Encouraging more investment in the county’s railways was a key feature of this year’s Kent Rail Summit.
The gathering, which brought together representatives from the rail industry and local government, was held on Wednesday, 20th October, virtually for the second year in a row.
At the 13th annual meeting, guests heard updates on the future of services for Kent, following the Government’s move to take control of the Southeastern franchise.
An update was also given on the work undertaken throughout the pandemic to ensure consistent services remained while in lockdown, and how that was adapted following the easing of restrictions.
Separately, information was shared about a study which was commissioned to explore the case for improving transport to support growth in parts of Kent, including Bexley and the north west.
Throughout the Government-commissioned report KCC has been committed to promoting an extension to Crossrail to the county.
Kent County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, David Brazier, said: “It is vitally important that Kent’s rail sector continues to provide growth to the county’s economy and supports our exit from the coronavirus pandemic.
“As our lives return to normal, we need to understand the challenges faced by passengers and our partners in the sector.
“That is why I was delighted to host the virtual Kent Rail Summit, giving everyone who operates and relies on rail services the chance to voice their thoughts on provision in the county.
“I look forward to working further and developing a plan, which will benefit residents and be economic, to encourage further investment in services.”
A Southeastern spokesperson said: “We transferred ownership smoothly last weekend and it’s very much business as usual – the same excellent, clean, punctual and reliable service that our passengers deserve.
“Looking forward, we’re going to be working on a plan to win our customers back, with more of the new Class 707 City Beam trains steadily being introduced into service between now and the spring.”