New Thanet Parkway station to be staffed for next 6 weeks

Thanet Parkway is open Photo Southeastern

Thanet Parkway station is now open and Southeastern has pledged to staff the station for the next six weeks  on weekdays between 8am and 4pm and says it has “ committed to keeping staffing of the station under review.”

Fears have been raised by Thanet’s County Councillors, among others, over safety due to the station being isolated and not allocated to have staff.

There are also concerns raised today that the station does not have any toilets.

The first train arrived at Thanet’s new station at 04:58 today (July 31). Thanet Parkway is the district’s first new railway station in 97 years, since Ramsgate and Dumpton Park stations were opened in 1926.

Official opening Photo Southeastern

Southeasten says it’s expected that in its first year of operation the station will attract over 100,000 customers.

The station offers services to St Pancras International via Ashford International in 70 minutes, as well as Mainline connections to London terminals and across Kent and Medway.

It also connects to Canterbury (17 mins), Margate (16 mins), Ashford International (32 mins) and Broadstairs (11 mins).

First passengers Photo Southeastern

The station is fully accessible and there are a range of facilities including:

  • Lifts and stairs to access the platforms
  • Tactile paving and wayfinding tactiles
  • CCTV
  • Passenger help points to provide remote assistance for those who need it.
  • Ticket vending machines
  • A defibrillator
  • Waiting shelters and seating
  • Hearing loops

Pick up and drop off zones have also been set out, along with a station bus stop which will be served by an electric minibus shuttle to Discovery Park.

Thanet Parkway will be served by:

High speed London St Pancras International to Margate services (hourly during the day, with extra trains at peak times). At weekends, the hourly St Pancras to Margate services will stop at Thanet Parkway.

Mainline services at morning and evening peak times to and from London Bridge, Charing Cross or Cannon Street (10 trains in total across the day on weekdays).

Photo Southeastern

Steve White, Southeastern’s Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to welcome another – fully accessible – station to our network offering sustainable travel options for customers: each customer who parks at this new station and takes our all-electric railway to London will reduce their CO2 emissions by approximately 11 kilos compared to driving.

“Additionally, the station offers charging points for electric vehicles as well as ample parking for cycles, supporting aspirations for active travel.

“Return fares on our HighSpeed services start from under £40 and on our mainline services from under £30. With some railcards you can get a discount of up to 50% on the cost of your ticket including advanced fares.

“Our friendly on-board colleagues will support everyone using this station and e-tickets and ticket machines will be available to allow customers to purchase their tickets before travelling.

“We are also thinking about the future and the potential Thanet Parkway has to drive economic development, by serving new and planned housing developments in the area. We are proud to have partnered with Kent County Council and Network Rail in delivering this project.”

Thanet council leader Rick Everitt added: “Thanet Parkway will add to our existing stations and provide new opportunities for residents who do not currently have easy access to them. People who live nearer to the new station will now have an alternative to driving into Ramsgate, and having to park in busy residential roads. It will improve our rail options without increasing previous journey times.

“The new station represents a substantial investment in the district’s future by regional and national funding bodies and it is important that we take advantage of such opportunities when they arise.”

County Councillor Karen Constantine, who was present at the opening today, said: “I repeatedly called for the efficacy of this project to be looked at. I first spoke out about it in the council chamber in 2017 shortly after being elected, where I queried the journey time to London, which the glossy brochure said was faster. I pointed out they were quoting a time from Sandwich to Stratford .

“The truth is if I use this station to travel to London, by the time I’ve left my home, got in my vehicle, driven to Parkway and parked and then got on a train journey, door to office or door to theatre it’s actually going to take me longer! Not only this the cost of car parking at the station means it’s actually more costly.

“On the platform today, I felt very unsafe. I simply can’t imagine using this station at any time of the day let alone at night where I fear I would feel very isolated. This is a muggers paradise.”

Bike storage

Cllr John Worrow, Thanet Council’s Independent Group Leader, said: “On the day of  its opening to passengers, the £44million Thanet Parkway station “is a waste of  council taxpayers’ money”

“I do not believe that the station will be a success, and instead of spending millions of pounds of council taxpayers hard earned money on a station which will only be used by a small number of passengers, Kent County Council and Thanet Council should have used the money to reduce people’s council tax bills.

