Still no money for our park and ride

Gazette: Still no money for our park and ride Still no money for our park and ride

A FOURTH application for Government funding to build Colchester’s park and ride has been turned down.

A bid for £3.5million towards the 1,000-space facility at Cuckoo Farm and a town centre-bound bus lane under North Station bridge was unsuccessful.

The setback has created further doubt as to whether Essex County Council will be able to open the park and ride to the public by December next year.

Martin Goss, borough councillor for Mile End, said he will hold Rodney Bass, county councillor responsible for transport, to his assurance the park and ride site would be open in a year.

He said: “Mr Bass will have to prove to the people of Colchester he’s a man of his words. I guess if they haven’t got external funding they will have to raid their finances and get on with it.

“Colchester needs this park and ride and it has done for a number of years while our competitors like Chelmsford and Ipswich have had theirs.

This part of town cannot carry on in this haphazard way.”

The council’s application had been revised after a previous attempt to secure Department for Transport cash was rejected in June.

A previous bid for a grant from the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Growing Places Fund was also unsuccessful.

The South East Local Enterprise Partnership has provisionally awarded £5.9 million for Cuckoo Farm and upgrades at North Station, but the money will not be available until 2015.

The park and ride is intended to boost Colchester as a visitor destination, relieve congestion and improve air quality in the town centre and the north of town.

Dominic Graham, a member of Myland Community Council, has been calling on the county council to take immediate action to reduce traffic at North Station Roundabout.

He said: “The roundabout is a disaster. It’s a horrendous piece of kit to try and negotiate.

“It’s obvious to everybody that the railway bridge is a particular pinch point. I’m not an expert in town planning, so it’s difficult for me to come up with suggestions.

“The people who get paid the money to design these things should pay a little bit more attention and have a look at it.”

A county council spokesman said: “We are disappointed to once again be overlooked for funding for the Colchester park and ride scheme.

“We will seek feedback on the bid while continuing to explore opportunities to deliver this high priority scheme at the earliest opportunity.”

Comments (3)

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7:37am Tue 17 Dec 13

Say It As It Is OK? says...

A bus lane under North Station bridge?
This has been suspected for a while now which means and all other traffic will be channelled into one lane under the bridge because widening the road under the station is not being considered.

Absolutely bonkers and not the solution to improving traffic flow around North Station which is likely to increase after the NAR 3 opens up the route from/to the A12. Those who think the Park and Ride will reduce traffic flow around North Station need to get real! And with a further 3,200 houses planned for Mile End over the next few years it's only going to get worse.
A bus lane under North Station bridge? This has been suspected for a while now which means and all other traffic will be channelled into one lane under the bridge because widening the road under the station is not being considered. Absolutely bonkers and not the solution to improving traffic flow around North Station which is likely to increase after the NAR 3 opens up the route from/to the A12. Those who think the Park and Ride will reduce traffic flow around North Station need to get real! And with a further 3,200 houses planned for Mile End over the next few years it's only going to get worse. Say It As It Is OK?

4:03pm Tue 17 Dec 13

romantic says...

My solution (partial solution, anyway) would be to get an experimental P/R up and running, using the car park at the football stadium. Before that, get NAR3 open, so the buses can run down it. Run the service at the price it is anticipated to be and see how it goes for a few months. If it doesn't work, re-think it and we save most of the several £million without building a white elephant. If it does work, then get the full one running. I'm sure the car park can be leased for far less than £3.5m, especially as the council helped get the place built in the first place.

WHCS car park is available most of the time, apart from maybe 15 Saturdays and some evenings. That leaves 300+ working days when it could be operated. Get signs up on the A12 which show P/R, but also signs which show if it is shut due to a game.

NAR3 should also encourage drivers to go round the A12 and down NAR to reach northern Colchester, rather than along Av/Rem and under the railway. It should also pull some people off of Ipswich Road, both of which will hopefully free up the Severalls Lane/Ipswich Rd junction a bit.

