - we are lobbying for early decisions for Community Rail support so that we can plan longer term. Funding is currently agreed for just 2020/2021 .
In practical terms, support for Community Rail has continued and now expanded to new CRPs in East Kent and the Ashford to Otford line within our own CRP. Initial contacts are being made with District, Parish Councils and community groups alongside the line to create a third line. Due to its geographical position, it has been decided to call this the Kent Downs Line. There will be more information over the coming months and hopefully we can meet face to face for the launch, rather than online.
In the meantime, thank you to our staff for keeping the CRP on track and keeping contact via online events. Now the challenge of establishing the Kent Downs CRP is underway and there will more news as that develops.
Chris Fribbins Chairman – KCRP
Community Rail Network Awards Nominations
We are pleased to announce that we have been nominated in three categories in recognition of the work our partnership has been doing at the Annual Community Network Awards. This wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the fantastic support we get from our members, volunteers, station adopters and funders.
We were nominated for the work we have been doing with Sheppey College in the Involving Children and Young People category.
We were also nominated for the recognition of the work with Five Acre Wood Snodland and Grow19 in the Most Enhance Station category for the work at Snodland Station.
Our third nomination was in the photo competition taken at the Opening Ceremony for the Snodland Garden.
The winners and the runner up places will be announced at a
virtual online award ceremony in December.
Cycle rides and walks from stations
Don’t forget to take a look at some of our recommended walks and cycle rides from our local stations. These are all available on our website. Just click on a station and see what you can do nearby. Please remember to follow the social distancing guidelines.
New Kent CRP logo
Here is our brand new Kent CRP logo to represent our organisation. The final design was based on our two excellent winners of our competition in May. Juice Designs took elements of their ideas to bring it all together.
Here are our competition winners original designs by Hannah Legg and Matthew Crowley that were used for inspiration. Thank you again to all those who took part in the competition.
Kent CRP have continued to run their virtual book club. Numbers have increased and we are now on to our 4th book and our group has grown to 10 members. Thank you to our volunteer Gary Outram who has taken over running this and sending out the weekly emails. If you would like to join in and meet up online with our next book please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
Unfortunately, due to Covid- 19 our planned up and coming events have all been postponed for the foreseeable near future. We will continue to run smaller online events such as the Book Club.
Book Club — 20th October 2020 Zoom Meeting
Southeastern have recently introduced a number of new measures to help improve it’s service:
- Additional trains and carriages to help make extra room. A seat finder tool to see how busy your train is by checking the departure board.
- Passengers are encouraged to purchase online, use contactless cards or The Key
- It is mandatory to wear face coverings on trains and all areas of the station.
- Hand sanitiser is available at busy stations and frequent deep cleaning using antiviral products takes place across the network.
A new timetable was introduced on September 7th which has effected a number of services, particularly to those on the Medway Valley Line and the need to change at Paddock Wood to get to Tonbridge. A number of changes have since been made to the timetable to help alleviate this.
You can now also follow us on Instagram. www.instagram.com/kentcommunityrailpartnership
Train services are still effected by Covid19 and will remain so over the coming months, in addition to the implementation of a new timetable. Please therefore continue to keep an eye on the Southeastern website for the latest updates regarding train times and services.
On July 3rd our second online quiz took place. Thank you to Matthew Fraser for writing the questions and being Question Master and our Medway Valley Line Chair, James Willis for hosting the event.
Once a gain we had representation from across the United Kingdom in a closely fought competition.
Snodland bridge repairs
From September the 26th until the end of December there will be work taking place at Snodland Station where the footbridge is being repainted. This will mean that passengers will need to use the crossing while the work is being carried out. Please also check train services aren’t effect.
Old train station photos
Kent CRP are still looking for old photographs of any of our stations, particularly those on the Swale Rail Line and now our new Kent Downs Line. We have launched our Medway Valley Line page now and would like to thank all of those who have contributed photos. We can always add more if you still have them. To view the page visit to share these. https://kentcrp.org/history-mvl
Any photographs you send us will need permission from the owner to allow us to share them on our site and we will credit you on our page. If you also have any
Interesting facts about your local stations , we would also love to hear from you.
Here is a photograph of Queenborough Station. Thank you to Ray Moore and the Kent Photo Archive for giving us
permission to use this photograph as part of our collection.
Please contact email@example.com for more
information or to send in any photos.
Therese Hammond -Project Officer email: firstname.lastname@example.org 07917 131248
Andy Place - Engagement Officer email email@example.com 07920 088441
The Kent Community Rail Partnership is hosted by the registered Charity Sustrans. The Kent Community Rail Partnership encourages greater use of the Medway Valley and SwaleRail lines by local people and visitors and aims to improve station environments and facilities on offer.
Click on the links below to view previous newsletters.