Cutting park and ride will add congestion, but we can justify it says council

Park and ride is being scrapped in Worcester this September

Park and ride is being scrapped in Worcester this September

First published in News Worcester News: Tom Edwards Exclusive by , Political Reporter

A SENIOR transport boss at Worcestershire County Council has admitted scrapping park and ride WILL increase congestion - but insists it is a price worth paying.

Peter Blake, who has been in charge of integrated transport at County Hall, says closing sites at Perdiswell and Sixways will add more cars to the roads but believes it won't be "significant".

He also believes part dualling the A4440 Southern Link Road - which is due to be complete by 2019 - will do far more than either park and ride could to ease traffic.

His comments come amid fresh criticism from the former Labour leadership at Worcester City Council, which has labelled the cutbacks "terrible".

Mr Blake has also refused to rule out park and ride returning to Worcester at some point in the future - but insists the onus will be on commercial providers to show some commitment to it.

"At the Perdiswell service, parking there is declining and has been for some time," he said.

"You could reduce the service and it would cost us less, but those passenger numbers would only continue to decline.

"We certainly don't sit here with a magic bullet (for dealing with congestion), bus usage is falling nationally, outside of London it's dropped remarkably.

"At the moment 200 cars a day use Perdiswell but that Barbourne corridor alone takes 23,000 vehicles daily.

"One in five cars travel through the city centre because they perceive it to be less congested than the Southern Link Road.

"I don't think you can answer the congestion issue by just looking at public transport - you need to look at highways and we're on site at the southern link now, which is used by over 30,000 vehicles a day.

"Cutting public transport will have an impact, but I'd question whether that impact is significant."

His comments come as Councillor Adrian Gregson, the former Labour city council leader, called the move "backwards".

"We need a long-term vision for easing congestion and this goes completely against that," he said.

"We are just lurching from one year to the next, we know this will increase congestion yet it's still going ahead."

As your Worcester News revealed last week, both park and rides are scheduled to close in September as part of a county council plan to cut £1.6 million from public transport.

The loss-making sites cost taxpayers £296,870 last year and have declined in popularity for several years.

The Perdiswell park and ride was used more than 450,000 times in 2008 but last year it reached a record low of 274,935.

Comments (7)

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12:32pm Fri 20 Jun 14

I'm_not_bitter says...

"At the moment 200 cars a day use Perdiswell" and "last year it reached a record low of 274,935".

200 per day x 365 days = 73,000. Could our WN please resolve this apparent difference?
"At the moment 200 cars a day use Perdiswell" and "last year it reached a record low of 274,935". 200 per day x 365 days = 73,000. Could our WN please resolve this apparent difference? I'm_not_bitter
  • Score: 2

12:35pm Fri 20 Jun 14

thesquirrel says...

So... closing the park and ride will add to the congestion by adding 200 cars to the currently 23,000 that use the Barbourne corridor.

In short then, the Park & Ride does nothing except cost taxpayers money.

Labour's objections appear facile in the face of the statistics.
So... closing the park and ride will add to the congestion by adding 200 cars to the currently 23,000 that use the Barbourne corridor. In short then, the Park & Ride does nothing except cost taxpayers money. Labour's objections appear facile in the face of the statistics. thesquirrel
  • Score: -3

12:37pm Fri 20 Jun 14

skychip says...

Peter Blake wont be concerned about the congestion here in Worcester because he is moving on to deal with traffic problems in another City.
Peter Blake wont be concerned about the congestion here in Worcester because he is moving on to deal with traffic problems in another City. skychip
  • Score: 3

3:11pm Fri 20 Jun 14

Leeolitina says...

Nobody uses P&R because it's cheaper to park in town
Nobody uses P&R because it's cheaper to park in town Leeolitina
  • Score: 0

3:51pm Fri 20 Jun 14

liloliluk says...

And what about all the children who use it to get to school every day? Their parents' cars aren't part of the 200 but if they have to start driving their children to school every day then that will only add to the traffic first thing in the morning
And what about all the children who use it to get to school every day? Their parents' cars aren't part of the 200 but if they have to start driving their children to school every day then that will only add to the traffic first thing in the morning liloliluk
  • Score: 5

10:32pm Fri 20 Jun 14

pdenham says...

Leeolitina wrote:
Nobody uses P&R because it's cheaper to park in town
It costs £8 a week to park and ride, but £3.60 a day at cheapest cuncil car park (St Nartins Gate) So P&R is cheaper! Unless, of course you annoy locals by parking free on residential streets.
[quote][p][bold]Leeolitina[/bold] wrote: Nobody uses P&R because it's cheaper to park in town[/p][/quote]It costs £8 a week to park and ride, but £3.60 a day at cheapest cuncil car park (St Nartins Gate) So P&R is cheaper! Unless, of course you annoy locals by parking free on residential streets. pdenham
  • Score: 3

10:20am Sat 21 Jun 14

i-cycle says...

As the County has obviously given up on park and ride and encouraging more to use the bus, perhaps its time to review the already heavily under-utilised bus lanes and particularly those along the Barbourne, Bromyard and Newtown Roads.

Adding a cycle lane both ways would help both drivers and cyclists.
As the County has obviously given up on park and ride and encouraging more to use the bus, perhaps its time to review the already heavily under-utilised bus lanes and particularly those along the Barbourne, Bromyard and Newtown Roads. Adding a cycle lane both ways would help both drivers and cyclists. i-cycle
  • Score: 3

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