Southern region Railways : Kent route – Monthly newsletter

Welcome to the June newsletter for the Kent route at Network Rail.

As we continue to respond to the Coronavirus outbreak, our teams continue to work at home where possible. Given the nature of their work, other colleagues such as signalling staff, track workers and maintenance departments are unable to work from home, and in the meantime, are working around the clock to keep the country moving.

With some of our work on sites, it will not always be possible for colleagues to maintain a two-metre distance from each other as recommended for social distancing. Please rest assured we are doing our very best to minimise these circumstances, adapt our work practices and where there are no other options, we are working to provide the best possible personal protection available.

As there begins to be a number of easements to the lockdown restrictions across the country, and as passenger numbers begin to increase on services on the route, we are working hard to maintain safety at our stations and on trains. Details on how we are doing this at our managed stations (including London Cannon Street on the Kent route and other large stations such as London Waterloo and Clapham Junction within the Southern region) are included within this newsletter.

Kent: News on the route

Coronavirus & Network Rail

As the Government begins to take steps to ease the lockdown in the coming weeks, I wanted to update you on how Network Rail is preparing for the next phase.

Keeping our frontline staff, passengers and the public safe is our first priority, and we have been working closely with Government, public health authorities, colleagues across the rail industry and the trades unions since the beginning of the outbreak to put the right guidance and protection in place.  Read more here

Nine-day line closure in South East London 
The railway through Hither Green, in South East London, will be closed for nine days from Saturday, 25 July to Sunday, 2 August 2020, as we complete critical signalling upgrades through the area.

We want your feedback on this line closure to ensure we are communicating effectively about this project. Please take 5 minutes to fill out the stakeholder survey here.

Stations prepare for uplift in numbers
While passenger numbers remain much lower than normal, as the lockdown restrictions begin to be relaxed – particularly around returning to the workplace and the opening of retail premises – we expect our passengers to gradually return to stations across the route.

Behind the scenes, our stations teams have been hard at work to ensure we are implementing cleaning regimes and introducing measures to help passengers adhere to the social distancing guidelines. You can expect to see new signage, floor markings and designated walking and queuing routes, designed to make your journey through the station safe and efficient. Watch the video here. Please do share across your own channels to ensure all passengers are prepared should they need to use public transport.

Kent Lineside Habitat Project

We are keen to share with you our exciting pilot project as to how Network Rail has taken a new approach in how we address our vegetation management practices.

This project will inform a nature conservation strategy and enable us to evaluate a variety of different approaches to our interaction with nature.

Phase 1 took place on 9 trial sites and we look forward to sharing the outcomes with you in due course.  Phases 2 and 3 will take place from September 2020 to April 2021.  We will also be launching a dedicated webpage and will be in regular contact with you as the project progresses.

Southern region stakeholder team
If you have any concerns or queries, please get in touch with the team who cover stakeholder and public affairs:

Eddie Burton, Community Engagement Manager: eddie.burton@networkrail.co.uk

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