more froth in the local rags this week about a putative 'Manston Parkway' station, and the upgrade of HS1 for the whisking of Londoners thereto.
Quite why Manston needs a 'Parkway', when there's already a perfectly good station just up the road at Ramsgate, lord alone knows. But supporters like Thanet North MP Sir Roger Wind guff on about it deliriously, as if it's the perfect panacea for our lacklustre landing strip.
A bunch of developers are now trumpeting it as 'the key to cutting journey times to and from London - making it (their development) more attractive to investors'. Cogent Land, who are proposing 800 homes on a 112 acre site east of the airport that they've dubbed 'Manston Green', say locating the station within their development would provide an 'important transport link to Westwood Cross, Manston Business Park and Discovery Park'.
This all might be a bit of a surprise to Ruddy-Faced Man and his cohorts at Kent County Council, who have proselytised a Cliffsend location for the 'Parkway'. A recent FOI request brought forth this curt response from the mandarins at Maidstone:
'Kent County Council (KCC) has not had contact with Cogent Land LLP regarding Thanet Parkway Station. The current stage of the development plan for the station is that the business case is being refreshed for the site that KCC originally identified for the station to the west of Cliffs End, while a watching brief is being kept over the Manston Green proposals.
In the event that a new station demonstrates a robust business case then KCC will follow the correct planning procedures in pursuing a planning application. To date, KCC Planning Applications Group has not been involved in this matter.'
Mind you, that's from the people who built you a whole load of traffic calming measures in Cliffsend, then unbuilt them a year later. So I suppose anything is possible.
Meanwhile a reader emails to say that the high speed trains are being discounted to 'all sorts of locations, including Margate and Broadstairs, but not Ramsgate'. She continues: 'Ramsgate has beautiful sandy beaches, a gorgeous Smeaton harbour, fabulous Georgian architecture and is 1hr 15mins from London. It knocks the socks off Whitstable and Deal in terms of beauty. How could anyone screw this up? Well 'they' have. And they continue to do so.
We are now 3 places ahead of Margate on the deprivation index. How long before we are top? We need to fight.'
Looks like KCC and the Moonshine Band are already preparing us for the closure of Ramsgate Station, if you ask me!
Finally, talking of letting the train take the strain, reader Mike has emailed me a photo of what must certainly be the winning answer to putting off all those pesky trick-or-treaters on Halloween.