My KCC Election Manifesto & Video

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Ramsgate Station What's It's Future?

There’s been a lot of speculation recently about the future of Ramsgate Railway Station. It’s been suggested by some people that  its future might be in doubt because of the proposed development of  Parkway Station, several miles from  town.

It’s a fundamental economic truth that having a railway station puts a town in a much stronger position than not.  Surely therefore if the  Parkway scheme goes ahead and Ramsgate Station is neglected or even closed, then  the economy of the town will be seriously damaged. This is something which politicians from all parties should be avoiding.

Personally, I believe the  Parkway Station scheme  is based on muddled thinking and could become, like the TransEuropa debt scandal, another  massive waste of public money.   The recently published interim report of the Airport Commission excludes Manston Airport from the resolution of the, highly questionable, south east air-traffic capacity problem. This decision will, in my opinion, lead to the eventual closure of Manston  Airport. This means that there is no need for a Parkway Station because the oft-predicted millions of airport  passengers just ain’t  gonna show up!

Likewise I’m unconvinced by plans being developed by Thanet Council’s Labour Cabinet for  a container facility at Ramsgate port which, it is argued,  may  necessitate  the development a  freight railhead at Parkway. With competition from the newly opened London Gateway super-container port, http://www.londongateway.com/ you don't need to be a maritime mogul to recognise that a sustainable  container operation at Ramsgate is simply not feasible.
However,  if the £millions earmarked for  Parkway were to be invested in developing a high speed rail link between Ramsgate and Ashford, reducing  journey times to London   to an  hour or less, then the economy of Ramsgate and Thanet would receive a massive and sustainable shot in the arm.

Tourism would increase. There would be a major growth in commuting, fuelled by the house price  inflation in London and its suburbs. And new sustainable businesses would rapidly begin to appear, catering  for the needs of these new customers and  providing many  jobs. Central to this would of course be Ramsgate Station which will require major investment as more and more people begin use it.

Focusing on the development of a fast link Between Ashford and Ramsgate  means that hundreds of acres of valuable greenfield  land which would otherwise be sacrificed to a totally unnecessary railway station and  the various hare-brained housing schemes currently being touted, will be protected.  
Finally, a remodelled Ramsgate Station with a bigger transport  interchange would also provide the owner of Manston Airport, Anne Gloag, who I understand used to run Stagecoach Buses, an opportunity to develop a shuttle service to whatever she might decide to build on the Manston  runway once  the airport closes. I am sure these plans are probably already  in the advance stages of preparation!

Whatever anyone may say I think there is a long-term future for Ramsgate Station and I think that future is very bright!

5 comments:

  1. The main thing wrong with the Manston Parkway proposal is that it is undemocratic. The main proponent seems to be Roger Gale, and he doesn't represent Ramsgate. The electorate is entitled to see the proposals and to be properly consulted before anything is decided. After all, it is the people of Ramsgate who use the train service from and to Ramsgate Station and it is they who can best decide whether it is better to have a train that picks up and drops off in the town or outside the town. The puffed up politicos who are supporting the idea of a Manston Parkway Station haven't bothered to ask anyone who uses the train service whether they want it., They just want it because it is yet another glory project that will waste millions of pounds of public money. It's high time we (the taxpayer) stopped these fools from squandering public money, when that money would be far better spent on education or health.

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  2. They should spend the money on a Ramsgate seafront station instead.

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  3. I expect TDC will have as much success in developing the Port of Ramsgate as a container port as they did in attracting a company to market the port to ferry companies.
    Whatever developments are proposed at the port will be subject to lengthy environmental and architectural studies and the likelihood is that London Manston airport would welcome its 5th million passenger before the port of Ramsgate welcomed a container ship.

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  4. Ramsgate isn't big enough to be a container port and the channel isn't deep enough. Anybody who is promoting this as an idea doesn't know anything about shipping.

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  5. I agree that it is wrong that Roger Gale is being allowed to bulldoze the Manston Parkway development when he does not represent Ramsgate. What can we do to stop his interference???

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