LABOUR councillors have slammed proposals to cut the city’s park and ride services, claiming it will cause further gridlock and congestion.
Both Perdiswell and Sixways Park and Ride are set to be scrapped after Worcestershire County Council revealed the sites were in steady decline when proposals were passed at a cabinet meeting last month.
The changes will come into force in September this year.
However, Labour motions have been tabled for the full council meetings of both Worcester City and Worcestershire County councils today (Wednesday) and tomorrow (Thursday) which read: “We believe the impact on the city’s employers, employees, local residents, hospital workers, school children, students, users of health services, shoppers, potential tourists and other visitors will be harmful to both the city and county economies.”
Coun Paul Denham, city and county councillor for Rainbow Hill, is one of the councillors campaigning against the cuts.
“The full potential of park and ride is not being realised because the service is not properly advertised,” he said.
“The cheapest council car park costs £3.60 to park all day but park and ride is only £2.20 return including parking. A weekly park and ride ticket is only £8.
“Many more visitors to Worcester would use the park and ride if they knew this.”
Joy Squires, Labour Parliamentary candidate for Worcester, added: “My vision for Worcester is that it should attract both employment and tourism.
“Surveys have repeatedly shown traffic and congestion are the top concerns of Worcester residents and this will deter both employers and tourists.
“The county council is making a big mistake removing park and ride when it could easily be run on a commercial basis.”
The closures are part of a plan to save £1.6million by axing or downgrading dozens of bus routes throughout Worcestershire.
Coun John Smith, cabinet member for highways said they simply could not justify keeping the loss-making park and rides going.
“The County Council in this difficult financial situation cannot justify subsidising the park and ride schemes by over a quarter of a million pounds a year,” he added.
“The Perdiswell and Sixways park and ride schemes are both running at a loss and not to full capacity. Furthermore, Worcester city centre has sufficient space for some additional 1,400 car park spaces to accommodate traffic.”