One of my photos

Park & Ride

January 11th, 2007 · Posted by Skuds in Politics · No Comments · Politics

According to the Crawley Observer there was a proposal by Crawley Town FC to use part of their car park as a lorry park, apart from on match days. A number of Broadfield residents objected and the proposal was turned down by the borough council for planning reasons. Even if planning permission had been granted the council would probably refused permission as landowner.

I wonder if any of those who objected are aware that the county council already treat the stadium car park as an unofficial park & ride scheme? At a county council meeting which was held in Crawley’s town hall last year the paperwork advised interested parties to park at the stadium and catch a bus. It is a large car park near the town centre, usually empty, with a fast, frequent bus route passing its gates so I can see the reasoning.

Car movements are not as noisy as lorries, and would not have large diesel engines running early in the morning, so it would not be such a nuisance for local residents, but its just interesting that there is nothing to stop the car park being used that way except economics. I can’t recall any planning permission being needed.

The economics aspect is that a return trip to the town centre would cost £2.80. It is less than using a car park all day but for shorter periods and for cars with a passenger or two it is a lot less financially attractive. Its a reminder that sooner or later we are going to have to think about some sort of park and ride provision for the town and that when we do it is never going to be well-used with the current high level of bus fares, especially compared to parking charges.

The Broadfield Stadium is not far enough out of town to make a sensible park and ride site, but at the moment it still seems to be the county council’s recommended option. I don’t know if they asked the borough council as landlords or the football club as leaseholders beforehand, and I’m not sure if they had to. I suspect that if demand for parking increases too much it will end up being used that way increasingly if no other provision is made. If that does happen I’ll be interested to see what impact it has.

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