Extra £875k granted for Thanet Parkway project to cover rise in material costs

Thanet Parkway station is due to open next May Photo Frank Leppard

A further £875,000 has been granted to Network Rail for Thanet Parkway railway station scheme to help the overcome cost increases due to the impacts of the COVID pandemic, Brexit, and inflation.

The government funding, which is allocated via the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), has been redistributed after projects in Sussex and Essex stalled. The SELEP board agreed the cash would be made available to existing projects that were hit by higher costs or wanted to expand on the initial schemes.

Thanet Parkway, which entered its delivery phase in 2020, with planning consent granted in September 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, was one of the successful bids.

Image Network Rail

The station and car park works are substantially complete; the remaining works relate to the upgrade of two adjacent level crossings. Cliffsend level crossing will be converted from its current automatic half barrier crossing (two barriers lowered when a train approaches) to a crossing monitored by CCTV. This will include four barriers, which once in the lowered position, will completely close Foads Hill when a train approaches.

To ensure that existing journey times on this line of route are not extended due to there being an extra station for trains to stop at, Network Rail also needs to carry out other level crossing safety and ‘line speed improvement work’.

Photo Frank Leppard

The project has been impacted by inflationary pressures which include an additional £330k required due to increases in the cost of steel by £114k, £117k increase for the acoustic barrier, and £76k increase in the cost of hoarding.

The cash comes from the government’s Get Building Fund that was launched in 2020 as a way to stimulate economic recovery and help mitigate the impact that COVID-19 has had on employment levels.

The extra funds were approved at a County Council meeting today (November 22).

The project is funded by:

South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) (Local Growth Fund) (£14 million)

Getting Building Fund (HM Government) (£12 million) plus the £875k boost

New Stations Fund (£3.4 million)

Thanet District Council (£2 million)

East Kent Spatial Development Company (£700k)

Kent County Council (£5.8m).

Construction of Thanet Parkway Station Photo Frank Leppard

Passenger services from Thanet Parkway station are expected to begin in May 2023.

The station will be served by both mainline and high-speed trains and will include two platforms that will be able to accommodate 12-car trains.

There will be ticket machines, waiting shelters, parking for 293 vehicles, bus stops, pick-up and drop-off zones, electric charging points, hearing loops, cycle storage, CCTV, seating, landscaping works and passenger help points to provide remote assistance for those who need it.

The long-standing dispute over building a new station in Thanet has rumbled on since 2010.

Kent County Council first put forward a planning application in May 2018 but withdrew it 18 months later due to concerns over footbridge access. The plans were altered and an existing Victorian underpass beneath the railway is being used to link the station’s two platforms.

There were widespread objections from Thanet county councillors and residents in the area, who together claimed that the two-platform station is not needed.

Labour County Councillor for Margate Barry Lewis has branded the latest funding “a scandalous waste of public money.” But Conservative County Councillor for Broadstairs Ros Binks said residents from new housing developments in the area would likely use the station.

She added: “It is not just a matter of people not wanting it. Quite a lot of people in Birchington and Westgate want it as it will be quicker.”

She said there was a “50/50 split” and many people will use the station.

40 Comments

  1. Seriously confused as to the need for this station.

    The traffic around it will cause chaos on sevenscore and lord of the manor roundabout. These are already bad roundabouts. Going to make for delays area that area.

    • Indeed – Thanet already has seven railway stations. Surely this is enough for such a small geographic area.

      And why would anybody in their right mind drive past one railway station to get to another ?

      ”Back in the day” when thousands more arrived by train (because fewer had cars) the stations were able to cope. Some existing stations now have platforms which are seldom, if ever, used.

      Perhaps the new station is primarily intended for shipping persons in and out of Manston ? ? ?

