Let's launch new park and ride in west Worcester

Should St John's get a new park and ride?

Councillor Richard Udall, who represents St John's

First published in News
Last updated
Evesham Journal: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

PLEAS are being made for a new park and ride serving west Worcester - with a leading councillor saying it could bite the city's congestion bullet.

Councillor Richard Udall, who represents St John's, says the county council should review its position on public transport from the Village in the City.

He says the popular shuttle bus over Worcester Bridge, which ran during the floods, was a major success and shows the demand for a reliable west Worcester service.

In August last year the council's Conservative leadership revealed no more park and rides would be launched in Worcester, mainly due to the high costs and relatively poor take-up from existing services at Perdiswell and Sixways.

But Cllr Udall says St John's should be considered a special case, insisting it could transform congestion coming in from the west, including areas like Malvern.

"A park and ride for St John's was always the plan before the plug was pulled on it last year," he said.

"The shuttle bus operation really brought into focus, for me how popular this could be.

"So many people were queuing up to use it, imagine what it'd be like if we had a park and ride you could leave your car at.

"Not only would it be used all year, but it would ensure if the Worcester Bridge ever closes again the city centre will still be alive.

"It'd take congestion off the A4440 Southern Link Road and with around 2,000 homes coming to west Worcester, this need is even more acute."

He also raised the issue during a meeting of the overview, scrutiny and performance board at County Hall.

His plea was rejected by Councillor Simon Geraghty, the deputy leader.

He said: "The shuttle bus worked very well but whether that's the answer on a day-to-day basis is another question.

"We've been quite open about our plan for no more park and rides in Worcester."

Last summer the council said future transport policy will be based around the fact “most people” travel into Worcester by car.

Prior to that, the council had suggested more park and rides should be created at strategic points around the city such as St John’s, the Ketch roundabout in St Peter’s, Claines, Lower Broadheath, Whittington and possibly Norton.

Use of the Perdiswell park and ride in Droitwich Road peaked in 2008/09 when 450,783 trips were made on it in a year, but it has since fallen to 332,165.

At Sixways, which primarily serves Worcestershire Royal Hospital, just 63,956 journeys were made last year.

They are subsidised with around £250,000 of taxpayers' money per year

Comments (7)

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2:39pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Marant says...

It needs to be free - Worcester's park and ride schemes are under used because they're expensive. In my opinion, stopping and getting the bus is a hassle, and finding parking is a hassle. If it's as expensive to use the park and ride bus as it is to park in town, then there's no benefit in taking the bus.

Other cities have free park and ride schemes and they get used - e.g. Nottingham's trams - loads of free parking and about £2 for an all day tram ticket from the outskirts, with trams every 6 to 8 mins.

I'm very happy to use a system like that - much less hassle and expense than finding a car parking place in town. But to have to pay as much, if not more, than it costs to park in town (especially with a car full) and then wait around for a bus then why bother with park and ride?

Shame they got rid of St John's train station really.
It needs to be free - Worcester's park and ride schemes are under used because they're expensive. In my opinion, stopping and getting the bus is a hassle, and finding parking is a hassle. If it's as expensive to use the park and ride bus as it is to park in town, then there's no benefit in taking the bus. Other cities have free park and ride schemes and they get used - e.g. Nottingham's trams - loads of free parking and about £2 for an all day tram ticket from the outskirts, with trams every 6 to 8 mins. I'm very happy to use a system like that - much less hassle and expense than finding a car parking place in town. But to have to pay as much, if not more, than it costs to park in town (especially with a car full) and then wait around for a bus then why bother with park and ride? Shame they got rid of St John's train station really. Marant
  • Score: 10

3:01pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Audi Driver says...

If they were to put a Park & Ride in St John's I would actually use it for work, as I live near Bromyard and work in Whittington... Just 14 miles, but takes me over half an hour to get there, and I leave at 07.15 in the morning!!!!!
If they were to put a Park & Ride in St John's I would actually use it for work, as I live near Bromyard and work in Whittington... Just 14 miles, but takes me over half an hour to get there, and I leave at 07.15 in the morning!!!!! Audi Driver
  • Score: 3

12:35am Tue 18 Mar 14

Jabbadad says...

Park & Ride for Worcesters Traffic problem are a must , and we have to afford them, if not we will see gridlock.
One of the reasons that the usage fell away at Perdiswell was when the Tory Administration in typical fashion decided to tighten the screw on the motorists from the initial £1 to Park & Ride the bus increased the parking Charge and the usage fell away.
The coming of ASDA has shown that motorists will drive round and round until they can get onto ADSA and then get their £1 back at the tills.
I have seen some drivers go in all around the carpark find it's full and come out then go back in and try again.
Park & Ride for Worcesters Traffic problem are a must , and we have to afford them, if not we will see gridlock. One of the reasons that the usage fell away at Perdiswell was when the Tory Administration in typical fashion decided to tighten the screw on the motorists from the initial £1 to Park & Ride the bus increased the parking Charge and the usage fell away. The coming of ASDA has shown that motorists will drive round and round until they can get onto ADSA and then get their £1 back at the tills. I have seen some drivers go in all around the carpark find it's full and come out then go back in and try again. Jabbadad
  • Score: 1

9:03am Tue 18 Mar 14

Hwicce says...

