General Election 2019: Thanet candidates answer questions from planes, trains, to paying the bills

More issues for the candidates to give views on

It is nearly time to go to the polls and cast your General Election vote.

The ballot opens tomorrow (Thursday December 12) with voting open between 7am and 10pm. The verification and count will take place from 10pm at Hartsdown Leisure Centre.

Here we asked the parties their views on more issues that affect Thanet voters.

Minimum wage and zero hour contracts

Green Party – Becky Wing (South Thanet)

The Green Party would set the minimum wage at £12 per hour, including for 16-18 year olds. We would reduce other costs for small businesses to ensure they can afford this and do not lose workers as a result.

We believe many aspects of employment relations are exploitative and we’d work to bring better balance. In particular, we’d abolish zero-hour contracts and bring in protections for all self-employed and contract workers.

Longer-term, we would work towards everyone having the option to work 4 days a week, supported on the fifth day through our Universal Basic Income scheme. This would reduce unemployment overall and help people live healthier, more fulfilling lives.

Green Party -Rob Edwards (North Thanet)

I’ve worked on minimum wage, and it isn’t easy. We would increase the minimum wage to £12 an hour, and require companies to pay their most senior person no more than ten times what their most junior person was paid. We’d reduce business rates to support small companies and incentivise them to take on more apprentices and trainees.

We don’t approve of zero hours contracts and would abolish them. We believe all workers, whether they’re on contract or directly employed, deserve employment protections.

Our Universal Basic Income, non-stigmatised and available to all adults as of right, would help support people who are self-employed, in uncertain employment or between jobs, as well as allowing people more choice to reduce their working hours if they wish. As someone who works in the health sector I believe this will reduce stress and contribute to better physical and mental health across the nation.

Labour Party – Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt (South Thanet)

Poor wages and working conditions are the bane of our lives in South Thanet and across the country.

Labour will ban zero-hour contracts and make sure that anyone who works regular hours for more than 12 weeks will have a right to a regular contract reflecting those hours.

We will also rapidly introduce a real living wage of at least £10 per hour for all workers aged 16 and over.

Labour Party – Dr Coral Jones (North Thanet)

Nine years of Tory misrule have left many working families struggling.  Foodbank use has rocketed and child poverty has reached epidemic proportions.

Labour will immediately increase the minimum wage to £10 regardless of age, and end the misery of zero hours contracts.  Instead we will bring in regular contracts for everyone working regular hours for more than twelve weeks.  We will invest in local employers and increase opportunities to work here in Thanet.

Liberal Democrats – Martyn Pennington, (South Thanet) and Angie Curwen, (North Thanet)

The system is not working as it should: unscrupulous employers are able to exploit their workforce while increasing their own pay.  Liberal Democrats will give more power to the workforce and will:

Set a 20% higher minimum wage for people on zero-hour contracts

Give a right to request a fixed-hours contract after 12 months for ‘zero hours’ and agency workers

Shift the burden of proof in employment tribunals to employer

Strengthen the ability of unions to represent workers effectively including a right of access to workplaces

Promote employee ownership, strengthen worker participation in decision-making and ensure staff representation on pay boards

Require binding and public votes of shareholders on executive pay policies

Introduce a duty of care for all businesses for the environment and human rights

Protect ‘public interest’ from speculative or short-termism by overseas-based owners protecting UK companies.

Conservative – Sir Roger Gale, (North Thanet)

The Conservative Party has a good record on the minimum wage and, generally, on measures to assist those on the lowest earned incomes. Plans to raise the minimum wage still further, to 2/3rds of average earnings (currently forecast at £10.50 per hour), to remove more people from NI contributions and from income tax will assist still further.  This can only be done because, now, we have repaired the damage that we were bequeathed in 2010 and have an economy on a sound financial footing.

It is fashionable in socialist circles to demonize zero-hours contracts. In fact large numbers of people, particularly students and other young employees, benefit hugely from the flexibility afforded by zero-hours terms and welcome the opportunity to work outside of the rigidity of fixed-hours employment. There is little doubt that Labour`s proposed abolition of zero-hours contracts would have an adverse effect upon many employees and would generate a considerable backlash. It is incorrect to assume that it is only employers that benefit from these arrangements.

