A planning application for the Thanet Parkway Station has been submitted.
The application for the project, which was initially expected to cost £11 million but has now been estimated at £21.4 million, was due to be submitted last year but amendments to junction design and pedestrian and cycle access pushed this back.
The parkway station will be built off the Hengist Way, on the existing Ashford to Ramsgate rail line near the Sevenscore roundabout.
The aim is to provide improved services to London Stratford International station with travel times being reduced to around one hour. Currently the average journey time between Ramsgate and London St Pancras Intl is 1 hour 35 minutes. The fastest journey time is 1 hour 16 minutes.
A Kent County Council spokesman said: “An application for the proposed Thanet Parkway Station was submitted last week.
“It will go through a period of validation and once this is completed, people will be able to view and comment on the Kent.gov.uk planning site.
“Once validated we will also notify all residents who requested updates on the project at the public consultation held last year.
“All residents affected by or in the immediate vicinity of the proposals will be contacted as part of the planning process as a matter of course.”
Design changes have been made following the second public consultation on the scheme last year.
The station is due to open in 2021. It was first proposed in 2010 and is being funded by the Local Growth Fund (LGF) through the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) along with a contribution from KCC.
The original estimated cost of the project was £11.2 million but in 2016 documents from a SE England Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) and Kent & Medway Economic Partnership (KMEP) meeting said the cost could rise to £26 million. KCC rebutted this saying construction costs were expected to be £16 million.
A government grant of £10 million was agreed through the Regional Growth Scheme but this still left a significant shortfall.
A funding gap of £8.75million still exists after a bid last year to the Network Rail and the Department for Transport’s New Stations Fund was unsuccessful.
A KCC spokesman said other options are being explored to fill the funding gap.
A spokesman said:“KCC are contributing £2.65million from our own capital, and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership are contributing £10million from the Local Growth Fund.
“The lower cost estimate was from an early stage in the project and the revised figure of £21.4million is based on the GRIP (Guide to Rail Investment Process) 3 design, which is a feasibility design.
“We will refine the cost estimate in the later GRIP stages, with outline design and then detailed design.”
KCC says the new station will be served by both mainline and High Speed trains, and will offer good transport links to the surrounding highway network via the A299 Hengist Way as well as offering local connections for pedestrians and cyclists.
They add that it will help to reduce the level of commuter parking demand at Ramsgate station (where there is limited parking available) and so help reduce congestion on local roads in the Thanet urban Air Quality Management Area.
It is hoped the station will widen employment opportunities for Thanet residents by providing improved rail access to London and other locations in the county and also cater for growth in rail usage and unlock homes and jobs.
Thanet Parkway Station proposal
Thanet Parkway will be a two platform station. The station entrance will be on the north side adjacent to the car park with platforms accessible by stairs, lift and pedestrian bridge.
Waiting shelters, CCTV and passenger information points will be provided on each platform along with ticket machines and a help point to provide remote assistance by intercom.
The station is designed to be unstaffed and managed remotely through the use of CCTV and intercom.
However, a station building could be added in the future to include facilities such as a coffee shop, toilets, waiting room and a ticket office or facilities to accommodate station staff. Once operational, it will be for the train operating company to decide on staffing levels.
The proposed station will include 300 parking spaces offering both long and short stay parking. The car park will also include disabled bays, a dedicated area for motorcycles, spaces offering electric car charging points and cycle storage. There will be lighting and CCTV cameras as well as a pick up/drop off area and a reserved taxi rank.
Charges for parking at the station will be decided by Kent County Council following submission of the planning application.
The preferred option for road access was to provide a two-way single access road from Hengist Way (A299). A signalised T-junction with dedicated turning lanes would provide access from the A299.