Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Wildflower Meadow or Car Park?

Despite their election promise to "save our countryside" and ignoring opposition from nearby residents, local Lib Dems are ploughing ahead with plans which will lead to this council maintained wildflower area and natural habitat disappearing under tarmac.

They want to extend the car park at Hedge End station (not surprising as it's a nice little earner for them at £3 a car), but could they be sacrificing yet another green space in vain?

This photo was taken on a weekday lunchtime and there were plenty of empty spaces in the existing car park.

Meanwhile a few yards away in Old Shamblehurst Lane, people were parking for free.

What's the point of extending a pay car park which isn't full when there is free on-road parking in the nearby residential streets and lanes?  Perhaps the Lib Dems need to have a closer look at the assumptions in their business case before yet another green space is lost.


  1. I tended to use Hedge End station previously because the Car Park at Southampton Parkway was always full by 7am in the morning, but with the recently opened multi-storey making more parking available at Parkway, perhaps more people will connect with the quicker service through Parkway and stop using Hedge End...?

    If that's the case, we wouldn't need extra car parking at Hedge End. What we have now would be sufficient.

    Either way, I really do despair at the way the Lib Dems seem prepared to compromise our precious green spaces. We've had quite a few examples of this recently.

    Even the Carnival preparations looked rather cramped on the Recreation Ground last weekend, because of the space that has been recently lost to play areas...

  2. Jenny Schwausch6 July 2011 at 23:02

    Couldn't agree more. Walked over yesterday and there were many empty spaces in the Car Park and only two vehicles in the roadside bay. I suggest the Council does away with the charges so that car park is used to full capacity,as indeed it was, when it was free. Now local residents are inconvenienced and sometimes obstructed by commuter parking. I can't see this improving with a car park extension. What is the rational behind this?

    Powers that be - come and monitor the situation on a daily basis and then think of way of encouraging commuters to use the existing parking spaces.

  3. Interesting point about the new car park at Parkway TGR. I wonder if that is taken into account in the Council's business case assumptions.

    I agree Jenny - surely it makes sense to get the existing spaces full before thinking of building more.

  4. Scrapping the car parking charges would be a good idea Jenny. As you say, all they really do is encourage people to park elsewhere, particularly when household incomes are as tight as they are at the moment...

    Improving the bus services that connect with the station would also help.

    I think I said only the other day, on HedgeEndPeople, that Bluestar 3 only serves half of Hedge End at the moment. I'd alter the route to turn right at the bottom of Wildern Lane, use Locke Road to pick up Maunsell way, serve the rail station, and trundle back to M&S via Tollbar Way, serving Wickes, Burger King and MacDonalds...

    As Bluestar 3 runs late into the evening, it would be a good alternative to parking the car at the railway station.

    Well, it would be if Bluestar 3 ran every 20 minutes. The hourly service might not be enough for rail commuters...!