Monday, 21 February 2011

Thanet Parkway station would have required substantial Pfizer capital

The potential for a new Thanet Parkway train station adjacent to Manston Airport was identified in Kent County Council (KCC)’s Transport Delivery Plan for Kent, Growth without Gridlock, which was launched on 1st December 2010.
Kent County Council made a bid on (21st January 2011) for a £10 million Government investment for the Thanet Parkway station. The Access to East Kent bid, spearheaded by KCC's Councillor Nick Chard, hoped to grab a slice of the Regional Growth Fund, worth £1.4 billion, over the next three years. In addition to government investment, discussions were ongoing regarding a potential financial contribution from Pfizer Ltd.
On the 28th January Cllr Nick Chard (Con) who spearheaded the bid lost his job and was replaced by his deputy, Cllr Bryan Sweetland.
On the 1st February Pfizer publically announced it was closing the Sandwich Research and Development facility. During a discussion regarding the Pfizer closure decision at The Foundation for Science and Technology a Pfizer source indicated one of the key reasons was geographical isolation.
If the proposed Thanet Parkway station does get the go ahead in reality it will be many years before it will be completed and be of any benefit to the Pfizer site and the East Kent economy. It is vital that Kent County Council now concentrate immediately on extending the Southeastern highspeed network to stop at Deal and Sandwich stations and the possibility of shuttle bus services from each station to the Pfizer site. The cost of this initiative is minimal compared to the Access to East Kent bid and would bring instantaneous results.


  1. The creation of substantial cross-county car traffic through (gullible?) commuters seduced by the fast train journey, then ignoring the added time in a car and driving to Ashford (and to a lesser extent) Ebbsfleet. Many may then have to endure a trip back from St Pancras to London Bridge/The City and finsih up with a longer commuting day. The answer is not Parkway stations in the already crowded South East, it is delivery of a coherent public transport NETWORK, which delivers consolidated 'loads' from small local hubs through a chain of connections, to feed services of appropriate capacity to move efficiently onwards.

    It is not essential to make an entire journey on a single train but it is vital to deliver a consistent connected journey which has a minimised waiting time for each connection. That generally means running trains to a more generous timetable, but this gives a faster journey of course because the waiting times can be minimised - and the fastest & cheapest way to deliver faster door to door journeys is to cut out the waiting for connections. Some SE Commuters can cut up to an hour each way from their door to desk journey - or 20 days per year of extra personal time if the local and intermediate connections are sorted out - consider a 'circulating' Kent route connecting local ststions and feeding the faster direct trains.

    You should also bid for services to Waterloo International keeping this station 'warm' with a small number of services that escape the congested route in to London Bridge, and providing a diversionary route that drivers have route knowledge for,

    A station at the Phantom International stopping point en route to LBG would also be a useful contingency measure to terminate London Trains short and turn them back whilst having a selection of other services to carry in to London Bridge or going down to the street and getting a bus or Tube service.

  2. This is a bit like the Ramsgate port access road. Many years spend deciding whether to build it or not and by the time it was done, roll on roll off ferries from the port have died off!. OH well, at least there is a road now. If it had been built earlier, maybe Sally would have not pulled out.