Community groups welcome inclusive approach to improving Cirencester parking
Release date: 13 July 2016
Cllr Mark Harris, the Chair of the recently formed Cotswold District Council Parking Board, has welcomed community group participation in efforts to improve the availability of car parking spaces in Cirencester.
Speaking at a meeting for invited stakeholders which was held in the Council Chamber, Cllr Harris explained the Council’s aims to representatives from the local Town Council, Civic Society, Kingshill School, Park Ward, Cirencester Action on Buses, and Save our Cirencester, and urged them to continue working with the Board to achieve the best outcome for the town’s parking requirements. He provided the attendees with copies of parking surveys which showed peaks and troughs of demand, and also gave them copies of an independent feasibility study which reviews the best options for car park improvements, including the option of decked parking.
Following the meeting, attendees welcomed the communal approach to improve the availability of parking.
Geoffrey Adams of the Civic Society Executive Committee said:
"We have been working hard recently to explore opportunities for creating the additional off street parking that the town so badly needs. These have included extending existing car parks and creating new ones. We have engaged fully with the CDC Parking Board – which has our full support - and we are extremely hopeful that some of our suggestions will now be taken forward."
Tony Curry of the Park Community Group added:
“It was a very good meeting and at long last CDC are taking the Community concerns seriously. The meeting was positive, factual and forward looking. Great effort by all.”
George Peralta, speaking on behalf of the Parking4U group based at Kingshill School also reacted favourably:
"It is important – and refreshing - for our group of young people to interact with other key organisations helping to address parking problems in Cirencester. This meeting was essential in our view because it brought together parties that are determined to resolve an issue that has plagued this town for countless years, and it also gave us a valuable insight into the Council’s current plans. We believe that this is being gripped by those with the power to decide the best options, communicate the selected solution and then take action.”
Cllr Harris was also pleased with the outcome:
“We had a very useful discussion about possible long and short-term solutions regarding the provision of parking spaces and we also reviewed alternative modes of transport, including walking, bus services and cycling. It is clear that the Board cannot operate in a vacuum and we intend to continue working closely with the community to ensure that all improvements we make are considered from all angles and that the decision making process is as transparent as possible.
"The parking space survey reports and the car parking feasibility study were welcomed by the representatives at the meeting, and we have now placed the documents on the special webpage which was created recently to focus attention on the project to tackle Cirencester’s parking issues. I would urge the public to look at the feasibility study in particular, because it provides a clear steer regarding the best options open to us.”
Cllr Mark MacKenzie-Charrington, the CDC Cabinet Member tasked with overseeing the Cirencester Car Parking Project, echoed his sentiments:
“The event was very positive, and we gathered some very useful feedback from prominent members of the community. Unfortunately, the business sector was not represented but we are mindful of their interests. In fact, as a former president of the local Chamber of Commerce, Cllr Harris stated that it was important to understand and balance the needs of this sector as well as those of local residents. We must all work together to improve the situation.”