* Watch Sarah Saunders report on the new Thanet Parkway station
A new railway station is opening in Kent today (Monday 31 July) offering passengers high speed services to London.
The Thanet Parkway station will allow people to get to St Pancras International via Ashford International in as little as 70 minutes. This will be Kent's first new railway station in eight years.
Located between Ramsgate and Minster, Network Rail hopes the station will boost the Kent economy by helping people get to new housing and businesses as well as supporting the area’s leisure and tourism industry.
The station 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).
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."
There are a range of facilities at the station to support customers during their journeys including hearing loops and passenger help points to provide remote assistance for those who need it.
There have also been acoustic barriers installed to absorb any noise impact and provide privacy for lineside neighbours.
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. There is also a number of charging points for electric vehicles.
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