Wednesday, 26 January 2011

WRONG place - WRONG time

Tarmac Thanet News


£10 million government grant applied for, to tarmac two more green fields in Thanet. To be topped up with £500.000 from Infratil. As the heading says WRONG place – WRONG time, remember that other planning blunder called Westwood Cross which succeeded in decimating the old town centres. Well now we have the next one, Parkway Station, one green field for the station and a second for a commuter car park !
Air passengers arriving or departing at KIA and travelling by train have no need for a car park.

Wrong Place
If  Manston airport desperately needs a high speed rail service to facilitate expansion then a KIA terminal station should be built on a  branch line into the airport, adjacent to the massive empty car parks already there. The branch line could then be used for freight services off-peak. This would reduce the need for China Gateway and the flood of lorries known as logistics. If the airport does not have sufficient passengers to support its own station then airport coaches can just as easily go to Minster or Ramsgate Stations, there would be little difference in the journey time

Two more green fields lost to tarmac.
Another large car park in the countryside
Ramsgate and Minster stations redundant, HS1 will stop at Margate and Parkway.
Coaches will circle Manston Airport day and night, if the airport expands
Constant pressure for new residential development around the new station
Cliffsend to Minster will become one sprawling suburb by 2050.

Wrong Time.
In these current austere economic times, to spend £10.5 million on another “status” white elephant is foolhardy, just think how far £10.5 million pounds would go to the regeneration of Thanet, if targeted at the existing infrastructure and amenities.

This reminds me of a true story from when my wife was a teacher. The school where she taught received a designated grant to build a new cycle path to the school, although only a few pupils cycled to school. The grant was received and the path constructed, but there was NO money available in the school to replace 20 year old text books, which the children used for their learning.   Fund allocation gone mad!

Let’s have some “joined up thinking”. on this project, the existing Ramsgate swimming pool is being made redundant and the fear is that it will be replaced by housing development, so spend less than £10 million on a superb new sports facility on the site, which can have an integral car park used for sporting events at weekends and a commuter car park during the week, which is just alongside Ramsgate station and parking income can pay for the sports ground upkeep.


  1. Putting the cart before the horse again,except the horse is dead,there is no justification to spend huge sums of money on a station that will never be needed,to spend that sort of money to try and attract passengers who are only passing through and taking their money with them,is only to benefit Infratill,what a discrace.

  2. Looks like they are using Lyon Saint-Exupéry as an example.

    “The railway station is linked to Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport by a footbridge equipped with a travelator. This airport is historically the first to be served by a high speed station. Unfortunately, this proximity to the airport has not helped the station and it sees little use as passengers mainly use Lyon-Perrache and Lyon Part-Dieu.

    Lack of interconnection with Lyon's urban transport network is frequently cited for the station's low usage. The arrival of the Rhônexpress express tram (opened August 2010) is unlikely to change this as Lyon residents will still find it easier (and cheaper) to utilise the stations within the city. The main "advantage" of the station is for travellers arriving by plane travelling onwards to the east.”

  3. Or if they must have a rail connection how about a light railway from Ramsgate Station right to the airport terminal? It could run along the existing line until south of Manston Road (B2050) and then cut across country from there. Approximately 3 kilometres in total and about the same distance as the shuttle bus would have to travel from the Parkway Station.
    All this is assuming that there's any liklihood of the airport ever being commercially successful