“The financial burden on Thanet’s households is currently far too high to ignore, yet instead of lowering our council tax, the  district’s ruling Labour group, and KCC’s  ruling Conservative administration continue to squander public money on  expensive vanity projects.

“Councillors need to stop wasting our money, quit squabbling over party politics, and start putting residents first.”

Thanet Parkway Station opening – quadrupled cost and the anticipated ‘boost’ to housing development


      • Dumpton Park recorded 7012 entries and exits in the last reporting period. Minster had 13,562. Thanet Parkway is expecting over 100,000 customers so there is a level of difference in usage. Provision of toilets is an accessability issue so Mr Lewis is right to point this out. He did not mention any campaign.

          • I’ve never made any such claim. I am using SouthEastern’s projections on passenger usage.

          • Clare – Ms. Pink seems to have a similar writing style and is concerned with the same issues as the person you refer to. However they seem to have changed their pronouns and I’m concerned you might be deadnaming them. We should support them on their journey #TransWomenAreWomen

    • Many people would quite happily pay to use toilets that are clean and well maintained. A much better alternative than no toilets available at all. And Thanet Council could be getting some revenue from them.

      • Those people must be very fortunate. They either have plenty of spare cash or they do not require multiple visits to the toilet each day. The rest of us are NOT happy to pay for a vital human need.

        • Ian, if the choice is between paying a very small fee, eg; 20 to 40p or soiling oneself, I know what I’d choose!

          • Ewan, has it crossed your mind that the previous occupant of your seat in the carriage might have soiled themself? If councils and railway companies make toilets inaccessible to people then this could be a feature of our widening inequality

    • That may not be so much of a problem for men wanting to urinate, but for anything else and women it’s a discriminatory nightmare.

      Another sample of very inconsiderate cost-cutting probably designed dare I say by men who haven’t yet hit the prostate years.

      What does this mean for the temporary staffing employees? Will they have a pot to piss in?

    • Sheer lunacy.

      There is a defibrillator but no toilet.

      Who thought that was a good idea and who approved it ?

    • It just amazes me that councillors like you and others find it useful to run the area and facilities down. I wonder if you and your colleagues have any idea what your role is. What sort of impression do you think this sends out to other people in this country who may be considering visiting the area. If, as a councillor, you cannot at least offer a positive view of developments, why not resign and give someone else a chance?

  1. The headline should say staffed, not manned. And before anyone foaming at the mouth jumps out of their seat in horror of political correctness, the days of assuming a workforce is male are long gone, and its a tired phrase. It isn’t “just” a phrase.

    Meanwhile, the station has disabled parking but no physical passenger assistance, once this temporary staffing period has ended. I recognise not all disabled people need assistance but many do.

    And commuters get a longer journey.

    • (a) Disabled people can be helped by the train guard, same as at every other station.

      (b) Commuters will not get a longer journey, as signals and crossings elsewhere have been upgraded to compensate.

      • The facts say otherwise.
        A journey from St Pancras to Ramdgate now takes 5 minutes longer than it used to.

      • Yes true. However how do MIPs or anyone else get to the station? No bus stops there and if you come from nearest bus stop there is no footpath just a road! There will be no help up to the platforms. If an escalator breaks down it will not be quickly noticed and fixed as no staff on the station to check. God forbid someone get stuck in a lift the call for help will go to a call centre and help can take up to 2 hours! This is why all stations need staff and ticket offices. Oh yes and southeastern paid zero money for this white elephant

    • I’m with you there Alice. I adopted the term humankind nearly 50 years ago and the criticism railed at me was pathetic.
      I get exercised at politicians double speak particularly referring to the public/electorate as working people.
      Staffed, is the contemporaneous and most descriptive word.

    • Calm down, ‘mankind’ means women too. And the word ‘woman’ is just ‘man’ with a ‘wo’ in front of it.

