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New plan for station parking
DETAILED talks have taken place about creating new parking for Salisbury railway station on the site of the old engine sheds.
The key issue is whether the land is too contaminated for any other kind of development.
At present the overgrown site, off Churchfields Road, is officially earmarked for redevelopment along with the Churchfields industrial estate for a mixture of housing and business use.
It belongs to Wiltshire Council, which is keen to stop train passengers using the long-stay spaces in the Central Car Park, where major redevelopment is due.
However the council accepts that people have little choice at present because the station car park is always full by breakfast time.
The Salisbury Vision has three groups looking at aspects of the city’s transport problems and Cllr Richard Clewer chairs the group concentrating on public transport.
“The recommendation we have come up with is to look at the engine shed site,” he said.
“It’s not a pie-in-the-sky idea. I’ve discussed it in detail with council officers.
“I’m not sure residential use of the site makes the most sense, because it’s right by the railway and it’s raised, so it would be difficult to shield it from noise without very expensive work.
“Ideally, people at the council who have a say about asset values would like to see it developed.
“But the big question is about contamination.
You can deal with that as long as you throw enough money at it.
We are waiting for clarification about the costs involved, and that is expected by early summer. If they are too high, it won’t be built on, and putting a layer of tarmac on it for parking becomes a serious option.”
Cllr Clewer believes the site is far enough out of the city centre to make it unattractive to shoppers, so it would not get in the way of the council’s campaign to persuade them to use the park and ride.
But he added: “We can’t leave no long stay parking in the city centre.
That would be nuts.”
A spokesman for the South West Trains - Network Rail Alliance said: “We are currently working on outline proposals with Wiltshire Council which would look to deliver improvements to the level of customer car parking at Salisbury station.
“These proposals would also provide improved access to the station and better integration with bus services.”
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