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Gloucestershire Business News

No park and ride for Cirencester

There will be no park and ride scheme for Cirencester, after Cotswold District Council's Cirencester Parking Project concluded that it would generate increased traffic and pollution.

Chairman Cllr Mark Harris said: "Several people have suggested that Cirencester might benefit from a park and ride facility, but specialists in this field have advised that in rural areas of Britain, there are serious downsides to these schemes. In particular, the emissions produced outweigh the emissions prevented, because many motorists have to go out of their way to use park and ride sites. Furthermore there are significant environmental issues in creating a car park on what is likely to be a greenfield site.

"What this all means is that a small reduction in urban traffic is offset by the generation of extra traffic beyond town boundaries - and a marked overall increase in emissions."

Cllr Mark MacKenzie-Charrington, the CDC Cabinet Member overseeing parking in Cirencester, said: "We know that people continue to be concerned about the parking problem in Cirencester and we plan to meet the extra demand by erecting a multi-storey car park at the Waterloo site as soon as possible. Latest estimates show that, subject to planning permission, work could start on site in early 2020 and could be completed within about one year. This is a more sustainable solution compared with park and ride, and I can assure residents near the Waterloo that we are committed to addressing concerns about issues such as environmental risks, traffic management and design impact.

"In the meantime, we are pleased that so many motorists are using the 'free after 3 pm' offer in the Brewery and Forum car parks to help spread demand. We are also encouraging people to take up the free parking offer for weekends and public holidays at the staff car parks for Cotswold District Council (GL71PX) and St James's Place (GL7 1 PX), especially during the busy Christmas period."

Punchline said: "It is strange that while other towns and cities, like Cheltenham, are investing in extending park and ride, that Cirencester never got it off the ground. Is it really better to have traffic clogging up the town centre, rather than using the new generation of low emission buses that now operate? The sacrifice of a small amount of countryside on the outskirts would be small price to pay to reduce congestion and emissions in the town centre."

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