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No direct link planned between new railway station at Hoo and Medway Towns leaving only option to change at Gravesend


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It is feared a multi-million pound railway station would become a "white elephant" under current route plans which would require commuters to change miles from their likely destination.

Consultation is currently underway into how Medway Council will spend £170 million from the government's Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) to develop 12,000 new homes on the Hoo Peninsula.

How the station at Hoo could look when completed. Picture: Medway Council
How the station at Hoo could look when completed. Picture: Medway Council

The 64-page consultation document includes plans to spend £63m on rail improvements, which includes a new, single-platform railway station at Sharnal Street.

The consultation refers to using the disused Grain branch line to connect the Peninsula to London.

Thus far, the consultation only includes plans for an "interchange option at Gravesend to link to locations across Medway", which has been criticised by Medway Labour Group.

Cllr Andy Stamp, the group's spokesman for regeneration and communities, called into question the sustainability of the development if there is an over reliance on cars.

He said there had been no confirmation as to whether or not, if the station fails to make a profit, Medway taxpayers would foot the bill.

How the new railway station at Hoo could look. Picture: Medway Council
How the new railway station at Hoo could look. Picture: Medway Council
How the new railway station at Hoo could look. Picture: Medway Council
How the new railway station at Hoo could look. Picture: Medway Council

The Gillingham North councillor said: "With the pandemic, fewer people will being commuting to London so there's a huge question mark over whether it will be financially viable.

"We are in favour of the HIF and the railway scheme but they are no longer guaranteeing a rail link with the Medway Towns directly, in the consultation document.

"If there is no direct rail link between Hoo and the Medway Towns, the likelihood is people are just going to keep on using their cars.

"The real fear I have got is they are going to build a white elephant."

Medway Conservatives declined to comment.

An earlier plan clearly shows a direct rail link from Hoo into Medway
An earlier plan clearly shows a direct rail link from Hoo into Medway

The consultation has been extended and will now end at midnight on Tuesday, April 6.

Read more: All the latest news from Medway

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