  2. Right Ms Pink,
    you appear to be a spokesperson for the rail delivery group and KCC.
    1. Dumpton is a station that has been downgraded by South Eastern and not all services call there.It was not originally unmanned and had facilities.
    2.Minster is now at risk as it is so near Parkway, so watch this space.
    3.The Rail Delivery group wants to close booking offices and has already removed guards and wants trains to operate without any onboard ‘managers’.So your statement that the guard will help a disabled passenger may not hold for the future.
    4. The future is an un-staffed rail service at most stations and onboard many trains, which leaves disabled and elderly passengers in a limbo.
    5.The rail delivery group has made its position clear it wants to see a much reduced staff establishment with more remote service provision.This is an inevitable outcome from the rail franchise system, which added costs to the running of the rail network.

    • George, I don’t think anybody in their right mind would employ Ms Pink as their spokesperson, unless they were trying to destroy their own organisation from within.

    • Mr Nokes,
      Re: point 3, I’m not sure that trains will be without guards or onboard managers, as today I saw jobs advertised for Trainee Train Conductors, to work out of Ramsgate, Canterbury, Faversham, Dover and Ashford

    • Here Here I 100% agree with George Nokes there is a big difference in height from platform to get on the train. If you look at the picture with the lady and her 2 young daughters getting on from the new parkway station platform

  3. “We are also thinking about the future and the potential Thanet Parkway has to drive economic development, by serving new and planned housing developments in the area”
    Surely not? We were told over and over aga8n by politicians both national and local that the reason for the station was on order to make the Thanet-London journey under 1 hour.
    No mention was made of 1000s of houses being built at Cliffsend.

    • They all lie, have you not figured it out yet? General election not far away. #buildonbrownfieldbuildonmanston

  4. Isolated & unmanned station. I see they’ve got a DeFib. When you have a cardiac arrest on the unmanned & isolated station….what’s the point?

    • Well. It’s just possible that the casualty isn’t the only person on the station!
      Having a defibrillator handy is better than not having one.

    • £44 million spent on NEW station ,, dumpton and minster old stations, original cost minimal.main stations in thanet Do have toilets and staff and are at moment got ticket offices and accept cash and waiting rooms. Thanet parkway was built on lies, it is not user friendly

      • Definitely not user friendly, and no public transport going to the station for people that do not drive. Will carry on using my normal stations i.e Ramsgate and Margate, so much easier for me to get to!

      • Same (unanswered) question I asked elsewhere, Barry… how does this railway station compare with the cost of an art gallery in Margate?

      • Broadstairs is meant to be staffed with a ticket office open each and every day. In practice the ticket office is almost always closed, there are no staff, and the toilets and waiting room are inaccessible behind padlocked doors.

  5. Can’t wait to see the news later to see the poor positive spin they put on this unwarranted over budget unwanted white elephant. #buildonbrownfieldbuildonmanston

  6. White Elephant, doubt it will be manned for long and who is going to drive down there to catch a train ?
    The trees planted there were left to die and removed before today’s opening.
    What a joke 😤
    I even saw it described as an Ecological wasteland !

  7. “Fully accessible” and no toilets? What other corners have they cut? And did somebody say the train guard can help disabled people? What alternative universe do you live in? Not my experience!

    • Do you book ahead!! No, just moan. My wife is disabled and we check everything before travelling/visiting places eg accessibility , toilets, steps, etc. Only takes a couple of minutes. If not suitable we don’t go, simple. We do not expect access to every building ever constructed

      • Perhaps you should. The law says you’re entitled to that, aside from heritage regulations.

        Passenger assistance requires help from the guard and a person at the station. Not just the guard. What does a blind person do once left on the platform if there is no staff member to assist. Shocking inaccessibility in these supposedly modern times.

  8. With the increasing use of robots and Artificial Intelligence, lots of routine jobs in manufacturing and processing will be done by machines. Just compare the modern car plants production line with its big robots and the same type of factory 30 years ago.
    Soon, we will have released even more people to take on the human-centred work that we need.
    Not just medical and Care work which machines cannot do.
    But more staff at railway stations to help the public. As well as more staff on trains , buses etc
    Eventually, we may have driverless trains and buses. But that should NOT be used as a reason to dispose of staff. It should become a reason to employ people to look after us on the trains and buses NOT just leave us alone on windswept, toilet-less buildings with only the shouts of prowling criminals to entertain us.
    But we have to make sure this happens. The “business-oriented” politicians think only of reducing services and getting rid of staff.
    We need a major change of attitude that puts people first

  9. I’m all for improving customer service, but this station is just an overflow car park for Ramsgate. Making TDC and Roger look good with their ‘spade ready’ project on the back burner since 2003.

