A 2,200-name petition against the construction of a £9 million multi-storey car park is to be presented to Canterbury City Council.
The authority has already allowed preparatory work on the project in Station Road West to take place and will begin full construction next month.
It has proved unpopular with clean air campaigners and is being exploited as a line of attack against the Conservative-controlled council by political opponents ahead of May’s local elections.
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Critics of the scheme complain that it will attract cars to an area of Canterbury with existing high levels of pollution.
They will present their petition at a meeting of the full council in the Guildhall tonight (Thurday, January 10).
The number of signatures needed has not met the normal threshold for triggering a debate, but Lord Mayor Cllr Colin Spooner is to allow one to take place anyway.
Meanwhile, critics of the scheme continue to raise objections to it.
Retired GP Dr David Pratt, who practiced for 30 years in the St Stephen’s area, said: “I am not an expert, but the evidence on particulate matter pollution is irrefutable and further underlines the urgent need to stop treating the earth, the sea and the air as dumps for our waste.
“The multi-storey car park will further the excessive pollution in the St Dunstan’s area. I am concerned at the demonstrable and recorded deterioration in respiratory function in our asthmatic patients with time as the traffic increased through St Stephen’s to Canterbury”.
The council has argued that the multi-storey will be necessary to meet rising demand in the future for parking spaces close to the West Station as Canterbury’s population grows and more people choose to commute to work on the hi-speed train.
Tonight’s meeting starts at 7pm.