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Rail users' worries over parking plans
PARKING at Salisbury Railway Station will be made more difficult if long-stay parking is scrapped at the nearby Central Car Park, train users fear.
Station parking has been an ongoing issue for many years, with people complaining it is impossible to find a spot at the station if you arrive after 8am.
Wiltshire Council is looking at getting rid of more than 700 long stay parking spaces in the Central Car Park where many of those unable to find spaces at the station currently leave their cars, as part of plans to redevelop the area.
Retired Alan Strong regularly drives to the station from Hanging Langford to travel to London and says he usually has to park in the Central Car Park because when he arrives at 10am commuters have already taken up the station’s limited parking.
He said: “Park and ride isn’t an option for me because coming back at 8pm there are no buses running by then. What possibilities and options are open to people if they close down the long term parking?
There will be nowhere for somebody in my position to leave their car.”
Mr Strong said he was advised in 1999 by South West Trains that 120 new spaces were going to be provided in the former east goods yard, but this hasn’t happened.
There are no other long stay car parks near the train station, so unless new long stay spaces are provided somewhere on the west side of the city, train users will face a walk from Culver Street or the Old George Mall car parks to get to the station.
A spokesman for the South West Trains Network Rail Alliance said: “The previous plans for extending the car park at Salisbury were unfortunately not feasible. However, we are currently exploring options with Wiltshire Council for the future development of all transport to Salisbury, including bus and cycle access and car parking.”
Wiltshire councillor and Salisbury Area Board chairman Richard Clewer said parking is a key issue.
“We need to know how much car parks are currently used, maximum figures at peak times, and how much can be reliably put on to the park and ride,” he said.
“These are really big issues and the last time this was looked at was in the district council days. There needs to be a proper debate.”