News release text
Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) is moving ahead with plans for two new fire stations to cover the Medway towns.
The applications submitted to Medway Council are for a new site at Rochester, which includes an innovative road safety centre, and a new building to replace the existing station in Watling Street, Gillingham – known as Medway.
"The area has seen major changes since the original three stations in Chatham, Gillingham and Watling Street were built, not least a huge increase in population, road networks and traffic,” explains Steve Griffiths, KFRS Service Delivery Director. He added: “We want to ensure we can provide the best possible emergency cover for the area and we believe that our plans will achieve this. In addition we are hoping to develop an innovative Road Safety Centre that will help educate local young people about keeping themselves safe."
KFRS plans to build a new station on the former Park and Ride site near Rochester Airport on Marconi Way. If the application is successful, construction will start towards the end of the year. Completion is expected in December 2014.
The new station will be a wholetime station and will also be the base for the group administration office which operates during normal office hours.
An innovative Road Safety Centre is also planned on the site to provide essential road safety skills for young people across the county.
Once a site was found for a new station in Rochester, KFRS re-ran a detailed analysis of past incidents using the new Rochester site as a second hub in the area. All of the evidence showed that the current Watling Street site provided the best base alongside Strood, Rochester and Rainham, to deal with emergencies and risks in this area. However the existing station is over 60 years old and in need of extensive work, but as it is on an oversized plot, a cost effective option has been developed to make best use of the land. This will see a new station being built on part of the Medway site with the remainder of the site being sold. The current station will remain operational until the new one is ready.
If this plan is successful, KFRS aims to begin construction towards the end of the year with completion expected in December 2014.
Steve Griffiths added: “We held a drop-in session for residents living close to both sites early in April so they could ask questions and get information but of course the wider community will have an opportunity to find out more and share their thoughts as part of the planning process.”
Note to Editors:
For an interview with Steve Griffiths, please contact the KFRS press office on (01622) 692121. Images of the proposed new stations are available on our photo library at
Rochester - http://www.kentfirephotos.co.uk/assetbank-kf/action/viewAsset?id=5333
Watling Street - http://www.kentfirephotos.co.uk/assetbank-kf/action/viewAsset?id=5332