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'Use it or lose it' warning over park and ride
A FORMER transport chief has issued a dire warning over Worcester’s park and ride services – saying “use it or lose it”.
The veteran Conservative, who was cabinet member for transport until two years ago, was one of County Hall’s biggest park and ride supporters.
As your Worcester News revealed last week, the current Tory administration has abandoned plans for any more sites following disappointing user numbers.
Coun Prodger said: “In those days there was a great deal of support for park and ride and the numbers were beginning to stack up.
“All political parties supported what we were trying to do, but if the numbers we hoped for failed to materialise, of course you have got to reconsider.
“Worcester is an old historical city with narrow roads and park and ride was one idea to help that situation.
“It was a good idea and it’s sad it won’t come to fruition, but on the current park and ride services I would say if you don’t use it, you will lose it. People have got to use it for the numbers to stack up.”
The Sixways park and ride, one of two in the city, attracted 63,956 journeys last year, just 24 per cent of the capacity. When it opened at a cost of £5.8 million bosses said they were hoping it would attract 195,000 trips in its first year alone.
The other site at Perdiswell, which opened in 2001 costing £2.5 million, peaked in 2008/09 when 450,000 trips were made but last year it stood at 332,165.
Both services are making losses, although County Hall has refused to give a figure.
Back in 2009, proposals emerged for more park and rides in areas such as Claines, Lower Broadheath, Whittington, Norton and near the Ketch roundabout in St Peter’s.
Coun Simon Geraghty, deputy leader and the cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure, says they are “expensive to build and run” and has ruled out any more.
Officers say the Perdiswell and Sixways park and ride services are under constant review, and have refused to guarantee their long-term future.
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