Home ... Tag Archives: Manston Parkway

Tag Archives: Manston Parkway

Manston, elections, and money

Dennis Franklin is a regular contributor to the IoT Gazette letters page, and sent us this letter to publish in full, just in case the Gazette doesn’t… I know what follows is lengthy, but I am trying to make some important points about Manston, forthcoming elections, and the use of public money. Also, I feel there have been more pro …

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Trevor wants a Parkway

Kent Online's business editor Trevor Sturgess argues for a Parkway station and high speed rail links, but I think he's missed a few relevant points [my comments are bracketed in italics].


Flybe’s decision to pull out of Manston is another blow to the airport, especially disappointing at the turn of the year. However attractive we in Kent think Manston is, it seems that not enough people agree.

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Why Steer Davies Gleave?

This is from the internal KCC document that describes how the contract (to produce the supporting report for the £10m RGF bid) was awarded.


Outline of Project

Although KCC has previously carried out some outline feasibility work for the proposed Thanet Parkway station (most recently in July 2009), this requires significant updating and development; including more comprehensive passenger demand forecasting and a full feasibility design of the station and car park, if a robust and credible RGF bid is to be prepared. The Government is particularly interested in the job creation potential (both direct and indirect) of proposed schemes, which has not previously been a requirement of traditional transport appraisals. For these reasons, and in light of the challenging timescale for the submission of a first-round RGF bid, it was agreed with the Director of Integrated Strategy and Planning that KCC should invite three technical consultants to tender for this work.

Reasons for appointing this particular Consultant:

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Trickle of funding for Manston Parkway

0.13% of a station

On reflection, I think "trickle" may be over-stating it a bit - this is more of a slight dampening.

There is a document called Growth without Gridlock, which is KCC's grandiose plan for turning the Garden of England into a 24 hour blur of traffic. It includes:

  • plans for a Third Thames Crossing (that the local councils at either end of the proposed crossing don't want),
  • upgrades to the M2 and M20 (to squeeze more lorries through Dover),
  • enhancements to Operation Stack (to provide parking for those lorries),
  • upgrades to the high speed rail link to Ramsgate (to speed up the trains),
  • and a new Manston Parkway station (to slow them down again).

All in all, as fine a display of joined-up thinking as we're likely to see from KCC any time soon, and a bargain at £1.77 billion. Yes, that's £1,770,000,000. KCC have been roaming the streets with their hands outstretched, seeking funds from every quarter. The latest mark to be suckered into coughing up is the Local Sustainable Transport Fund

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Council reveals unsuccessful bid to develop Manston services

It's like pulling teeth

Kent County Council has been forced to reveal details of its unsuccessful £10.8 million bid for Government money to develop services for Manston airport.  Campaigners, No Night Flights, challenged KCC's refusal to release details of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) application.

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A closer look at that bid

The once-secret KCC funding bid

Bureaucracy being what it is, KCC and Infratil were obliged to spell out in detail the brazen cheek of their cash plea. Do please remember that Infratil is a New Zealand-based investment company, and that whatever profits it can (finally) squeeze out of this lemon of an airport will be going straight back to their antipodean investors, still smarting from years of multi-million pound losses.

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KCC’s empty begging bowl

In the middle of last year, the Government (in the form of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills - BIS) launched the Regional Growth Fund (RGF). The RGF aims to "support projects and programmes that lever private sector investment creating economic growth and sustainable employment. It aims particularly to help those areas and communities currently dependent on the public sector to make the transition to sustainable private sector-led growth and prosperity".

Across the length and breadth of our proud nation, there was a cacophony of snorts and oinks as snouts were pressed to the trough, greedy for their share of the £1.4 billion on offer. KCC was there, looking for a handout to support their crackpot proposal for a Parkway station at Manston, and some free money for the airport. Here's why they failed:

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Airport campaigner’s anger over ‘secret’ bid

Town planners refuse to release details of rail proposal

Campaigners against Manston night flights were left fuming this week after county council officials refused to release details of their bid for a new train station at the airport.

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Manston boss and KCC make bid to government for east Kent regeneration cash

The second RGF funding bid

Manston airport's chief executive has called on the Government to recognise east Kent's economic problems when allocating the next round of Regional Growth Fund cash. Charles Buchanan is working with Kent County Council to submit an improved bid after a previous application for £10 million was rejected by the team in charge of distributing the £1.4 billion pot.

The Manston bid was for a parkway railway station serving the airport, an extension of the high-speed rail network between Ramsgate and Ashford, and cash to fund a daily air service to an undisclosed "European hub" airport. But the application was dealt a further blow last week when Lord Michael Heseltine - chairman of the RGF inependent advisory panel - hinted at a roadshow in Margate that Kent bids were at a disadvantage because the county's residents can travel short distances to London for work.

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Advisory group recommend no night flights at airport

“No flights to be scheduled between 11pm and 7am at Manston” was the recommendation to the council at a meeting of the Airport Working Party this week.  The suggestion was one of ten agreed during the group’s final meeting before yesterday’s elections.  The advisory group also recommended that: There is a period of one hour at either end of the …

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