South East London and Kent-based rail companies have partnered with suppliers and local authorities to launch a new long-term plan aimed at improving the UK region’s railway sector.

The new ‘In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity – South East London and Kent’ plan will see the area’s railways work in partnership to invest and enhance the sector.

The plan, which is part of a national scheme launched by the industry in October last year, is expected to provide £9.2bn of additional economic benefits in the southeastern UK.

In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity – South East London and Kent features a number of plans, including an ongoing £6m investment in major modifications such as the installation of new waiting shelters on platforms in 28 stations, the addition of cycle hubs, as well as new service information screens and announcement systems in more than 160 stations.

The plan will also enable the rail companies to work together to invest more than £425m into the region’s railway by April next year.

“The rail industry is investing record amounts to upgrade the railway so we can continue to drive and support economic growth for people and businesses across the South East.”

The plan is expected to create 150 new jobs and 25 new apprenticeships.

It is also set to benefit from the upcoming South Eastern franchise, which is scheduled to launch next year and provide additional space for 40,000 passengers.

Under the franchise, Network Rail is set to invest £300m to improve the railway track’s power supplies and extend platforms to offer more space to the passengers.

The franchise will bring faster, more frequent services to London and major destinations in Kent across the day with additional peak services.

Network Rail South East route managing director John Halsall said: “The railway in South East London and Kent is one of the busiest parts of the network, helping more than three million people a week travel to work, school and for leisure.

“Together, the rail industry is investing record amounts to renew and upgrade the railway so we can continue to drive and support economic growth for people and businesses across the South East.