It’s still full steam ahead at Bat & Ball Station as refurbishment of area continues during Coronavirus outbreak
Sevenoaks Town Council’s regeneration of Bat & Ball area and the station has been continuing even during the Coronavirus crisis.
Most of the work at the station so far has been concentrated on the booking office building which now incorporates the popular Bat & Ball café. The latest work has seen the refurbishment of the shelter on the London bound Platform 1 recently completed
In 2014 Sevenoaks Town Council set out an ambitious regeneration plan for the Bat & Ball area by investing in community facilities. This was further strengthened by the Northern Masterplan and draft Neighbourhood Development Plan.
The Town Council wanted these initiatives to encourage investment into the local area and it also committed to undertaking projects itself to this aim.
This started with the multi award winning refurbishment of the Bat & Ball Station building which immediately improved the local area including reduction of crime and has already become a much-loved local venue.
The refurbishment of the Bat & Ball Station led to the initiative of the Darent Valley Community Rail Partnership (DVCRP). The DVCRP links six train stations and their local communities from Swanley to Sevenoaks. The ideas are to share resources and promotions and encourage visitors. Prior to COVID 19 good interest had been generated from national tour operators for this new Scenic Line.
In September 2019 Sevenoaks Town Council completed the construction of a new ramp access and this was formally opened by the Mayor and MP. Bat & Ball Station was opened in 1862, however this is the first time that passengers were able to access Platform 1 directly. This has helped those with mobility needs and parents with buggies. In the first two months since it opened 20% of passengers were using the new access.
The new Bat & Ball Centre due to open in December 2020 is currently under construction and continuing even during COVID 19 restrictions, albeit more slowly than its original timetable due to problems with delivery and complying with public health guidelines.