Conservatives – Craig Mackinlay (South Thanet)

We have already scrapped exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts to give workers more flexibility. But whether a particular zero hours contract is bad or not depends on its terms, and on how many hours of work materialise in practice. What is unfair would be lock in contracts which stop someone working elsewhere when no work is available under the zero hours contract. Some people like their zero hours contract as it gives them personal flexibility. Others see them as a steeping stone to a contract with specified hours. Labour often condemns them, yet uses them within Labour councils and unions. The reality is that only 2% of all employment in the country is provided under zero hours contracts.

I want a better paid workforce, and support the government’s wish to force the pace by increasing the National Living Wage to two thirds of average earnings, currently forecast at £10.50 an hour. We will also widen its reach to everyone over 21 – that means an average pay rise of £4,000 per year for four million people by 2024. The big rise in tax free personal allowance, from £6,475 in 2010 to £12,500 today has taken millions out of paying tax and benefits the lowest paid the most.

One of the keys to prosperity for all is to generate productivity gains and improve skills and training, while keeping unemployment low. Big companies can help by working with their employees to ensure they work smarter as they work for better pay.

Housing and homelessness

Conservative Sir Roger Gale (North Thanet)

We certainly need more affordable social and help-to-buy housing to meet the needs of local people and I have always supported that. We do not, though, need to allow Thanet to become a dumping ground for the social problems of Inner London Boroughs that have failed to make provision for their own housing needs. I want to see all of our available brownfield sites utilised before we encroach on green land and both in Herne Bay and Thanet I continue to contest the proposed figures.

We need separate initiatives to combat homelessness and rough sleeping (which is caused by a number complex factors) and again I have consistently supported the provision of shelters and hostel accommodation as a stepping stone to full time employment and permanent accommodation.

Conservatives – Craig Mackinlay (South Thanet)

Building more homes will help meet the needs of families and is an important part of the answer to the housing question. Young people need the security of knowing that home ownership is within their reach. That’s why we will support the delivery of hundreds of thousands of affordable homes and ensure the continued supply of social housing.

The government also has a bold plan to eliminate homelessness within a decade. The issue is complex and not simply one of insufficient housing options, with personal issues as likely to be a factor. Modular housing offers a sensible solution to provide high quality, energy efficient homes within shorter time-frames. I would like Thanet District Council to identify additional sites for these projects but not necessarily abutting existing conurbations. Strategic planning for housing has for too long been about infilling and expanding around the edges of existing communities without providing the necessary infrastructure. We need to be bolder: I’d prefer brand new communities of new towns and villages, properly designed rather than the haphazard current plans. In any event, the 17,000 new homes by 2031 in the Thanet local plan will never be realised in my view. Developers will only build what they can sell, and this number will never be reached.

Liberal Democrats – Martyn Pennington, (South Thanet) and Angie Curwen, (North Thanet)

The current system for providing houses isn’t fit for purpose. That’s why the TDC local plan would give the wrong kind of housing in the wrong place at the wrong price.

Housing plans should be for local people and houses should be affordable for local people, not a dumping ground for London boroughs, or a cheap second home for the rich.

Liberal Democrats would make sure that local communities are properly, consulted on new housing schemes, and one-third of new dwellings should be for social rent.

Is the government concerned about the plight of the homeless, victims of a benefits system unfit for purpose? It seems like another area where the Government does nothing. We would repeal the Vagrancy Act, make the benefits system much faster, and end rough sleeping.

Labour- Rebecca Gordon Nesbit (South Thanet)

We have almost 2,500 people in Thanet waiting for a council home but not a single one was built here last year. This is absolutely disgraceful.

When Labour wins, we will launch the biggest council house-building programme since the 1960s. These homes will be built to cutting-edge design and green standards.

