At the same time as the visitor survey that we reported on in the January issue of the Link was carried out, a car parking survey was also undertaken. This survey covered both council car parks, private and informal parking areas and on-street parking within 5 minutes walking distance of the Broadway. In total there are approximately 576 spaces available of which 129 are managed by the Council and for which a charge is levied. For much of each day they operate below capacity. There are 41 spaces available in the two toast rack parking areas. Whilst parking is free the maximum length of stay is restricted to 30 minutes. There are an additional 17 on-road spaces in the Broadway and Macaulay Road. At times the demand for these free spaces gives rise to queues which interfere with the flow of traffic through the Broadway itself. The traffic lights in close proximity to the roundabouts only make the situation worse. Much of the rest of the available parking is on residential roads, for example Tudor Road, West Heath Road and the Ridgeway. Some of this is time-limited.
Clearly the volume of traffic and the issues surrounding parking are a high priority. On the surface it may appear there are some easy solutions but in fact this is not the case. Reversing the entrance and exit to the toast rack; developing a one way system via Tudor Road and Macaulay Road, or charging for the toast rack while offering some free spaces in Story Lane car park are amongst the suggestions arising from last summer’s consultation. But none of these adequately address either the agreed vision or the key objectives of the Neighbourhood Plan: namely to create a vibrant and welcoming environment in which everyone can feel safe and have a better experience. A redesign of the Broadway could address the parking issues as well as providing improved access for pedestrians. It could also increase the provision of usable public space. The ultimate solution needs to be sustainable. It would, however, take longer to achieve and cost a lot more.
One idea, suggested by a number of people during the consultation exercise, could resolve the parking issues and at the same time provide the opportunity to create an enhanced Broadway. The construction of an additional level of parking on the Station Approach car park could provide a solution. The Forum Executive is not dismissing this out of hand, nor is it dismissing any of the other suggestions at this stage. All options need to be considered but without your views on this specific suggestion we cannot move forward with this part of the plan. You can email your comments to email@example.com
The details of our Annual General Meeting are currently being finalised. Full details will be in the March issue in time for a late March/early April meeting. Once official business has been concluded there will be a detailed and illustrated update – we aim to have the draft plan ready for final consultation prior to its submission to Council.
Chair, Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum