The new Thanet Parkway station will open to passengers on 31 July, improving rail connectivity between East Kent, London and the wider region by providing access to mainline and highspeed train services.
As a special introductory offer, customers will also be offered free parking at the station from the opening day for a limited time.
Located between Ramsgate and Minster, Thanet Parkway station will boost the local and wider Kent economy by supporting connections to new housing and new business and job opportunities, particularly at surrounding business parks in Thanet and Dover, as well as supporting the area’s leisure and tourism industry.
The station has two 250 metre platforms that can accommodate spacious 12-car trains, offering high speed services to St Pancras International via Ashford International in as little as 70 minutes, as well as Mainline connections to London terminals and across Kent and the Medway Towns.
It will also provide connections to a wide range of leisure destinations enabling customers to visit places such as Canterbury (17 mins), Margate (15 mins), Ashford International (32 mins) and Broadstairs (10 mins).
There are a range of facilities at the station to support customers during their journeys including:
- lifts and stairs to access the platforms
- ticket vending machines
- waiting shelters
- hearing loops
- landscaping works, and
- passenger help points to provide remote assistance for those who need it.
Acoustic barriers have also been installed to absorb any noise impact and provide privacy for lineside neighbours once train services start operating from the station.
As well as rail connections for London and across Kent, Thanet Parkway station provides the potential for an integrated transport hub in the future.
A new road provides access to the station from the A299 Hengist Way, with parking available for 293 vehicles, including 16 for Blue Badge holders, as well as a number of charging points for electric vehicles.
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, which can be reached in just 6 minutes.
There is cycling and pedestrian access to Cliffsend village with both bike racks and bike storage facilities available.
The station has been landscaped to enhance the surrounding environment and achieve bio-diversity net gain with new trees, shrubs, flowering grass and ivy plants.
To allow trains to call safely at the new station, Cliffsend and Sevenscore level crossings have been upgraded at the same time. At Cliffsend the current automatic half barriers are being replaced with full barriers with CCTV controlled from East Kent Signalling Centre in Gillingham.
The station and level crossing works has been jointly funded by the Government’s Department for Transport (DfT); South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP); Government’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities; Thanet District Council; East Kent Spatial Development Company; and Kent County Council.
The investment is part of Network Rail’s Thanet Corridor Enhancements Programme which includes upgrades to Dibleys, Ships Meadow and Grove Ferry crossings to permit line speed increases between Ashford, Canterbury West and Ramsgate.
Thanet Parkway station has now been added to Southeastern’s online journey planner and tickets for services to and from Thanet Parkway will be able to be purchased from 1 July.
David Davidson, Network Rail’s Kent route director, said: “It’s fantastic that Thanet Parkway will be opening next month, Kent’s first new station in eight years.
“The opening of this station is testament to the collaborative working relationship between our partners and Thanet Parkway will play a central role in helping boost the local economy and support tourism by providing connections to a wide range of leisure destinations.
“I look forward to seeing the first passengers using Thanet Parkway and would like to thank the many colleagues involved who have worked so hard with our partners in opening this new station.”
Steve White, Southeastern’s managing director, said: “We’re excited to begin services at Thanet Parkway, some 90 years after the people of Cliffsend last had their own railway station.
“Working with our partners to enable the communities on our network to thrive is important to us, and Thanet Parkway will offer a live example of what can be achieved. All day highspeed services to St Pancras and peak services to London Bridge, Cannon Street and Charing Cross will bring new opportunities to experience the area’s tourist attractions as well as the many business and employment opportunities nearby.”
David Brazier, Kent County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “Thanet Parkway is a leading example of how organisations can work together to bring forward improvements for local communities.
“By coordinating towards the common goal of improving rail connectivity across eastern Kent, we all share the success of the prosperity that this station will bring to Thanet.
“This will help in our joint mission as a group of organisations to make Kent as a great place to live, work and visit.”
Sarah Dance, South East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Chair, said: “SELEP is committed to partnership working and the way it delivers for our local and regional economy and our communities. This is a significant milestone for East Kent, with the opening of a much anticipated and much needed station.
“The improvements to the local community for both residents and businesses are clear to see, with greater access to jobs, training, and widening the catchment for leisure purposes, really will open the area to new opportunities.
“We commend all parties involved for working together to deliver this project in such a timely manner.”
Rail Minister Huw Merriman said: “Thanet Parkway will allow the local community to access better employment, education, and business opportunities.
“I’m thrilled that, thanks to Government and industry funding, the fully accessible station will open next month, offering journeys on both mainline and highspeed train services to destinations across Kent, to London and beyond.”
Councillor Rick Everitt, Leader of Thanet District Council, said: “Thanet Parkway represents a major statement of confidence in Thanet’s future by national and regional funders. This significant investment could easily have gone elsewhere in the South East. It has come to Thanet because the strength of the business case for this station was widely recognised.
“Thanet Parkway will supplement our existing stations and provide new opportunities for residents who do not currently have easy access to them, without extending existing journey times for those who do not need to use it. It means fewer people will need to drive to Ramsgate Station, in particular, and park in nearby residential roads. The new station will make Thanet a more attractive prospect for people looking to relocate to the district.”