This post contains materials presented at the Neighbourhood Plan open day on parking and traffic issues in the town, which was held on Sunday 22 June at the Cotswold Hall. Please feel free to leave feedback below. If you would prefer to leave your comments privately, then please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take a look at the parking data collected over the last few weeks.
It shows what we probably all know already, but raises some difficult and controversial questions.
Car ownership has increased noticeably in Northleach over the last 20 years. The town and the school have expanded and are expanding again.
Our Market Place often has only one or two spaces available and sometimes none at all, with cars circling looking for a spot. There is no provision for tourist coaches. New housing, further from the centre, will encourage people to drive to the Market Place to access the local services. But if there is no parking, our businesses will not reap the rewards of that expansion.
Our school needs four times more parking if it is to meet current demand and expand. Already there are 50 – 60 vehicles competing for 18 spaces.
Our church has no readily accessible parking which creates congestion when there are large events with up to 400 people attending. And there is no easy access for those less able to walk to reach the church itself or the cemetery.
The Westwoods Centre also struggles regularly as it too has insufficient parking to cope with large events.
So, what do you think are the possibilities for improving the environment of the Market Place? Parking, pavements, trees, buses, a reconfigured bus pull in and shelter?
And if we are to increase parking provision, where should it go and how many new car parks should there be?
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The Market Place
Market Place observations;
- Many park for only a few minutes to use local shops, so there can be a rapid turn over of cars
- Some park all day or even for many days at a time restricting the availability of “quick stop” spaces.
- The disabled bays are often abused
- Tourist coaches sometimes stop for an hour or more on the bus stops.
- Parking on the bus stops is common and on the pavement at either end of the bus shelter too.
- The bus shelter now faces in the wrong direction and is largely redundant; buses stop on the north side of it going west and by the phone box going east. (It does house the WCs though.)
The Green observations
- The marked bays are full the entire weekend.
- Market days and Sundays create additional demand.
KGV Field car park
- This is adequate for most purposes but not for the school. The survey shows that nearly 60 cars wish to use the 18 available spaces twice a day in term time.
- The demand for parking is even higher in wet weather.
The Westwoods Centre
- Adequate for most purposes, but not for large events.
- In order to cope with larger events and take parking off Bassett Road and East End around 30 extra spaces would need to be created.
- The planning permission granted in 2011 would provide additional space.
- An alternative might be to use a section of GCC land adjacent to Westwoods to preserve the existing open space.
A new car park? But where?
Jubilee Row field (N13_C):
- Has often been suggested as an additional town car park
- Some 400m from the centre
- Too far away for “quick stop” access to local services in the Market Place
- A suitable site for longer term parking, tourist parking, coach parking, the Cotswold Hall (250 metres) and the Prison (150 metres)?
Field to the rear Antelope Padock (N12_A):
- Often suggested as an additional town car park
- 200 metres from the centre
- Access to Cotswold Hall and church (about 100 metres each)
- Controversial location for some in the church and those backing onto the field
Which other sites could be considered for the future?