Folkestone residents can begin looking forward to an exciting new future for the northern section of the disused Folkestone Harbour branch line as Network Rail today announced that it is to clear the line and begin discussions with local stakeholders on potential community uses.
From the beginning of February to April 2019, most of the old track, sleepers and lineside equipment will be removed and overgrown vegetation and litter cleared along the the route. Railway equipment at the rail-road and the footpath crossings at Folly Road will also be removed and the crossings converted to a public highway and public footpath.
Discussions with local stakeholders on potential new community uses are now underway with a decision to be made in the summer of 2019. Enquiries about about the old line and potential future uses can be directed to CRSouthEast@networkrail.co.uk .
Mark Ellerby, project sponsor, Network Rail South East route, said: “While the station section of the line is now a vibrant hub with shops, cafes, homes and cycle paths, the northern section has become overgrown and blighted by flytipping.
“The work we are doing now to clear the line is a key step towards making the old line a community asset for the enjoyment of local people and visitors. It will ultimately be up to future owners to determine the exact use, but we have deliberately opted to leave some of the old track in place to allow this to be a feature of any future scheme”.