    Meanwhile, there are no buses there because KCC and Stagecoach stopped the Ramsgate to Canterbury service.

    Utter waste of money and ruinous on the environment given the tree vandalism and ineptitude of the developer not to let the new plantings die.

    • In common with most defibrillators in three public domain: there is a telephone number and a reference number.
      You phone up, quote the number, and they tell you the code number to punch in to open the lock.

        • A defibrillator available is better than none available.
          The procedure is exactly the same as any publicly available defibrillator.
          If all else fails, just break the glass.
          But to be on the safe side, make sure that you have a heart attack near to a publicly available defibrillator, and that there’s someone else at hand willing and able to use it.

    • No bus swrvice, other than the shuttle to Dicovery Park.
      You can walk or cycle.
      Or get the bus to Margare, Broadstairs, Dumpton Park, Ramsgate or Minster and get the train to THP.

  10. Why is it being staffed for 6 weeks?
    A) It’ll close because of lack of use?
    B) Muggers will stay ar home once Autumn comes on?
    C) Less able people will stay at home once Autumn comes on?

  11. Saw this on the local news yesterday. The man from the train company said the station is designed for car users, hence its name Parkway. Its design is to get people from towns to drive to the station instead of walking to their local station.

    If that’s the case to encourage you to drive why have they not put a decent road system in ?

    People from ramsgate will have to use sevenscore roundabout to do a u turn. I can see plenty of T bone crashes as people from the station try doing the 360 turn from the left hand lane as people try to turn right from the correct lane lol.

    People from minster side will have to use lord of the manor roundabout to do their 360 turn to get to the roundabout.

    Two already very busy roundabouts. Still it might stop people using the outside lane at lord of the manor as an opportunity to over take when going into ramsgate. That lane will now be blocked with people doing a 360 turn back to the station lol.

    I know it was its first day but I did laugh when itv meridian presenter showed a more or less empty carpar, after saying white elephant lol

  12. If I was a woman I would not fancy using the station that’s for sure. It’s so remote.
    We live in Manston village and we try to a avoid using the car but you couldn’t walk there if you tried and the village have no bus service. And to honesty think that people have the money to pay to travel high speed to work in London everyday and pay for parking too! I guess once TDC and the developers have finished concreting over all the grade A farmland between Manston and Ramsgate it will be easier to get to this station

    • I was thinking the same if you have to drive to a station on a daily basis. I would go to a station where I could park for free, in the street.

      A yearly train ticket and now an extra cost of parking, I’ll stick with the old stations and free street parking

  13. I would dearly love to see the names of the people who decided that toilets are not needed because they must be aliens paying a visit who do not need to pee. when they get old they will find their mistake.

  14. Got this far and no mention of the brutal architecture design, then it came to me, its based on “Colditz”.

  15. M.M Rees says that Ms Pink is Peter Checksfield. I have always thought that Marva Reeves, M. M. Rees & Phyllis Quot are one and the same.
    I maybe wrong.

  16. I’d imagine the bushes will be the toilet. At least someone will be watering the plants. Unless KCC, TDC, the develop or South Eastern.

    Lucky trees.

  17. A post was put on Fb today of the charges of train tickets.
    It will cost more for a ticket from Parkway than buying a ticket from one of the local towns, plus £7 or more to park your car if going to London, plus their is no saving on time.
    Who on earth would get a train to Parkway and then pay £8/£10 for a taxi to one of the local towns ?
    No you would take a train to the local town.
    It’s all a nonsense from an ex leader of KCC intending to fill the “ arse end “ ( their description) of Kent with housing estates and now Thanet residents are going to pay for it.
    But they won’t unless they live in Manston or God forbid they close Minster station. So much for reducing cars on the road !

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