WHEN I read that Salisbury City Council's consultant had advised them not to buy the bus station and run it as a bus station themselves, it occurred to me that it would be a jolly good idea to turn the site into a multistorey car park; after all, we are about to lose the city centre car park and coach park to development (after which there will be a smaller multi-storey car park of less than half the spaces presently available and with a three-hour maximum stay) and Brown Street car park, pictured right, will be the new coach park.
Where are all the visitors to the city, drawn by the new multimillion pound development going to park?
Come to that, where are the market traders going to park now that they can't park on, or in front of, the new Market Place?
I spoke to Cllr Lindley (chairman of Salisbury City Council’s planning and transportation committee) about my idea and his reaction was “go for it”.
I did some costings and from those and other information available, the site could be bought, cleared and a ground, three-storey car park, with 240 spaces, could be built for under £4.5m.
I then spoke to Cllr Dean, who said that he was against my idea on a number of levels, but didn't elaborate.
I also emailed our MP John Glen, who replied that it was his understanding that the site had been earmarked for residential development. Salisbury needs more city centre residential development like a hole in the head.
Central car park/Maltings will have a residential element, Friends Life in Castle Street has permission to build 78 residential units, LFHQ and Fugglestone Red will have more than 2,000 extra residential units, more than £100m in tax payers’ money will have been spent (Market Place and Central car park/Maltings) on making Salisbury an attractive place to visit and yet our planners propose to cut the available car parking spaces by more than 640 with virtually no provision for anyone who wants to spend more than three hours here (I understand to go on the Stonehenge tour takes more than three hours).
I would like to think that our movers and shakers know what they are doing but, to me, it looks as if they are still messing about with bows and arrows when gunpowder has been invented.
Justin Smith, Salisbury
WHEN is Salisbury going to wake up?
When you consider the massive development planned in the Maltings, and there is no bus station in the city?
Why do we, in this special cathedral city of ours, have to be subject to the decisions of Jane Scott and her minions in Trowbridge?
Whoever heard of a city like ours having to drop visitors in the street with no facilities of any kind readily available?
It is a disgrace and something should be done about it.
If we are not careful, Salisbury will become just a ‘theme’ city and we will be expected to dress up in costumes appropriate to the period.
Come on, Salisbury, mobilise and protest!
ALR Broughton, Salisbury
SALISBURY already has a well-functioning coach park but unfortunately with new plans, the emphasis always seems to be on bringing visitors to the city and local people are often forgotten.
I have often used the coach park together with dozens of other Salisbury citizens. When going on a holiday the coach often comes from Kent or Surrey and is already half full when it arrives in Salisbury; most passengers get off the coach and go straight to the toilets, and Millstream Approach coach park has plenty.
If the driver needs to take his break here he can buy food on site and, indeed, so can his passengers.
The majority of the passengers on these trips are retired and many are on their own so several taxis and cars will be arriving at the coach park with one passenger and a suitcase.
On the return journey, Salisbury passengers phone the taxi firms or friends asking to be picked up on their arrival.
Many cars are already parked when the coach comes in. This site is ideal.
Over the years there has been much talk about the excesses of pollution in the city centre - now just imagine the extra congestion and pollution it would cause in the city with large coaches and all the taxis to get the locals to and from Brown Street.
Another objection I have to the proposal of a coach park in Brown Street is the fact that many, many people were told by the area board that if they could no longer park in the Market Place they could park in Brown Street.
This was only two years ago!
When you consider that there are well over 40,000 people living between the park and ride sites and the city centre who do not wish to drive out of Salisbury to catch a bus into the city – where will they park?
Many of them will be past their prime, have mobility problems and will not live close to a bus stop, they will need to drive into the city.
The new central car park scheme will lose 600 car park spaces and now it is suggested that Brown Street car park could be a coach station.
Surely Salisbury can do better than this for its ageing population and those with disabilities.
Culver Street car park will not be a suitable alternative for many.
Please let us keep our existing coach park.
Jeanne Rushby, Salisbury
ANDREW Clark sums it up in his excellent letter (Postbag, May 29) when he says Wiltshire Council will do whatever it likes, irrespective of the views of so many Salisbury people.
Annie Riddle’s article (Opinion, May 29) informs us that the head of Salisbury Vision is seeking people’s views on the conversion of Brown Street car park to a coach park, but has already forwarded his proposals to Wiltshire Council.
Rather like the judge instructing his jury to find the defendant guilty before the evidence has been heard. Clearly, everyone doesn’t matter.
For many years now, various councillors have done their level best to deter motor vehicles in the city centre, charging punitive parking charges until the population rebelled, ably supported by the Journal, eventually bringing increases to a halt.
Our Highways Department continues to mark out parking bays in measurements far too small for the modern car (presumably they either drive Daewoo Matiz-sized cars, or don’t drive at all). Throughout this time the message has always been the same – get rid of the motor vehicles from the city.
Is this really the same joined up thinking that now say ‘let’s bring all the visitors’ coaches right into the centre of our medieval city’?
Our leaders have spent millions of our taxes on building five park and ride centres, which are clearly underused, and given us an oil-stained, dirty square, with rubbish beautifully displayed in hideous bunkers, as well as smelly toilets.
The leader of Wiltshire Council has been keen to remind us in the past that ‘Salisbury people are lucky to have all these amenities’, so why don’t we send the coaches to the nearest park and ride and let our visitors continue their journey on our splendid park and ride buses into the square so they too may enjoy the amenities of our underappreciated Market Place?
This should please everyone - lots of tourists delivered directly into the centre to spend money, nice and convenient for the cathedral, no mega coaches clogging up our small streets and the additional income from the park and ride. It may even pay its way one day.
Now councillors, that really would make you popular.
Of course it won’t happen, it’s far too sensible a solution.
John Taylor, Great Wishford
THE idea of using Brown Street car park is absolutely ludicrous.
Salisbury is already congested with buses because the council allowed the bus company to sell off the bus station without an alternative site in mind.
No figures have been issued to show how much Salisbury taxpayers had to pay to install the extra bus stops in the city centre.
Endless Street has been completely ruined by so many additional pick-ups.
How is it that developers are given carte blanche to utterly ruin Salisbury yet again? Can nobody stand up to them?
The Millstream Approach is the ideal place for coaches, with quick access to the ring road and little disruption to the city centre, The idea that displaced cars can use Culver Street is absolute rubbish as well.
Barbara Young, Salisbury