Canterbury City Council seems determined to press ahead with a multi-storey car park by the West station. The latest claim by leader of the council Cllr Simon Cook is that it will regenerate this part of the city. I fail to understand this.
There is a missing element in the arguments of the proponents of this scheme. Their assumption is that shoppers will park their cars at Station Road West and then walk down the high street to the shopping hub of Whitefriars.
This is not going to happen. Particularly on cold, wet days accompanied with shopping bags, screaming children and elderly relatives.
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It will make Canterbury a less attractive shopping destination at a time when High Street shops all over the country are closing.
And it looks as though things are going to get even tougher for these stores in the future. Their success is dependent upon convenient customer access. Building a multi-story car park at the north end of town when the key shopping area is at the other end makes little sense.
The Rosemary Lane car park is planned to close. This is much nearer to the central shopping district.
Its closure will put even greater pressure on the Whitefriars parking facilities. Because this will be the first choice for car drivers.
They will first try to park at Whitefriars. When they find all the spaces are taken they will turn at the roundabout and join the Pin Hill/Rheims Way traffic queues and congestion to get to Westgate to park at Station Road West.
The result of the Station Road West multi-storey car park will be to create more congestion and air pollution for the whole of Canterbury and not simply in the local area of St Dunstan’s.
Basically, this new parking facility is not needed. I walk along Station Road West most days. On no occasion has the temporary council car park had more than 10 to 12 vehicles.
It really is a waste of money that the council should use for other much-needed environmental improvements. It’s even more frustrating that this proposed car park will actually make Canterbury a less rather than a more attractive shopping destination.