GARETH Johnson MP has welcomed plans to build a £2m footbridge at Stone Crossing Station.

Network Rail is to consult on plans to install a bridge next year. Feasibility plans are due to be completed by May and these results will go out to consultation next summer.

If it gets the go ahead, a bridge, estimated to cost around £2million could be in place by 2017.

It is anticipated the station is likely to become even busier in the years to come and the current system of using the level crossing has long been seen as a safety issue by current commuters and rail users.

As well as the new bridge. Southeastern has agreed to install a card-only ticket machine next year.

In addition to the bridge plans and new ticket machine, Kent County Councillor Penny Cole is planning the installation of a new bike rack at the station for commuters who want to be able to cycle to the station.

The fourth piece of good news for the station is that, after much discussion, BT has confirmed it will remove the out-of-use phone box next to the station in the first half of next year.

Gareth Johnson MP said: “Not that long ago the very future of Stone Crossing Station was questioned but today services from the station have been secured for the foreseeable future and also some major enhancements are on their way.

“It is important we invest in the future of Stone Crossing for the benefit of all local residents. The bridge will reduce safety risks, a new ticket machine is long overdue and the derelict phone box seems only to be used as a public urinal!”