Park and ride to be considered for Whitchurch
A STUDY is to be carried out into the possibility of creating a new park and ride for the A37 near Whitchurch.
Council leaders at Bath and North East Somerset Council have agreed to begin discussions with Bristol City Council and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership to look at the possibility of creating the new facility.
The agreement followed pressure from the council's Conservative group which tabled an amendment as part of discussions on the authority's Core Strategy document blueprint.
Sites for where the park and ride could be located will now be considered.
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A final decision on whether any scheme can go ahead rests with the council's Liberal Democrat ruling cabinet.
Conservative councillors have argued that any new development should be coupled with improved infrastructure and have said that creating a Whitchurch park and ride could help ease traffic congestion on the A37 and alleviate parking problems on residential roads in the village. Councillor Tim Warren said: "We wanted to put the idea of building a new park and ride for the A37 on the council's agenda so that discussions can start with Bristol and the Local Enterprise Partnership on whether this is a realistic possibility. "Improving transport and tackling congestion across the West of England is frequently cited as the number one concern of residents throughout the area.
"Building a new park and ride near Whitchurch would help alleviate the chronic traffic problems on the A37 and address some of the parking difficulties experienced in the village.
"It would also help residents of villages to the south of the district, who could get a bus to Whitchurch and then use the park and ride for the remainder of the journey into Bristol. Obviously a lot more work would have to be done on finding an appropriate site for a park and ride and assessing the cost, but we hope that BANES and Bristol look into this seriously."
Local councillors have welcomed the move, saying that many people already use the streets of Whitchurch as a makeshift park and ride.
Whitchurch village councillor, Peter Edwards, said: "At the moment, many commuters already use residential roads in Whitchurch village as a de facto park and ride, driving to the outskirts of Bristol and then catching a bus on the A37.
"If a park and ride were built then it would help resolve this problem and make journeys into Bristol easier for local people.
"We'd have to investigate possible sites and consult with residents very carefully before any firm plans came forward however."