Every year of the next Parliament, we will provide 100,000 council homes across the country and at least 50,000 additional genuinely affordable homes for rent through housing associations.

We will take urgent action to protect private renters through rent controls, open-ended tenancies and new, binding minimum standards.

We will scrap the Conservatives’ bogus definition of ‘affordable’ housing and replace it with a new Labour definition linked to local incomes. This works out at around half the level of market rents.

A Labour government will give many people in South Thanet a chance to find good homes to rent or buy at a reasonable cost for the first time in their lives.

Labour Party – Dr Coral Jones (North Thanet)

Far too many people in Thanet are homeless or living in shamefully inadequate housing.  Labour will deliver homes fit for people to live in.  We will retrofit all social housing in order to ensure effective insulation zero carbon rated fuel efficiency.  We will also launch a programme of council house building in Thanet, but not on green land.  We will ensure affordable housing linked to local employment and incomes.

People are forced to rent privately, conditions are grim and expensive. Labour will cap rents, increase housing benefits and scrap the iniquitous bedroom tax.

I will ensure warm safe housing is available for people in Thanet, housing that don’t cost the earth.

Green Party – Becky Wing (South Thanet)

The number of homeless people on our streets is a national scandal. We would strengthen the powers of local communities to make their own decisions about housing, including making sure the supply of social and affordable housing matches local needs, rather than decision making being in the hands of developers.

All new housing would be built sustainably, which would dramatically reduce people’s fuel bills, and it would be required to be designed flexibly so it could easily be adapted eg for a wheelchair user or someone with reduced mobility.

Green Party – Rob Edwards (North Thanet)

We would delegate substantially more funds to local authorities to help them ensure everyone in their area has a warm, dry place to sleep every night, and that the often complex needs of some groups of homeless people are properly addressed. We would encourage them to build more social housing and strengthen their powers to require developers to build mixed developments including social and affordable homes.

We would also strengthen authorities’ powers to compulsorily purchase long-term empty properties (both housing and commercial property) to convert into housing units, and our sustainability policies would ensure energy bills remained very low.

Transport –  including Thanet Parkway Station and Manston airport

Labour – Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt (South Thanet)

I don’t believe the argument for Thanet Parkway station stacks up. I understand that the estimated cost of the station is now around £34.5 million. According to the Department for Transport, it would reduce journey times from Thanet by just one minute. We should concentrate instead on reducing the cost of trains from our existing stations and improving the reliability of our service. A Labour government will bring our rail service back into public hands, which will do just that.

The future of Manston Airport is now in the hands of private developers and the Secretary of State for Transport, with a decision on its future expected in the new year. I remain unconvinced about the benefits of a cargo hub operating flights throughout the night. Air pollution and sleep deprivation would have a detrimental affect on our community. The idea of an airport has been sold on the promise of jobs. I have yet to see reliable figures for the amount of people who would be employed to run a largely automated cargo operation.

I would prefer to focus on a tangible plan to create jobs and apprenticeships in South Thanet. I will lobby for one of the new offshore wind farms Labour plans to build, insisting that any jobs and apprenticeships created go to local people. 20% of the profits from this scheme will be invested in our community, enabling us to build the council homes we so badly need.

Labour Party – Dr Coral Jones (North Thanet)

The plan for Thanet Parkway Station is ill conceived and unsustainable.  It’s far more important to reduce fares and improve reliability by putting the rail service back under public control.

Plans for Manston Airport are unsupported by independent evidence the adverse effects on the local community and the hazards to the environment are not balanced by the vague promise of a few unspecified jobs.  Much better, I believe, to keep the jobs that local people are already employed in at the QEQM Hospital.  I am committed to keeping both the stroke unit and the hospital open and consolidating and increasing it’s funding.  A delay in a decision is not enough.

Liberal Democrats – Martyn Pennington, (South Thanet) and Angie Curwen, (North Thanet)

On Manston -While nothing is official, it seems Manston will probably be re-opened as an airport. We believe this must be done with the consent of local people in relation to flights. A main function of the airport should be training of local people in aviation skills and advanced technology.

