What is the Darent Valley Community Rail Partnership?

The Darent Valley Community Rail Partnership (DVCRP) is a vital and creative link between local communities and the rail services in the area. We cover the six railway stations between Swanley and Sevenoaks, which includes Swanley, Eynsford, Shoreham (Kent), Otford, Bat & Ball and Sevenoaks.

There are now over 70 community rail partnerships (CRPs) in the UK which work with local communities and a range of partners to identify and implement measures to ensure that access to local stations is easy and that stations are safe and welcoming. Like other CRPs, we promote sustainable, healthy and accessible travel throughout our region, while supporting diversity and inclusion in the events we coordinate and in the way we operate. We also aim to help local social and economic development.

How are we funded?

Darent Valley CRP is grateful to have received funding from all the local councils, including Sevenoaks District Council, Sevenoaks Town Council, Swanley Town Council, Eynsford Parish Council, Shoreham Parish Council and Otford Parish Council. The CRP was also successful in applying for extra funding from Southeastern and Thameslink, each of which contributed significant sums thus ensuring the ongoing success of the Partnership. It also meant that an Officer – carrying out the work of the Partnership – could be appointed in July 2020.

The funds are there to be spent on improving access, promoting rail travel, making each of the stations more inviting and engaged with the community and to support events. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, events have been put on hold, but we are committed to initiating all the improvements we can behind the scenes – and even at each station where possible.

Sevenoaks Station

Sevenoaks railway station was opened on 2 March 1868. It was formerly known as “Tubs Hill”, after the adjacent area.

Otford Station

The first station at Otford opened on 1 June 1874. It was located at the point where the lines to Bat & Ball and Maidstone diverge.

Did you know?

Otford itself is a Heritage Village dating back to Roman times with many listed buildings, including the only duckpond in the country with listed status! The pond, which is a Grade 2 listed structure, is thought to date back to Anglo Saxon times, when it was probably used as a drinking hole for local livestock. In 2014 it gained the distinction of being the ‘Roundabout of the Year’.