  2. Which one do you think will be 3 times over budget & up & running first?

    A. Thanet Parkway
    B. Manston Airport
    C. China Gateway
    D. Westwood Acres

    Answers on a postcard to The Chief Planning Officer at TDC

  3. Now that so many foreign Investors have bought London Properties, many of which were previously occupied by Londoners who have been forced by price hike to move out,those who service the London economy have moved further away..Teachers, Nurses, Junior Drs, Train ,Bus, and Taxi Drivers,Underground Workers, Cleaners, Caterers,Office workers..in fact anyone on under £100,000 + pa.These are the folk who will buy the Thanet overpriced newbuilds, and commute.

  4. “To ensure that existing journey times on this line of route are not extended due to there being an extra station for trains to stop at, Network Rail also needs to carry out other […] improvement work.”
    Any yet we were told over and over again by our MP and cabinet members at KCC that the reason for Thanet Parkway was to *reduce* journey times between Thanet and London.
    We were lied to over and over again.

  5. Complete madness, they cut down hundreds of trees and then increase the money for an artificial acoustic barrier for a station most people think is an enormous white elephant that doesn’t bring any benefit. Then KCC complain to the government they are suffering from inflationary pressures. The Goes Wrong Show and Monty Python’s flying circus couldn’t have come up with a better script.

  6. Very nice of our government to use taxpayers money to bail out private companies when asked.
    But didn’t the same governing Party tell us that privatising the railways would “open the floodgates” to private money pouring in to improve the rail service?
    The opposite has happened.
    Government money is pouring into keeping the rail companies afloat and money generated by the industry is pouring OUT of the service into the pockets of the share holders and senior managers! What a con!

  7. What a waste of tax payers money. This station will be unmanned and is the middle of nowhere (currently). It will be wrecked by the end of the summer by vandals (already graffiti everywhere). I for one would not want to leave my bike or car there (will there be security?). I certainly wouldn’t want to be hanging around waiting for taxis late at night at that station. Its bad enough at the ‘manned’ ones 😥

  8. The point of the station is. ?
    Strike action by ASLEF union is due to take place on the Southeastern railway network.
    Power blackouts expected during parts of the winter of 2022/23

    • The point of the station most certainly isn’t to reduce journey times to London. It will do the opposite.
      It’s probably there to serve the several 1000 houses being built on the green fields around Cliffsend. We weren’t told about those in the spiel about the station.

      Although it has bus stops, Stagecoach (I understand) has no plans to run a service there.

    • The airport isn’t being funded at all at the moment.
      If RSP get their DCO, they will turn to investors and banks for the £500M necessary to get the place up and running.
      At least, that’s what they told the Planning Inspector at the inquiry.

  9. 97 percent of thanet residents will have to DRIVE past one of the existing railway station to arrive at this white elephant called thanet parkway station. No buses, no staff, no live security, no demand , will be plenty of graffiti and with cars left all day it will be a MUGGERS PARADISE

    • Coming from the same Councillor who claims there have been no RTCs on Marine Terrace since the 20mph zone was implemented. Absolute clown.

    • Barry you have no right to call other councillors or councils out for wasting precious tax payers money, not after your history and you doing the exact same. Or is it one rule for Labour and one rule for everyone else?

      • The box, proud to “waste “ money on using my members grant on funding improving local community activities, recently for example paying for margate Christmas lights to be turned on, paying for the start up of a warm bank in Margate.

        • Behave Barry. You voted for your own expenses increase when KKC said they had no funds pushing them into further debt, and then the little they did have shortly afterwards, you accepted it and donated tax payers money to national charity. I’m glad people are finally waking up and realising just how hypocritical you have become. You do very little for the community, but want the highest praise.

          This station isn’t even in your jurisdiction. I heard you on the radio, you couldn’t even get your words out.

          Maybe try doing something on the mandate you was elected on and what the electorate in your area actually desperately needs, and it’s not sham 20mph zones that have no proven benefits other than a waste of hard earn tax payers money. Especially as you do not do 20mph or under on marine terrace, as proved on dash cam, as said by many other residents.