OK, let's get to the nitty gritty

Where are you going to put it? There aren't any obvious places in St John's so you are going to end up pushing it out towards Rushwick. I think a good place would be just off Grove Way to the north east of Rushwick as it is next to the railway line and would give a good opportunity to have a rail halt as well as a bus service. That way you encourage more use - bus users into Worcester, train users to Birmingham or London.

But....

How are you going to get a speedy trip in a bus from Rushwick to the centre of the City or as "Audi Driver" wants to Whittington? If you can't do it in a car you're not going to do it in a bus. Are we going to have the fiasco with trying to stick bus lanes on all the arterial routes again and screwing up the traffic even more?

We could have a speedy train ride into Foregate Street and Shrub Hill but that would require a lot of forward (and joined up) thinking, and I'm afraid it is way to advanced for the decision makers of Worcester.
OK, let's get to the nitty gritty Where are you going to put it? There aren't any obvious places in St John's so you are going to end up pushing it out towards Rushwick. I think a good place would be just off Grove Way to the north east of Rushwick as it is next to the railway line and would give a good opportunity to have a rail halt as well as a bus service. That way you encourage more use - bus users into Worcester, train users to Birmingham or London. But.... How are you going to get a speedy trip in a bus from Rushwick to the centre of the City or as "Audi Driver" wants to Whittington? If you can't do it in a car you're not going to do it in a bus. Are we going to have the fiasco with trying to stick bus lanes on all the arterial routes again and screwing up the traffic even more? We could have a speedy train ride into Foregate Street and Shrub Hill but that would require a lot of forward (and joined up) thinking, and I'm afraid it is way to advanced for the decision makers of Worcester. Hwicce
  • Score: 6

9:56am Tue 18 Mar 14

green49 says...

Its a pity the small halt stations were done away with by Beeching, as Bransford would have been a good park and ride as it had space, somehow maybe Rushwick, Henwick? boughton would not have worked but another waste of park and ride? its not worked with the others and this idea wont either people want to use a car, the road infastructure needs sorting to make that happen its the age of the car i am afraid? you wont change it, its convienent, quicker in the main and if your shopping who wants to drag stuff on a bus?
Its a pity the small halt stations were done away with by Beeching, as Bransford would have been a good park and ride as it had space, somehow maybe Rushwick, Henwick? boughton would not have worked but another waste of park and ride? its not worked with the others and this idea wont either people want to use a car, the road infastructure needs sorting to make that happen its the age of the car i am afraid? you wont change it, its convienent, quicker in the main and if your shopping who wants to drag stuff on a bus? green49
  • Score: 2

11:02am Tue 18 Mar 14

Jabbadad says...

Constant traffic delays from Malvern to access the M5 and into Worcester for employment should tell even our so-called planners who were involved in the original Southern Bypass, who were then incapable of forward planning in terms of traffic capacity, that they need to look down the road to an anticpated increase of traffic in any future planning.
I find the idea of using the trains locally excellent thinking. having used both Foregate Street and Shrub Hill Stations there seems to be reasonable spaces between Train times which might allow a shuffle service to be included, also with carefull planning and the provision of Station Halts existing train services could be used to incoperate additional commuters.
Constant traffic delays from Malvern to access the M5 and into Worcester for employment should tell even our so-called planners who were involved in the original Southern Bypass, who were then incapable of forward planning in terms of traffic capacity, that they need to look down the road to an anticpated increase of traffic in any future planning. I find the idea of using the trains locally excellent thinking. having used both Foregate Street and Shrub Hill Stations there seems to be reasonable spaces between Train times which might allow a shuffle service to be included, also with carefull planning and the provision of Station Halts existing train services could be used to incoperate additional commuters. Jabbadad
  • Score: 1

12:36pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Hwicce says...

One of the ideas I punted a while ago was to use the railway system around Worcester to provide a better public transport system that would not affect, or be affected by, the roads or the river bridge.

Worcester has a fairly useful triangular rail layout that would allow a shuttle train to run from Rushwick, Henwick, Foregate Street, Bilford Road, Fernhill Heath, Bilford Road, Shrub Hill, London Road, Norton Junction P&R (when/if built), and then back to Rushwick via Shrub Hill and Foregate Street etc.

All that needs to be built are the halts in the places that don’t have them and some extra signalling. No bridges, no new track. If there was enough demand we could have two trains (tram, light rail whatever you want to call them) running around, one clockwise, one anti-clockwise.

It could link P&Rs at Rushwick, Norton Junction, and maybe even off the A499 at Hindlip, with each other and with the centre of Worcester, as well as the larger rail network.

And when the river floods again….. who cares the railway bridge is 50 feet in the air.

Simple really.
One of the ideas I punted a while ago was to use the railway system around Worcester to provide a better public transport system that would not affect, or be affected by, the roads or the river bridge. Worcester has a fairly useful triangular rail layout that would allow a shuttle train to run from Rushwick, Henwick, Foregate Street, Bilford Road, Fernhill Heath, Bilford Road, Shrub Hill, London Road, Norton Junction P&R (when/if built), and then back to Rushwick via Shrub Hill and Foregate Street etc. All that needs to be built are the halts in the places that don’t have them and some extra signalling. No bridges, no new track. If there was enough demand we could have two trains (tram, light rail whatever you want to call them) running around, one clockwise, one anti-clockwise. It could link P&Rs at Rushwick, Norton Junction, and maybe even off the A499 at Hindlip, with each other and with the centre of Worcester, as well as the larger rail network. And when the river floods again….. who cares the railway bridge is 50 feet in the air. Simple really. Hwicce
  • Score: 5

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