On Ramsgate Port – At present the port is a crippling burden on local people who pay enormous sums to TDC which is an inefficient and indecisive organisation.  Local people should be consulted and the port redesigned to provide facilities for the community.  New investments there should be revenue-generating so the port pays for itself.

On Thanet Parkway Railway Station- The plans for Thanet Parkway station seem to go hand in hand with the plan to build 17,400 houses, mainly on agricultural land, in Thanet, so that people can move to Thanet to live where it is cheaper but travel out of Thanet to work because there are not enough jobs.  So, we are importing people to Thanet with no jobs for them and then building a station to take them to London to work!

The station will also not cater to freight trains which if Manston Airport goes ahead seems crazy.  Liberal Democrats are calling for a full review of the plans to spend £34.5 Million on this project with unproven benefit for Thanet residents.

Conservative – Sir Roger Gale (North Thanet)

There is an ongoing concern about the provision of, particularly, rural bus services. I continue to work with County Council colleagues to ensure the continuation of  vehicles on routes that are socially desirable but not economically viable.  That said, running empty double-decker buses on country lanes does not make sense and we need more imaginative solutions to off-peak transport requirements.

I also support the creation of a hydrogen generation plant (in Herne Bay) This is designed to provide fuel , initially, for a generation of new environmentally friendly hydrogen powered London buses but naturally I would like to see, through an economy of scale, the diesel-powered local fleet replaced with hydrogen powered vehicles also.

Thanet Parkway -I continue to support plans for a Thanet Parkway Station (and indeed initiated the first discussions about this with the then British Rail in the 1980`s!)  The Parkway is needed to service a truly fast (sub 1 hour) link to London and, in future, to carry passengers and high-value freight to and from Manston Airport.

Manston Airport – I have consistently supported and fought for the re-opening of Manston as a freight hub and passenger airport in the local and national post-Brexit interest. We need additional high-value freight capacity and the UK is at present losing business to continental airports because of our failure to meet the need. Previous attempts to make Manston succeed have failed because the economic model has been flawed and under-capitalised. We have the chance, now, to take what is effectively a brownfield site with a long runway and to create a state-of-the-art freight and passenger facility supported by high quality job-creating industries. There is no reason why, based upon the Helsinki model, we should not have on our doorstep a net-zero carbon emission airfield operating future designs of environmentally acceptable aircraft .  If we allow Manston to be sacrificed for  short-term development purposes and profit  we shall not only almost certainly damage the Thanet aquifer but lose, for ever, a national asset that we need to exploit properly.

Conservatives – Craig Mackinlay (South Thanet)

I’ve always been in support of Manston being brought back for aviation use. We remain in some limbo as to the future of Manston, awaiting a decision by the Secretary of State, due in the New Year. I have maintained for years that aviation activity at Manston, a key strategic asset that we have can be the driver of economic renaissance for South Thanet and East Kent. Experience shows that regional airports are huge drivers of economic growth bringing higher wages and more jobs.

Thanet Parkway StationThis long planned for station has been beset with funding difficulties and I have my doubts at this time whether it will ever be built. In principal I am in favour of the concept as there are a multitude of drawbacks with Ramsgate station, and such a substantial infrastructure investment into East Kent primarily from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership should be welcomed, but I share the concerns of many Cliffsend residents that their roads will become clogged with commuters and travellers looking to avoid car parking charges.

Green Party – Becky Wing (South Thanet)

For us to reach zero carbon by 2030, we must reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. We would remove the subsidies these currently receive and divert the money into improving public transport and developing sustainable technologies.

It is currently massively more expensive per mile to travel by bus in Thanet than by plane to Malaga. In my experience working with young people, this makes it difficult for people to work and study even a short distance away. This cannot be right. We would bring public transport into public ownership and cut costs dramatically.

Thanet Parkway Station is a hugely expensive white elephant. It will make little difference to journey times, it won’t create jobs and passengers will have to drive there. Improving the lines between the existing Thanet stations and Ashford is a much better investment.