The problem at North Station is not the complex junction north of the bridge, but the triangle of roundabouts to the south. I would make the Westway/Av Rem rdbt lights controlled. A lot of traffic there gets held back because people do not have the confidence to emerge at speed. The east-west flow causes jams on Westway, which in turn jams up North Station. Lights don't always work, but I think they could do so. Put lights on the Wickes rdbt also, so traffic on North Station Road has a chance to pull out. It can take 10 mins to get up there and that then jams up the Albert rdbt.

P/R will only work if people see it as a viable alternative to driving into town, but it won't work by simply jamming everybody else up.

However, it is also the case that a lot of people drive who really don't need to. If you are in a jam, you are part of the problem! It is not a solution to just build wider roads, flyovers, subways etc. Many people should try to do without the car for a while, because it's not actually as difficult as you might think. Not everyone can do it, of course, but just cutting out 1 journey in 10 adds up. There are options of car sharing, cycling, buses, walking.
My solution (partial solution, anyway) would be to get an experimental P/R up and running, using the car park at the football stadium. Before that, get NAR3 open, so the buses can run down it. Run the service at the price it is anticipated to be and see how it goes for a few months. If it doesn't work, re-think it and we save most of the several £million without building a white elephant. If it does work, then get the full one running. I'm sure the car park can be leased for far less than £3.5m, especially as the council helped get the place built in the first place. WHCS car park is available most of the time, apart from maybe 15 Saturdays and some evenings. That leaves 300+ working days when it could be operated. Get signs up on the A12 which show P/R, but also signs which show if it is shut due to a game. NAR3 should also encourage drivers to go round the A12 and down NAR to reach northern Colchester, rather than along Av/Rem and under the railway. It should also pull some people off of Ipswich Road, both of which will hopefully free up the Severalls Lane/Ipswich Rd junction a bit. The problem at North Station is not the complex junction north of the bridge, but the triangle of roundabouts to the south. I would make the Westway/Av Rem rdbt lights controlled. A lot of traffic there gets held back because people do not have the confidence to emerge at speed. The east-west flow causes jams on Westway, which in turn jams up North Station. Lights don't always work, but I think they could do so. Put lights on the Wickes rdbt also, so traffic on North Station Road has a chance to pull out. It can take 10 mins to get up there and that then jams up the Albert rdbt. P/R will only work if people see it as a viable alternative to driving into town, but it won't work by simply jamming everybody else up. However, it is also the case that a lot of people drive who really don't need to. If you are in a jam, you are part of the problem! It is not a solution to just build wider roads, flyovers, subways etc. Many people should try to do without the car for a while, because it's not actually as difficult as you might think. Not everyone can do it, of course, but just cutting out 1 journey in 10 adds up. There are options of car sharing, cycling, buses, walking. romantic

11:31pm Tue 17 Dec 13

Hamiltonandy says...

I remember a lecture from the engineer installing the new railway bridge. A tricky logistical exercise but I did not understand why they could not have installed the new bridge next to the old one. There is still space to do this as it would only affect one small business.
.
At a past council meeting the "experts" refused to consider a temporary park and ride. Apparently the only viable solution was a multimillion permanent concrete solution. A pity as open ground could be covered with a geotextile fabric to permit drainage and wooden sleepers used to layout the grounds. There is land available both near Sainsburys and the football ground.
I remember a lecture from the engineer installing the new railway bridge. A tricky logistical exercise but I did not understand why they could not have installed the new bridge next to the old one. There is still space to do this as it would only affect one small business. . At a past council meeting the "experts" refused to consider a temporary park and ride. Apparently the only viable solution was a multimillion permanent concrete solution. A pity as open ground could be covered with a geotextile fabric to permit drainage and wooden sleepers used to layout the grounds. There is land available both near Sainsburys and the football ground. Hamiltonandy

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