Thanet Parkway station opening date moved from May to July

Thanet Parkway station Photo Frank Leppard

The opening date for the Thanet Parkway railway station at Cliffsend has now been announced for July 31, some 10-12 weeks later than the initially predicted date of this May.

Network Rail says work on the station is now substantially complete. It will be served by both mainline and high-speed trains.


The station has two platforms that can accommodate 12-car trains. There are lifts and stairs to access the platforms, ticket vending machines, waiting shelters, acoustic barriers, 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 station is accessed from the A299 Hengist Way with a new pedestrian and cycleway to and from Clive Road in Cliffsend village.

Photo Network Rail

Other works to ready the station for passenger services relate to the upgrade of two adjacent level crossings at Cliffsend which have been converted from an automatic half barrier crossing (two barriers lowered when a train approaches) to a crossing monitored by CCTV. This means there will be 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’.

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.

Photo Frank Leppard

There were widespread objections from Thanet county councillors and residents in the area, who claimed the station was not needed alongside the seven Thanet already has.

There were also questions over passenger safety at an unmanned station and the danger of more building on agricultural land due to the expectation of the station creating demand for 4,500 new homes.

The cost of the project also soared over the decade from an initial £11.2 million to  £34million.

Photo Network Rail

Last November a further £875,000 was granted to Network Rail for the scheme to help overcome cost increases due to the impacts of the COVID pandemic, Brexit, and inflation.

The government funding, which was allocated via the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), was redistributed after projects in Sussex and Essex stalled.


Funders are:

South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) (Local Growth Fund) (£14 million plus £875k)

Getting Building Fund (HM Government) (£12 million)

New Stations Fund (£3.4 million)

Thanet District Council (£2 million)

East Kent Spatial Development Company (£700k)

Kent County Council (the remaining funds).


  1. How many people had network rail projected to use this £32m ,station ,and how many are really expected in the real world expected to use this £32m station ,I bet there is a massive difference in figures,

        • Well since it’ll be difficult for most of them to get to probably will be. If this was going to be a station for local people then it should have been built IN Cliffsend, a bit further along the track, not stuck next to a dual carriageway with the cycle/pedestrian access up/down a steep hill towards the edge of the village.

  2. 3 mins less than it is from Ramsgate!!

    The same three minutes that will now take you 10mins to drive, park up than using Ramsgate station!

    Purely built because of the amount of houses going up in that area and nothing else!

    • Madness. Building a station where lots of people live. It’s almost like they want the people who live in the new homes to be able to use trains.

  3. There is a rumour that the platforms aren’t wide enough for wheelchair access to trains and there isn’t going to be a bus service to the station?
    Is the reporter of this article aware or have answers to these rumours?

    • The platforms seem to be quite narrow. I can see that once you’ve deployed the ramp from the train door to the platform, there won’t be much room to manoeuvre.

        • You call up and book the ramp, the onboard train staff will then wait in the disabled area of the carriage ready for when the train arrives and then assist you to board using the ramp. Used the service many times when I supported wheelchair users, mostly a straightforward, stress free experience. Not always.

  4. 95 percent of thanet residents will have to DRIVE past an existing station to get to the white elephant called thanet parkway. NO buses, NO STAFF,NO REAL TIME SECURITY equals MUGGERS PARADISE. At a cost of £30 million plus to taxpayers including £6 million paid by bankrupt Kent County council

    • Nasty can you do something about that trench dug by somebody on the seaside of the coastguard station it’s just been left unfinished

    • Barry can you do something about that trench dug by somebody on the seaside of the coastguard station it’s just been left unfinished

      • Maybe because it’s for the people who DON’T have to drive by a nearer station?

        I just love that Thanet residents are so utterly blinkered that they can’t comprehend the needs of people other than themselves.

    • Your buddy David Greene put this planning application through. At the time in 2014 Chinagateway.. Manston business park.. All for destroying land for 7000 homes plus peoples lives. Plus putting up council tax. Plus setting up a company to give £500k from coffers at tdc

      Add bankdrupt tdc

  5. What a total and complete waste of public money!
    We don’t want hear any more excuses from the Tories on Thanet Council or KCC that they have no money. Could have resurfaced all our roads and dealt with potholes, subsidized our bus services or provided a free green bin service. Instead we have this total white elephant 🐘 with no staff and a muggers paradise.
    First week in May is a chance to vote these scoundrels out.

    • Agreed a total waste of resources, however you omit the fact that I believe Labour when they held the leadership of Thanet Council as late as July 2020 were also supportive of the new station.

      • Ages,if ever,Ms Pay. Who’s going to go to the new station if they live in Ramsgate,,Broadstairs, Margate, Minster etc?

        • And not everybody has a car, although you’d think from reading some comments here that everybody does, and that those who do think that those who don’t are their social inferiors.

        • You’re forgetting the houses to be built all the way from spratling st, passed manston golf, down to cliffsend and on the field directly adjacent this station?

  6. Pity KCC and TDC didn’t consult the general public first ,and found out ,that this a vanity project,and will most likely close within a brief of time,and Keith totally agree ,money would have been spent on repairing the roads

  7. Two questions:

    (a) What bus(es) will be stopping there?

    (b) Will trains from Dover/Folkstone continue beyond Ramsgate, as they did for a few years pre-pandemic? (would be pointless having a parkway that terminates in Ramsgate!)

