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Let's launch new park and ride in west Worcester
PLEAS are being made for a new park and ride serving west Worcester - with a leading councillor saying it could bite the city's congestion bullet.
Councillor Richard Udall, who represents St John's, says the county council should review its position on public transport from the Village in the City.
He says the popular shuttle bus over Worcester Bridge, which ran during the floods, was a major success and shows the demand for a reliable west Worcester service.
In August last year the council's Conservative leadership revealed no more park and rides would be launched in Worcester, mainly due to the high costs and relatively poor take-up from existing services at Perdiswell and Sixways.
But Cllr Udall says St John's should be considered a special case, insisting it could transform congestion coming in from the west, including areas like Malvern.
"A park and ride for St John's was always the plan before the plug was pulled on it last year," he said.
"The shuttle bus operation really brought into focus, for me how popular this could be.
"So many people were queuing up to use it, imagine what it'd be like if we had a park and ride you could leave your car at.
"Not only would it be used all year, but it would ensure if the Worcester Bridge ever closes again the city centre will still be alive.
"It'd take congestion off the A4440 Southern Link Road and with around 2,000 homes coming to west Worcester, this need is even more acute."
He also raised the issue during a meeting of the overview, scrutiny and performance board at County Hall.
His plea was rejected by Councillor Simon Geraghty, the deputy leader.
He said: "The shuttle bus worked very well but whether that's the answer on a day-to-day basis is another question.
"We've been quite open about our plan for no more park and rides in Worcester."
Last summer the council said future transport policy will be based around the fact “most people” travel into Worcester by car.
Prior to that, the council had suggested more park and rides should be created at strategic points around the city such as St John’s, the Ketch roundabout in St Peter’s, Claines, Lower Broadheath, Whittington and possibly Norton.
Use of the Perdiswell park and ride in Droitwich Road peaked in 2008/09 when 450,783 trips were made on it in a year, but it has since fallen to 332,165.
At Sixways, which primarily serves Worcestershire Royal Hospital, just 63,956 journeys were made last year.
They are subsidised with around £250,000 of taxpayers' money per year
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