In early December, Cotswold District Council’s Cirencester Parking Project concluded that a park and ride transport scheme for the town would generate increased traffic and pollution. As a result, they will not be pursuing this as a sustainable parking option.
Chairman Cllr Mark Harris explains,
“Several people have suggested that Cirencester might benefit from a park and ride facility but specialists in this field have advised that in rural areas of Britain there are serious downsides to these schemes. In particular, the emissions produced outweigh the emissions prevented because many motorists have to go out of their way to use park and ride sites. Furthermore there are significant environmental issues in creating a carpark on what is likely to be a greenfield site.
“What this all means is that a small reduction in urban traffic is offset by the generation of extra traffic beyond town boundaries – and a marked overall increase in emissions.”
Cllr Mark MacKenzie-Charrington, the CDC Cabinet Member overseeing parking in Cirencester, adds,
“We know that people continue to be concerned about the parking problem in Cirencester and we plan to meet the extra demand by erecting a multi-storey car park at the Waterloo site as soon as possible. Latest estimates show that, subject to planning permission, work could start on site in early 2020 and could be completed within about one year. This is a more sustainable solution compared with park and ride, and I can assure residents near the Waterloo that we are committed to addressing concerns about issues such as environmental risks, traffic management and design impact.
“In the meantime, we are pleased that so many motorists are using the ‘free after 3 pm’ offer in the Brewery and Forum car parks to help spread demand. We are also encouraging people to take up the free parking offer for weekends and public holidays at the staff car parks for Cotswold District Council (GL71PX) and St James’s Place (GL7 1 PX), especially during the busy Christmas period.”
“We continue to welcome feedback on our plans. For updates on progress, please see www.cotswold.gov.uk/parkingproject(opens in a new window) If you have any queries about the project please email email@example.com, call us on 01285 623000 or write to Parking Team, Cotswold District Council, Trinity Road, Cirencester, GL7 1PX.”
In order to make the most of a new development it would be in the interests of the Council and the Town if some sort of agreement could be reached with those who park all day for office/work reasons such that visitor desirable parking such as Abbey Park and others could be left free for those arriving to visit the town. Possibly restricting parking length at the Park or by offering a season discount for 'upstairs at Waterloo'.