    • Already stated no bus connections,will have drive to use this station,so much for the council’s green agenda,but in reality just a few cars a day dropping off of picking up passengets

  8. A) None
    B) There will be no change to the services currently provided, other than some will stop at the new station.

  9. I imagine that £32M could have gone a long way to upgrading the railway infrastructure so that line speeds were more appropriate to HS1 and less like a setting for a Thomas the Tank Engine film.

  10. “… a further £875,000 was granted to Network Rail for the scheme to help overcome […] impacts of […] Brexit …”
    Some mistake, surely?
    We all know that Brexit was “oven ready”, and would make Britain (and its railways) Great again?

  11. So in a post pandemic environment with many more people now working from home is there the potential for an additional station even if 4500 homes are built?? Probably not. It would be great to think that it would compliment a thriving Manston Airport but sadly I can’t see that happening any time soon, if ever 😢

    • Even if Manston did go ahead, no railway station would be any use because it would be a cargo operation.
      And if pax did happen, TP station would still be no good, because it’s on the wrong side of the A299 and half a mile away.

      • “And if pax did happen, TP station would still be no good, because it’s on the wrong side of the A299 and half a mile away.”

        Shuttle buses, mate.

  12. It would be interesting to hear what a lot of people who comment here would actually be in favor of?
    I know what’s not wanted;
    An airport
    A ferry-port
    A railway station
    Any new housing
    Anyone from the capitol moving here
    Anything to do with art or artist’s
    Absolutely anything to do with the Tories
    There’s obviously more that I’ve missed, sorry.
    Maybe someone could take the time to describe the utopia that they have in their mind for this Island.

    • Refurbished and reopened theatres in both Margate and Ramsgate.
      Streets that are regularly cleaned.
      Lifts to and from the beaches.
      Toilets that are open.
      Clean and safe car parks.
      A summer open-topped bus that runs between Minnis Bay and Ramsgate.
      Flowers in the empty boxes on the Birchington to Margate road.

    • I’d dearly love to see an improved standard of literacy.
      Not that it’s got anything to do with Thanet Parkway station.

  13. Paul , want i want are ,better hospital services, more doctors including g .p s , no potholes, better paid jobs, more council housing, more police on the streets, more street cleaners more buses, more visable m.p s. More trees.cleaner beaches and more theatres open etc.

    • I know you are /where a councillor,but nothing changes under Tory or labour councils,the parties themselves have to change,no chance of that ,as they are both intransigent in their views

    • Sounds idyllic Barry. Unfortunately I fear those day’s are long gone. Also, I can hear the naysayers rallying in opposition to any house building even if it is council housing.

      • I thought the new station was going to be served by the loop as part of the green initiative, slightly laughable as there are over 200 parking spaces. Surprising that TDC contributed £2 million towards it when most people and all the local councillors were against it. Democracy in action….lol

    • Agreed Barry, at the moment this Tory government has most “essential/public workers” out on strike nationally included rail workers! I have just had my state pension increased by the rate of inflation, 10.1%. Had the Tory’s increased all the essential/public workers wages the same over the last 13 years, none of them would be on strike now! The Tory’s couldn’t run a bath, and look at the rag tag bunch in the government now, all 5th raters!

  14. If this station is well used the sevenscore and lord of the manor will be gridlocked by people using them to do the U turns lol madness

  15. Look at it!
    All that is necessary to be said is shown in this god awful design.
    I fought this dreadful project from the start.When KCC was faced with its own folly, their representatives failed to make the case and now precious resources have been washed to what end.
    This folly shows just how utterly unfit KCC and TDC are to manage the future of East Kent.
    In the original design there was facilities for a bus service,but thanks to KCC’s ineptitude in transport planning, we have a car connected unmanned railway halt.How is this going to achieve net zero.
    The die is now cast but no good will come of it.

  16. an older woman who is not very robust at the best of times, I wont use a station that has no staff! what a ridiculous unfriendly, unsafe idea. There will clearly be no chance of assistance.

  17. Driverless trains, unmanned stations should help keep travel costs down – We will all get used to it in the end – just like scanning your own shopping in the supermarket that took a while to be accepted.
    Ferry terminal + Airport + Station the whole area could thrive within the next decade or so – any investment is a plus.

    • TDC and KCC planners are not that bright – they wouldn’t recognise a 10 year integrated transport and movement strategy even if it was on the desk in front of them.

  18. Ironic that even the station is late!
    I suspect someone somewhere in the decision making process has a strong interest in land around the station gaining planning permission for houses – there is no other logical explanation for it.

    • You’re a bit behind the times.
      A vast number of houses has been built at Cliffsend over the past couple of years.

      • And presumably someone has benefitted from the planning permissions and consequent increase in land values?

  19. Perhaps the bus that used to go to Canterbury could stop there. Oh no, Stagecoach and KCC scrapped that well used route.

    This white elephant is nothing more than an MP vanity project.

    And to the person who wonders what we DO want here?

    A competent council, not one obsessed with aviation.

    Investment in green, sustainable jobs, such as the windfarm expansion not supported by TDC.

    Public services.

    Clean streets.

    We’re also OK with housing development, on brownfield sites.

    I dont think anyone minds a ferry. As long as it doesn’t go bust again and cost TDC 5m.

    • “Oh no, Stagecoach and KCC scrapped that well used route.”

      If it were so well used to be financially viable, they wouldn’t have scrapped it.

  20. How would Manston passengers go from the terminal to the station? Electric barge? Electric bikes? Electric bugaloos?

    Is the parking at the station free?

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