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Sheerness line closures in June and July

Last updated 14 May 2024

Buses will replace trains between Sheerness-on-Sea and Sittingbourne over several dates in June and July this year.

Line closure bus replacement dates

Download Sheerness line bus replacements PDF

The railway will be closed while Network Rail engineers carry out essential safety repairs to the Kingsferry Bridge between Queenborough and Swale stations on the Isle of Sheppey.


What work is being done?

The repairs are needed after routine inspections revealed that the condition of some of the 40 steel ropes, which support the bridge when it lifts for maritime traffic, have deteriorated.

The ropes were last replaced in 1995 and are therefore reaching the end of their life. While regular testing ensures bridge users are kept safe, if the rope condition worsens it could result in an unplanned closure which would cause significant disruption to bridge users until repairs are made.


What are the train service changes?

Below are the dates when buses will replace trains, please note that the buses will not call at Swale station.

  • Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June
  • Saturday 29 June to Saturday 6 July
  • Saturday 13 July and Sunday 14 July
  • Saturday 20 July to Saturday 27 July

Please see replacement bus timetables below:


What is the travel advice while the line is closed?

We want to thank customers for bearing with us while this essential repair work is carried out on the bridge. If you do need to travel along the line during the closure then accessible replacement buses are available but please check journey planners and allow much more time for your journey.


Are the replacement bus stops close to the stations?

Most of the replacement bus stops are close to the station entrances but there is a short walk from Queenborough station. You can check the location of all the station replacement bus stops on the download maps available below:

Sheerness on Sea
Queenborough
Kemsley
Sittingbourne

Are the replacement buses accessible?

  • All of our replacement buses can be used by customers who have accessibility needs.
  • If you require assistance for your journey during the closure please call our assisted travel team on 08007 834 524. You can find out more about booking assisted travel with us.
  • You can also find out more details about accessibility on rail replacement bus services.

Which stations between Sheerness on Sea and Sittingbourne have accessible toilets?

Accessible toilet facilities are available at Sittingbourne station.

Where can customers find help at the stations if needed?

There will be Southeastern and agency support staff at the stations to help customers if needed. If no staff are available you can use the Help Points on the station platforms.


Parking

Southeastern car park season ticket holders can park at Sittingbourne station, but it is a very busy car park that is usually full by 8am on weekdays. There are only a very small number of spaces at Sheerness and Queenborough stations.


Why have you chosen these dates for the repairs?

To reduce the risk of a sudden closure and to take advantage of favourable summer weather and tides, all 40 ropes will be replaced between June and July this year. By doing the work in the summer the risk of the Sheppey Crossing, the alternative route to the island, closing due to high winds is also significantly reduced.

Staggering the repairs not only reduces the impact on local communities, allowing them to plan around the closures, but also on vital maritime traffic, which contributes billions of pounds to the national economy.


What about road users when the bridge is closed?

When Kingsferry Bridge is closed, motorists are advised to use Sheppey Crossing but to leave more time to travel as congestion due to existing roadworks means journeys will take longer.

Rail replacement buses will be put in place for rail passengers; however, people using replacement buses and local buses are also being advised to leave more time to travel as journeys will take longer due to traffic congestion.

You can find more details about the bridge repairs on the Network Rail website.