Council refuses to postpone its multi-storey car park plan

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Artists impression of Station Road West car park
An artist's impression of how Station Road West will look after the work is complete

Plan to build a multi-storey car park next to Canterbury West train station will not be put on hold.

City councillors last night agreed to push on with the controversial 370-space £9 million scheme – despite significant opposition to it.

Members of the Conservative council’s property and regeneration committee were responding to calls from the Canterbury forum of councillors and members of the public to postpone construction and look at other ways of using the space around the city’s busiest station.

No date has yet been set for the start of building, but the scheme has drawn sharp criticism from clean air campaigners who argue it will attract vehicles to the already polluted and congested St Dunstan’s Street area.

They have called for an integrated transport hub to be created at the station containing links between trains, buses and bicycles.

Canterbury West train station

Opposition Lib Dem and Labour groups have also taken stances against the car park as next May’s Canterbury City Council’s elections loom.

At last night’s property and regeneration committee, members agreed not to defer the Station Road West scheme and instead would “ask [council] officers to produce a conceptual diagram explaining how an integrated transport hub would work going forward”.

The authority argues that the multi-storey offers potential to move in this direction by creating “16 additional cycle racks in a secure enclosure, cycle hire docking stations, and  a 6m wide footway all the way from the station to St Dunstans Street”.

A report by Ian Brown, the authority’s director of development, went on: “It is important to plan for future rail passenger increases and to investigate ways to improve transport integration and we know that Network Rail is forecasting a 3& annual increase in use of the station.

“One potential option that is being explored is for Network Rail to lease parking spaces on the upper deck of the proposed multi-storey car park for their season ticket holders.

“This would enable their small surface car park to be more effectively used for other purposes such as: increased taxi provision, additional cycle storage, bus improvements as well as enhanced passenger/ticketing facilities.”

Mr Brown’s report added that further discussions with Network Rail and bus firm Stagecoach would take place.

It said: “These will focus on those opportunities resulting from the new multi-storey car park and the additional capacity it brings forward and the potential release of station parking for new facilities.”

4 COMMENTS

  1. How sadly predictable and a great shame that the much vaunted new consultation processe should fail at the very first hurdle.

    The same magicians that tried to create the illusion that Mountfield Park would not create any extra traffic in the City centre have been at it again with the claim that this development will not have a harmful effect on environment or health.

    If one asks what is the greater priority – a proper modern transport hub or additional car parking one might conclude it to be the former.

    One might follow that with a detailed and robust data analysis and a rather more sophisticated prediction of future demand than a non specific 3% uplift -already shown now to be flawed in London.

    Having worked out long term need start with a blank sheet of paper , design the hub and build the less important car parking around it.

    Is that too difficult???!!!

  2. sadly Predictable…..consultation is token as usual and council blunders on regardless like the national government . A great opportunity will be missed to create something truly innovative and iconic in local transport infrastructure…for short term car parking ticket sales….. pathetic

  3. Amazing that the Tory led council pushes ahead with this, knowing they’ll get destroyed on the doorstep at the locals next year. No amount of fudge will mask the crassness and stupidity of the original plan.

  4. I am not sure about the accuracy of Dan’s election prediction when it comes to the coastal towns and rural villages.

    I don’t believe many residents there are aware of (or even care about the local impact) of this horrible development let alone the cost they will have to bear through Council Tax payments for decades to come.

    This explains the determination of the Council leadership to press on with construction asap regardless of the objections coming thick and fast from people who live in and around the City centre and who will be directly affected

    It would appear that at no time have the required impact assessments on peoples health and on those with limited mobility been undertaken

    I find this indifference rather worrying .

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