BOTH of Worcester’s park and ride services are set to be scrapped after county councillors said they could not justify keeping them going.
But the proposals, which were passed at Monday’s (June 9) cabinet meeting and are set to come into force in September, sparked plenty of controversy with claims it would cause further gridlock and congestion in the city.
The move comes after it was revealed the site at Perdiswell had been in steady decline for years with just 200 cars using it on some days.
It opened in 2001, but now loses £186,000 a year.
The Sixways Park and Ride was used by more than 66,000 drivers last year but it is costing the county council £1.66 for every user.
The closures are part of a plan to save £1.6million by axing or downgrading dozens of bus routes throughout Worcestershire.
But Coun Richard Udall said he thought the consequences for the city would be dire.
“When you look at the alternatives when Park and Ride is gone the alternative is for people to use their cars,” he said.
“This effectively means we are sentencing Worcester to further gridlock more choking and more congestion.
“All those millions of pounds of investment from houses of all political colours which have invested in Park and Ride in Worcester is to be flushed down the pan.
“We are wasting the money which we spent for the last ten years promoting and encouraging park and ride. It’s all disappearing like a brush of smoke after a poor consultation with bus users.
“The alternative of driving is not an alternative. Not enough alternative provision has been suggested.
“What’s even worse for me is the impact it will have on health service workers and residents. There is no alternative provision at Worcestershire Royal Hospital and there will be suffering as a consequence.”
But Coun Simon Gergaghty said he felt the balance of cuts was right.
“The public have spoken and we have incorporated that and listened to what they have had to say,” he added.
“Overall I think this is a very well balanced set of proposals which takes on all the public’s concerns. I firmly believe in the circumstances of having to make reductions this is a well thought-out set of proposals.”