We do not want to see a noisy, polluting cargo hub at Manston which would create very few jobs, damage our tourist industry and almost certainly only survive a year or two at most. Instead, I would like to see Manston become a centre for green technologies, building on the wind, wave and solar power so freely available to us here and the existing work of our two local wind farms. Training, research and development and manufacture could all be part of this, creating high-quality green jobs and training opportunities to offer our young people a bright future right here in South Thanet.

Green Party – Rob Edwards (North Thanet)

Better, greener public transport is a central plank of Green Party policy – without it, we will continue to burn subsidised fossil fuels that pollute our air and release damaging amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. We would encourage people to use public transport by bringing buses and trains back into public ownership, reducing fares and ensuring connections between services do what passengers need them to do. Small electric buses, as we can see in places like Brighton, can meet most local needs flexibly and affordably.

We believe Thanet’s seven existing stations would more than adequately serve the needs of our residents and visitors if they linked better with other services – so we would be looking at cycle routes (and hire facilities) from stations, free buses from out-of-town stations and better rail-bus links, rather than spending many millions on an unnecessary Parkway station.

The Greens are 100% against Manston reopening as an airport: it’s not needed, it would devastate the local area and the space would be better used for mixed development.

Mental health services

Liberal Democrats – Martyn Pennington, (South Thanet) and Angie Curwen, (North Thanet)

Physical and mental health should be treated equally in the NHS. In government, we fought tirelessly to bring this about and are proud of the strides forward that we made by legislating to give mental and physical health equality under the law.

But we know that not enough resources reach front line mental health services and that there is still a very long way to go to achieve real equality for mental health.

Our plan prioritises early intervention to prevent people from experiencing a mental health crisis and to minimise the number and duration of in-patient stays. This means ensuring all young people can access support quickly. We will:

Ensure that no one in crisis is turned away

Make mental health crisis services 24-hour

Stop the cliff edge of young people transitioning to adult services

Establish a Student Mental Health Charter

Regard every suicide as preventable

Ensure that LGBT+ inclusive mental health services receive funding and support

Make prescriptions for people with chronic mental health conditions free

Ensure every new mother gets a dedicated postnatal appointment

Increase access to clinically effective talking therapies so that hundreds of thousands more people can receive this support

Make sure there is equal access to mental health services for older people, BAME, LGBT+ patients and people with autism or learning disabilities.

Tackle the stigma against mental ill-health through investment in public education including Time to Talk

Labour – Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt (South Thanet)

As a result of Government cuts to the NHS, mental health provision in South Thanet is woefully inadequate, and we’ve seen a shocking and inexcusable rise in suicides.

Thanet is the fifth worst place in the country for accessing therapy within six weeks. SpeakUp CIC’s Night Owls online support group is increasingly being used as a crisis service. The Beacon Community Mental Health Service, which provides in-patient facilities, is underfunded and unable to cope with local demand. Young people are being admitted to hospital more than 200 miles from home.

The projected rise in severe mental illness in Thanet is 3.8% by 2020; in mild to moderate mental illness, it is 5%. It is clear that we must improve our mental health services.

A Labour government will invest £2 billion to modernise mental hospital facilities and end the use of inappropriate, out-of-area placements. We will improve access to psychological therapies to ensure they deliver the quality care patients deserve. We will ensure provision of 24/7 crisis services.

Our £845 million plan for Healthy Young Minds will more than double the annual spending on child and adolescent mental health services. We will establish a network of open access mental health hubs to enable more children to access mental health and recruit almost 3,500 qualified counsellors to guarantee every child access to school counsellors.

Labour Party – Dr Coral Jones (North Thanet)

People in Thanet are dying for lack of services.  Suicides have soared and the Beacon Community Health Service is totally unable to cope with the rise in demand.  Severe mental illness is projected to rise over the next few years and we need to improve our services so that we can meet the challenge.

Labour will invest in mental health services and improve access for everyone who needs it.  There will be a particular focus on services for children and young people.

