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Controversial Thanet Parkway Station scheme given share of £32.4 million to help get it built


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A hugely divisive project for a new railway station has been awarded just under £12 million to help get it built.

Thanet Parkway Station, which will be in Cliffsend, just outside Ramsgate, is one of six 'shovel-ready' schemes in Kent being given funding from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP).

CGI of the Thanet Parkway station
CGI of the Thanet Parkway station

The organisation says the project will help drive economic growth and encourage inward investment to the Isle.

The contentious £34m railway scheme was approved in September by Kent County Council's planning committee, despite cross-party opposition from Thanet's county councillors.

Supporting members of the committee said there were no planning reasons to refuse and lauded the economic benefits for the area.

The project involves building an unmanned station on a 9.27 hectare greenfield site two miles east of Ramsgate, which will have up to six trains an hour and two platforms.

There will also be a 317-space car park and a new signalised junction to provide access for vehicles on the A299 Hengist Way.

CGI of the Thanet Parkway station
CGI of the Thanet Parkway station

Pedestrian and cycle access will be provided from Cliffsend village via Clive Road.

The rail link, on the Ramsgate line, will run on two main routes from Thanet to London Charing Cross via Tonbridge and to London St Pancras via Ashford. It is expected to take 69 minutes to travel from Cliffsend to Stratford International.

Parkway becomes Thanet's eighth railway station alongside others such as Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs.

Journey times to London will be cut by around three minutes on the HS1 link from Cliffsend but passengers from existing Thanet stations will face longer travel times due to the new service.

Critics question whether the development, of which £5m will be covered by KCC, will actually help boost the economy.

Geoff Miles, chair of SELEP's Kent and Medway Economic Partnership, outside a Javelin high-speed train
Geoff Miles, chair of SELEP's Kent and Medway Economic Partnership, outside a Javelin high-speed train

But Geoff Miles, chair of SELEP’s Kent and Medway Economic Partnership federated board, is supportive of the scheme.

"The new Thanet Parkway Rail Station will bring greater connectivity to communities on Kent’s expansive coast, giving those residents access to further reaching employment and training opportunities," he said.

"It will also make these areas far more accessible – and therefore attractive and viable places to live – to commuters, in turn encouraging greater inward investment."

KCC insists the new station will increase rail connectivity and provide access to more employment opportunities for local residents.

Read more: All the latest news from Thanet

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