Students discuss parking solutions with Council
Release date: 28 June 2016
Caption: Claire Locke (first on left) and Cllr Chris Hancock (last on right), CDC Cabinet Member for Car Parking and Enforcement, meet the students.
A group of students who are keen to tackle the parking problem in Cirencester recently visited the offices of Cotswold District Council to discuss the issues and find out how they are being addressed.
The students, who attend Kingshill School, came to prominence when the Wilts and Glos Standard reported their suggestion about establishing a park and ride scheme on Saturdays to alleviate demand for parking spaces. They also indicated that other quick wins might be feasible to ease congestion.
Claire Locke, the Head of Environment at the Council, welcomed their ideas but also discovered that they were unaware of the measures that have already been put in place to alleviate parking problems at weekends:
“The students were pleased to find out that we are offering free parking spaces at our Trinity Road headquarters on weekends and public holidays. St James’s Place are also following suit and this means that a total of over 200 spaces are available for free just a few minutes’ walk from the town centre. We have been promoting these offers for some time and we hope that word will continue to spread about these initiatives. Similarly, we are trying to encourage more people to park in the town away from the peak demand times by offering free parking after 3 pm every day of the week in the Forum and Brewery car parks. More and more people are becoming aware of this offer and we issue reminders on a regular basis.
“I also told the group about the Council’s efforts to identify other temporary solutions to help meet the immediate demand for parking, including plans to improve the provision of cycle parking in the centre as soon as possible. They also learned about our longer term projects to develop the Old Station, Waterloo and Sheep Street car parks with the primary aim of increasing car parking provision in the town.”
Cllr Mark MacKenzie-Charrington, the CDC Cabinet Member overseeing Cirencester Parking issues, said:
“It’s good to see that the students are taking such an active interest in helping to improve parking arrangements in the town. We will continue to touch base with them on this issue.”
Cllr Mark Harris, the Mayor of Cirencester, CDC Ward Member for Abbey and Chair of the Parking Board which has been established to address concerns about parking in Cirencester, was equally pleased to hear about the visit:
"I am delighted that all parts of the community, including young people, are helping to generate positive and realistic options for parking in the town, and I am pleased so say that the students from Kingshill have accepted an invitation to attend a stakeholders meeting that the Board is arranging in early July.”
A spokesman for the students added:
"Upon meeting with the Council, we were pleased to discover their expressed interest in improving the parking situation in Cirencester. Furthermore, their current initiative to make parking available in Trinity Road and St James Place is reassuring proof that they are committed to solving this prominent issue, and these spaces represent an increase of just over 10% of Cirencester's full capacity. It was also interesting to learn of all the admin-related obstacles they must deal with to act in a meaningful way. However, despite this challenge, they have striven and succeeded in aiding the current situation, and we thank them for it."