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Gloucestershire Business News

Cirencester's Waterloo car park postponed for a year

Development of a decked car park in Cirencester has been postponed for 12 months - as Cotswold District Council assesses the impact of coronavirus on demand.

The decision to delay the Waterloo development was taken by the council's cabinet as it looks to understand the demand for parking and explore sustainable transport options.

Council leader Councillor Joe Harris said: "The pandemic and resulting lockdown have commanded a significant amount of the council's time and resources in recent months.

"As we move into the recovery phase, it is important we take time to review and challenge all plans and decisions we've previously made and the potential opportunities the post-coronavirus world brings.

"I am acutely aware of the need to support business recovery in the town."

He continued: "The recently completed Sheep Street car park has added additional town centre parking and the rugby club development will provide new spaces for season ticket parking. That will free up spaces in the town centre for short-term parking by shoppers.

"So much of our normal way of life has changed since lockdown began in March - car use is down, home-working has increased exponentially and people are making far fewer journeys than before.

"We want to make the most of this opportunity to review the challenges we face around parking and travel within our district."

Councillor Rachel Coxcoon, cabinet Member for climate change, said it was important to provide more sustainable and active forms of travel.

She said: "We urgently want to look at a number of initiatives from safe cycling and walking infrastructure to e-bike provisions and changing facilities for active forms of travel.

"Our aim is to do the right research to gather evidence on what the district needs so that we are in a much better position to bid for government funding and deliver a wide range of sustainable transport solutions for the Cotswolds."

But Councillor Richard Morgan, leader of the opposition Conservative group, said the decision left businesses and residents in limbo.

He said: "The news the Lib Dems have decided to conduct yet another review of transport will mean more money being spent on London-based consultants and another wasted year for business owners.

"They have wasted £500,000 of taxpayers' money on this multi-storey car park so far."

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