The refurbished footbridge will officially be re-opened by local MP, Helen Whately at 12 noon on Friday 10 May

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Residents of Faversham are invited to join Network Rail, Faversham Council and Helen Whately MP at St Catherine’s Church to celebrate the re-opening of the footbridge on Friday 10 May, between 11:00 and 14:00.

The footbridge was removed in October 2018 to allow it to be refurbished and strengthened. This means it will now be able to remain open during the next Faversham Hop Festival, which was not previously possible because of the condition of the bridge.

Helen Whately, MP for Faversham and Mid Kent said: “It’s a pleasure to be opening the new and improved footbridge. The refurbishment was badly needed, and now the bridge is open again it’ll be much easier to get across town, especially for people living on the south side.

Faversham station is the gateway to the town and an important part of our heritage, that’s why I’m supporting the Faversham Society’s campaign to completely restore its Victorian glory. The renovation of the footbridge is a big step forward”

David Brearey, project manager for Network Rail said: “We’re delighted to unveil the new, improved Preston Lane footbridge. We’ve not only strengthened the bridge but spruced it up to enhance its heritage features and make sure it’s better able to serve the local community for many years to come.”

Jon Hamer, churchwarden at St Catherine’s Church said: “Network Rail and their sub-contractors BAM Nuttall, have done a superb job in giving Faversham back a bridge that has been in place for 100 years and looks as good as new. We owe a great deal of thanks to the local residents for their patience while the work was being done over the last 6 months and the inconvenienced it has caused them. Once again, local people will be able to use the bridge and easily access the church. I hope most people would agree that the bridge looks great and all the effort and inconvenience have been worth it.”

Saturday 13 April marked six months since the railway footbridge over Faversham station was removed in three sections, using a huge crane. The footbridge, which has carried thousands of locals over the railway since the early 20th century, was originally due to be restored in January. However, once removed, it was found that the steel bridge had decayed more than originally thought which meant a longer period of refurbishment was required.

The fete will take place between 11am and 2pm at St Catherine’s Church (Preston Lane, Faversham, ME13 8LF) with stalls, refreshments, organ recitals and tours of the church. The bridge will be re-opened to the public by Helen Whately MP at 12 noon.