Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The project is outlined as a priority within Growth without Gridlock (2010-30), the Local Transport Plan (2011-16) and the Rail Action Plan for Kent (2011) and will address Kent County Council’s key objectives.
The project will ‘help the Kent economy to grow’: it will unlock development in East Kent and boost Kent’s economy by improving rail accessibility to key employment sites such as the Discovery Park Enterprise Zone, Manston Business Park, Eurokent Business Park, Westwood Cross and China Gateway.
The Thanet District Council Core Strategy Options Consultation (2013) identifies the district's intension to deliver 7,500 houses by 2026. In order to support this level of development rail accessibility will need to be improved, as limited car parking capacity at Ramsgate station currently restricts its ability to cater for additional demand. The Parkway station would enable delivery of more than 2,000 new houses and 5,000 new jobs in East Kent by improving connectivity and accessibility to key development areas and improving perceptions of the area.
The project will help to ‘tackle disadvantage and unemployment’ in East Kent: The Parkway station itself is located in Thanet, where 15,200 households were recorded as living in poverty in 2010 and unemployment at 5.7% (June 2013), significantly higher than Kent's average unemployment rate of 2.8% (June 2013). The scheme will enable key employment areas to be reached by public transport, which are currently only accessible by private car. The Parkway station will increase employment opportunities for Thanet residents to London and other locations in the county such as Ashford and will bring London to within 1 hour travel time opening up significant inward investment opportunities for Thanet.
Financial Implications: £10 million grant funding is being sought from the Single Local Growth fund; discussions are taking place with Network Rail and the private sector to fill any funding gap to deliver the Parkway station. The business case work has been completed, showing that the project offers high value for money and the station is commercially viable (net fares revenue is in excess of the on-going cost). Depending on the operating model, there is the potential for the station car park to provide a future income to KCC over a number of years.
Legal Implications: Legal advice will be sought throughout the development of this project to prepare agreements with Network Rail and ensure we are complying with the necessary UK and EU regulations in delivering a commercial car park at the station.
Equality Implications: An Equality Impact Assessment has been carried out for this project and will be attached with the July 2014 Cabinet Committee report.
The matter is agreed as part of the Council’s annual budget for 2014-15 at page 32, row reference 12.
As Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, I agree to take forward the delivery of Thanet Parkway station in the location to the west of Cliffsend by:
a) commencing land acquisition work, including commencing the Compulsory Purchase Order process;
b) undertaking public consultations in 2015 and 2016; and
c) undertaking project development work to enable the submission of the planning application and design work for the scheme.
Publication date: 04/08/2014
Date of decision: 04/08/2014
Effective from: 12/08/2014