Conservatives call for A37 Park & Ride

Conservative councillors have called on Bath and North Somerset Council to consider the possibility of building a new Park and Ride for the A37 near Whitchurch.

During the debate on the Council’s Core Strategy development blueprint last Monday, Conservative councillors tabled an amendment calling on the authority to begin discussions with Bristol City Council and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership on the feasibility of building an A37 Park and Ride. The proposal was accepted by the Council’s ruling Liberal Democrat administration.

At the meeting it was also agreed that land at Whitchurch would be earmarked for up to two hundred new houses over the next fifteen years.

Conservatives 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.

Conservative shadow spokesman for Transport, Cllr Tim Warren, moved the amendment at the Council meeting. Following the meeting, Councillor Warren (Cons, Mendip) 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 & 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 B&NES and Bristol look into this seriously.”

Whitchurch village councillor Peter Edwards (Cons, Publow & Whitchurch) added:

“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.”