P & R : June planning application with shifting objectives

What is the point of the proposed Alphington Park and Ride?

Given that the proposed Alphington park and ride scheme is both  expensive and contentious, it is a matter of public interest that it should only be built if there are clear objectives for what it will achieve, backed up by evidence.  After years of claiming that this park and ride scheme will reduce congestion on the Alphington Road and improve air quality, Devon and Exeter Councils have had to drop those claims, as their own evidence disproved them.

After four months of asking and waiting, CWEST has finally extracted an answer to the all important question of what this park and ride scheme is therefore now expected to achieve, given that all the original reasons have been dropped.DCC now say that the “emerging objectives for the Park and Ride are to:

  • Support Economic Growth in Exeter
  • Deliver more reliable journey times on the Alphington Road Corridor
  • Offer lower cost, sustainable travel options for people travelling into the city”

CWEST believes that these are very vague and high level objectives.  We will be watching the ’emergence’ of these objectives as the consultants currently working on the planning application (see below) presumably will refine them over the coming weeks.

The objectives are further undermined by news, revealed at Exeter City Council’s recent Scrutiny Committee meeting on transport, that the Matford and Honiton Road park and ride are being used as free edge of town car parks,  by drivers who park and walk! Given that the Alphington park and ride would be the closest of any existing ones to the city centre and is just minutes walk to Marsh Barton, it’s a certainty that it too would be used as a free car park by drivers not using the buses.

News on park and ride planning application date

the latest news from DCC is that they are hoping to lodge the new planning application for the park and ride in ‘summer 2015’. There are Development Management Committee meetings on June 3rd and July 15th, so we assume that one of these is the target date.