          • The box, fake news spreader, have not taken a pay rise in last 4 years; don’t drive but do give to national charities who work within margate

  10. She (Ros Binks) added: “It is not just a matter of people not wanting it. Quite a lot of people in Birchington and Westgate want it as it will be quicker.”
    I’d love to know who she has been talking to as getting to Cliffsend station can’t possibly being quicker for anyone living in either Birchington or Westgate. Or I’d love to know the route they use to get to Cliffsend quicker.

    • The service from Thanet Parkway might be quicker (it’s on the HS1 route), but by the time you’ve driven from one side of Thanet to the other, it might still be quicker to get a train from Birchington.
      Assuming any trains at all actually stop at TP station.

  11. Another ‘bonus’ of Brexit. We’ve taken back control and given it to shady lobbyists and hedge funders, we’ve reduced immigration from the EU but increased it from everywhere else, we’ve reduced growth by 4.5% to the lowest of the G7, and we don’t appear to have £350million a month to spend on the health service. Isn’t it about time to get Brexit undone?

  12. Ramsgate lover ,,,, Brexit is not a failure the failure comes from Tories who time after time fail the people of this country in everyway, so themselves and shareholders get rich as tax payers get punished

    • Brexit is not a failure?
      Give some examples to justify your opinion: an opinion that differs from those of the Bank of England, the CBI, the TUC, fishermen, farmers …

    • Dream on Chris. Name me one success of Brexit. Explain to me how the failures are due to anything other than it being an extremely stupid idea sold using lies.

      • Your right brexit was a stupid result voted by a lies from johnson i read a survey where 60% of people who voted leave would now vote remain. Already lost one of our largest businesses to paris

      • Well said Ramsgate Lover. Even Gove the gormless could NOT name one benefit of leaving the EU. Not one.
        Great isn’t it. Leave the best trading block in Europe and shaft ourselves. Excellent Tories and their supporters.

    • Chris is correct. The Tories have always failed most of the people. And brexit hasn’t failed simply because it hasn’t been completed!
      The oven ready deal? Oven was never on!
      Take back control? Control still in the hands of the elite money grabbers!
      Protect our borders?
      Save the NHS?

  13. If anyone has looked at the new December train timetable they will notice that South Eastern have added an extra 3-5 minutes to the times of the high speed trains to London to allow for the Parkway stop next May. To say that the extra stop will not affect travel times from Broadstairs, Margate & Ramsgate is just not true.
    As for a bus service neither KCC or Stagecoach have any plans to provide one. As someone who knows told me who would use it? The existing stations are already well served by buses so the Parkway will just be used by motorists & Cliffsend residents who can walk there.

  14. So much uk tax payers hard earned cash going into this civil engineering project on behalf of network rail.
    Would have liked to see uk parent companies doing the build not different contractors based in the netherlands etc.

    Maybe local residents will be gifted Clogs to walk to and from the remote station.
    Que agriculture land repurposed. Dont think it will be a remote area for much longer, can imagine 30k+ new houses built around there. Handy for the future airport,golf course, peggy bay, The developers love thanet’s green,brown envelopes of land.

  15. Great idea thanet parkway fast train to london cut out all the smaller stations. If people want to travel from them fine,get the slow train. Move thanet forward

  16. What a total waste of taxpayers money. A private company gets a brand new station at no cost to them, but kcc doesn’t have money for public services maybe their priority is to give public funds to their private friends. Only reason it cuts travel time is its a little nearer London! This will be an unstaffed station how is that safe or offering good customer service dobyiu feel safe at a remote local on a dark night alone?

  17. Parkway.. Throwaway more tax at this labour n Gale project. Ruined this town you have. Speed of first train is awful. Prices are very expensive and you wanna another Gale project.. It was stalled for years lack of funds.. Now Throwaway like Thanet needs to give money to throwaway Conservative mp

  18. Not only is it a blight on the skyline but it has cost the tax payers millions.
    The tin eared bone heads behind this failure should be made to use it everyday.
    It fails on design,connectivity, resilience, sustainably, usefulness,and value for money. That is a pretty long list of failings.
    I suspect even the junketing after its opening will be way over budget.

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