Two new train stations for Sittingbourne?
A vision of creating a metro system for Sittingbourne to encourage more people to travel by rail is being considered by Philip Hammond, Secretary of State for Transport.
The plan, developed by Mike Whiting (pictured), Swale councillor for Swale Central, is at an embryonic stage and involves a proposal for two new railway stations serving the Bobbing area at The Meads, and the Murston and Bapchild areas at Great Easthall.
The £10 million scheme has the backing of MP Gordon
Henderson, and Cllr Whiting says that it comes at a crucial time with Swale's local development framework and the 2014 rail franchise under consideration.
Cllr Whiting said: "We're at a crossroads at the moment as we have a lot of housing development coming up which we know is going to have an adverse affect on the road network.
"If we are serious about using the railways more, we have to get something out there and start talking about it."
He added that the KCC Rail Action Plan for Kent will benefit those commuters travelling to London, but his scheme is designed to help local commuters, saying: "The lines run through existing areas of housing, employment and our town centres and could be developed with two new stations to link areas where further expansion is planned, and reduce the impact of those expansions on the road network."
Mr Henderson added: "I think this vision of how we might open up the railways to more people is worth pursuing, and that it why I have written to the Secretary of State supporting the principle of the scheme."
by Rachael Woods, KM