Wednesday, 16 March 2011

“A station too far?”

The train now standing at platform 1 is the 8.01am calling at Birchington- on-Sea, Westgate-on-Sea, Margate, Broadstairs, Dumpton Park, Ramsgate, Parkway and Minster. If there is any time left over it may even go to London St Pancras but if not the whole process with be repeated tomorrow.

Just what we don’t need is a new station on the horizon, which we can drive to, instead of the other seven to which we can already walk. Still a footpath from the new station to the airport terminal will be quite convenient and exciting for airline passengers, putting your foot onto the zebra crossing to cross the runway could be quite tricky but the volume of planes hardly makes for a health and safety hazard.

If the airport really needs a station, why not build it at the KIA terminal.

If a commuter car park is really required why not build it at Ramsgate station.

Thanet must have one of the densest concentrations of stations in the UK outside the National city centres, utilise these rather than constructing a new one. Building a new station and bypassing the existing under-used stations will do the same for Thanet stations that Westwood Cross did for the Old Town Centres.

This is definitely a “station too far”, too far to drive to, too far from the airport terminal, too expensive and too devastating on the existing infrastructure to contemplate.


  1. But the building of it will create several hundred much needed jobs. It will also enhance the prospects of Manston becoming a popular regional airport. Every proposal has its fors as well as the against factors.

  2. Ken, be reasonable now, they have to spent the £15m on something and I am told that a shuttle bus from Ramsgate station to the airport wouldn’t cost enough, I don’t see how the car park would work unless they close the other stations though, perhaps it’s for people driving from outside Thanet to catch a train, as presumably those driving to catch a plane would park in the airport car park.

  3. Building suitable car parks and improving existing stations could also create jobs, without destoying greenfields and the existing jobs at SEVEN Thanet stations.

    Michael, perhaps they could wash the money down the drain at Manston and see if it comes out at Pegwell Bay, a much more useful idea.

  4. Someone mentioned in the Gazette letters page a few weeks back that a railway line used to run from Birchington to Manston. Why isn't this idea being (re)considered again?

  5. Bill several hundred jobs to build a station suggests rather a manual approach, possibly pre industrial revolution.

    Ken I particularly liked the engineers description of the pipe having inspection covers in peoples gardens, causing garden waste to come out of the end.

    Peter I think the ides is a bit like a Westwood Cross approach to stations, where everyone drives there, the idea presumably being to close the other stations, putting it at the end of the line in terms of the fast train would defeat this.

  6. The point about Parkway is that it serves the whole area, and in conjunction with upgrading the line from Ashford offers travel time of 58 minutes.

    Admittedly the benefit may be beyond the imagination of simple folk of Thanet, however i'm sure estate agents and indeed the travel industry can understand the boast this will give the area.

    It's a bit like the Turner Contemporary, not necessarily everyones first choice for Margate but everyone ought to get behind it because there are very few positives in the pipeline.

  7. So far efforts to get passenger services off the ground at Manston have failed. What has been achieved since the current owners have been in charge? Even the successful company FlyBe have just pulled the plug on Manchester and its new service to Belfast is a very infrequent one. Manston as a thriving passenger airport is just a dream. Nobody will come here including the airlines when there are already established airports in the catchment area with good transport links. Airlines are in business to make a profit and if they thought Manston was a winner they would be here. The government wont pay for a new station, Manston's owners wont take the risk either.

  8. Isn't it time everyone stopped clutching at straws? Tony only wants the new station because it will provide work for him and his railway mates - he said as much after a previous post on this subject. Nothing wrong with that except that it seems a bit of an extravagance in these economically straitened times. Surely the real issue is do we really need another station in the middle of nowhere and on the opposite side of the runway to the airport terminal?

  9. Tony, only the simple folk of Thanet can be duped into believing a new station is needed.

    I am in full support of an upgraded fast line with a 58 minute journey time to RAMSGATE STATION.

  10. Surely the thing to do is close all the tourist information centres in the towns, build a nice big new one in the middle of a field between cliffsend and minster then build a station next to it for all the nice tourists coming to thanet......oh you have already built a nice new one tucked away in ramsgate where no one can find it, and then closed it down because no one was using it......or was it to pay for the late chief execs lottery win.... sorry early retirement

  11. At a recent Local board meeting, the leader of KCC, Paul Carter stated that the new Parkway station would attract tourism. He was most surprised to receive an overwhelming view from the audience to the effect "Why would tourists flock to a field in the middle of nowhere".

    Obtaining money for upgrading to a fast line is fantastic but that scheme should not be saddled with a "white elephant".

    A scheme for spreading the improvements around existing stations should be incorporated and an integrated timetable devised where limited stop fast trains are well served by local trains from all stations in the area.