I take the health of this generation and the next generation as a matter of life and death, and not just a finance balance sheet.  It’s health care not a business.

Together we must fight to keep our public services and keep our communities healthy happy and housed.

Green Party – Becky Wing (South Thanet)

Mental health support services simply aren’t working, despite the efforts of people working in the services. Waiting lists are ridiculously long, and available support often comes up out of area. We need simple, effective, locally based services to meet local needs.

Green Party – Rob Edwards (North Thanet)

In my work in the health field I have been struck by how badly our current services link physical and mental health. We believe in helping people take charge of their own health and would invest in schemes to help them do this. Preventative initiatives like exercise on prescription that help people tackle the symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety while improving their physical health too are something we would include in our programme.

With regard to acute mental health services, they are clearly overburdened and in need of a complete overhaul. We would get rid of the costly and ineffective internal market in the health service, to free up funds to train more practitioners and supporters, and ensure people in distress get immediate help.

Conservative – Sir Roger Gale (North Thanet)

This answer will be added, delay is due to The Isle of Thanet News rather than the Conservative candidate.

Conservatives – Craig Mackinlay (South Thanet)

We have a growing demand for mental health support across East Kent. It’s difficult to summarise easily what is wrong with the system, but clearly communication within the various NHS bodies responsible is a major issue as patients move from one service to another. Local staff shortages through recruitment problems, not money, is another issue. There is no easy fix to solving the issue of finding clinical professionals in a national and international marketplace.

We also need to help those with problems today, but what we need to do longer term is get underneath the societal issues that are driving many into mental health difficulties. I would advance social media as a negative influence on the young with bullying and isolation at its core.

I will continue my fight against the normalisation of cannabis: legalisation by the back-door. The permanent psychotic effects of skunk use across all ages but particularly on developing brains is now clearly made through scientific research. Have we created a world of bureaucracy that gets people down, whether it is the struggle to access the benefits that we are entitled to, or dealing with government agencies and local authorities that are remote and unresponsive?

For answers from the candidates to more Thanet issues read:

General Election 2019: North Thanet candidates answer our questions

General Election 2019: South Thanet candidates answer our questions


  1. Well, Roger gale only supports thanet parkway station which will cost EACH of Thanet residents £30 and which will increase journey times from Broadstairs,Margate and Ramsgate stations due to adding another station between them and London.well done to rebecca and other candidates who understand this white elephant is a waste of money

    • Given that thanet is going to expand considerably in the next 15 years, is not sensible to be considering the infrastructure that will be required, or are you assuming that all those that move here won’t want to be going anywhere?
      As for the cost per resident, how much did the animal exports fiasco cost the area? What has it cost in terms of legal fees and good byes for the last two chief execs , leaders of the council, ( the hart/mcgonegal planning being the main issue that springs to mind), how much is the failure of EKH and TDC’s inability to monitor them going to cost us?

  2. If Manston gets going again as an airport for freight it would be a good idea to have a rail link into the airport for freight only this would be beneficial for everyone as it can be used for the transportation of goods around the UK instead of roads this would be great for the environment cleaner transportation not so many lorries cleaner air less dust & diesel fumes & Co 2 emissions. But as for a station I think Roger Gale is barking up the wrong tree very few people would benefit from it its not worth the cost.

  3. Are there any impartial statistics showing how many people have been transferred from London social housing into Thanet in the last 10 years? Thanks.

    • If there are any they are very well hidden, over the last few years TDC has tried to work with local social housing providers to move to towards allocating housing to those on the housing list here. Previously 2 providers that I know of had developments that were used to provide a new start for people from out of the area, in one case it made things a nightmare for neighbours, but this is now not an issue.
      Its more a case of people being moved into the areas private rented sector as a way of dealing with other boroughs problems. I know of people from birmingham and coventry, there are considerable numbers of londoners moved here into the private sector by local authorities.
      There are plenty of anecdotes suggesting that some developments either planned or being built are funded by social providers and deals with london boroughs, how true these stories are I’ve no idea. As ever the devil is in the detail and no one is willing to provide the detail.

      • David when Frank and I read this posting there was one little piece on mental health issues from Craig everything else has been added after as I took a second look as I knew there was just the one old bit of Craig’s he wrote a little while back.

  4. Craig and Roger re airports and Manston

    Firstly, RSP have confirmed that if the DCO is granted that it will be developed purely as an air freight hub. Please see the CAA Airspace Change Process portal and the recent Non-Aviation Focus Group Meeting minutes of 5 November 2019 for this re-confirmation.

    You will be particularly aware of this information as only two Conservative Thanet District Councillors were individually invited and attended this Focus Group. These were Lesley Ann Game and Sam Bambridge as you will be aware these are both Conservative councillors.

    Carlisle airport – Welsh government bought in and is subsidising;
    Blackpool airport – closed to commercial traffic, reopened for a limited range of business, General Aviation
    and helicopter flights in Irish sea;
    Southend airport – is loss making for Stobart Group;
    Doncaster Sheffield airport – converted military airport to commercial, so never really closed or
    re-opened. Heavily loss making;
    Cardiff airport – Welsh govt bought it and subsidising;
    Newquay airport – county council subsidies; and the list goes on.

    And of course who can forget RSP founding director’s most recent attempt at airport development at Lahr which went bust within a year after employees had worked for 3 months without pay.

    That takes zero contract hours to a whole new meaning.

  5. “The Parkway is needed to service a truly fast (sub 1 hour) link to London and, in future, to carry passengers and high-value freight to and from Manston Airport.”
    What planet is Roger Gale on? How on Earth are passengers, let alone freight, to get from Manston (were it ever to reopen as an airport) to the Parkway Station (note: station, not freight depot) situated about a kilometre away?

    • Apparently ( according to a train driver) its just about physically impossible to run a one hour service from thanet to london.

      Too many stations to stop at
      No where for non stopping express trains to pass slower ones,
      Platforms too short to use longer ( and so fewer trains which could then go faster)
      Existing signalling system not the best for maximising traffic
      Too many people want to travel
      Existing capacity in london already stretched to the limit at peak times.
      The cost of a new line and london terminus too great

      Its all part of why the future needs people to work from home and there to be jobs created in thanet.

    • It is because it is the only thing he has “done” since 2017 / 2015. There is literally nothing else he can talk about devoting his (and our) time and resources too.

      Better for us all to get excited about the alleged pros and very real cons of a mythical cargo airport than to focus on the real issues of QEQM, NHS, GPs, Social Housing, Austerity, Foodbanks, Schools, Social Care, Police and public bus services that have been cut.

  6. Manston did have a link off the Old London,Chatham and Dover North Kent mainline, it became disused and all traces of it are mostly lost.If you were going to put in a frieght link, that is where it would be.
    This dishonest election has not been about Thanet, Brexit,the NHS or anything else.Most of the focus of the newspaper industry and various outrider social media organisations, has been to deride,traduce and ridicule the leader of the opposition.This is an old tactic.Prewar with the Zinoviev letter (Stalin had him shot by the way)in 1924, Attlee’s ‘Gestapo’ in 1945,Blair’s devil eyes 1997,Browns temper 2010,Milliband’s bacon sandwich eating exploits (how we would all like to see him back now)2015, and Corbyn’s alleged failings since then.
    With a heavy heart I will have to hold my nose with a very big clothes peg and vote for the least reprehensible, repellent individual/party. The shame of all this, is that there are some good candidates here, but they are drowned out by cupidity and credulity, of those seeking a simple solution to what are deeply rooted social problems, in Thanet and the UK.

  7. Yes it was built in WW1 to serve the aerodrome.It left the LCDR mainline just before Birchington and did a dog leg across country to Manston. There is a diorama in the museum at Manston. It was a single line light railway with minimal earth works. Nearby the East Kent Railway made its way to Richborough port and another cut across country to just outside Wingham. Had the Kent Coal field come to much there might have been a coal export coal port at Reculver.

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