Worcester's draft transport strategy prompts calls for 'park and ride' return - The Worcester Observer

Worcester's draft transport strategy prompts calls for 'park and ride' return

Worcester Editorial 28th Aug, 2023   0

AMBITIOUS plans to make Worcester City Centre a more attractive place, reduce flooding risks and take ‘serious steps’ towards a more sustainable way to travel have been endorsed by the city council.

But after the 20-year draft strategy was shared, Worcester residents took to social media urging for the return of a ‘park and ride’ scheme in the city centre.

The draft strategy will now be referred to the Worcestershire County Council for development and for the authority to implement elements under its control.

The city council will draw up an action plan to take forward elements it has responsibility for.

Work is already under way to improve the city centre, with plans going forward including creating a new pedestrian route along the city’s refurbished Victorian railway arches.

A new direct link between Worcester Foregate Street, The Hive and the River Severn could be introduced, along with improved signage and work to improve safety and accessibility around the city centre.

Cycling promotion schemes and improved access to the canalside will be carried out jointly with the county council.

Changes will be made to tackle traffic congestion, inconsistent walking and cycling routes and limited public transport services.

Worcester’s two railway stations would be improved, better routes would be created between Shrub Hill and the city centre for people and cyclists and the bus station would be made more attractive and user-friendly.

There would also be fewer but larger multi-storey car parks developed in easily accessible locations, with at least two of them becoming ‘mobility hubs’ with immediate access to bus and cycle facilities.

Restrictions on heavy goods vehicles in the city would also be included and measures would be put in place to reduce the flooding risk on Croft Road.

Following calls for a ‘park and ride’ scheme in the city centre, Worcestershire County Council’s Highways and Transport chief Coun Mike Rouse said he was ‘happy to look into it.’

But he also told the Observer park and walk or cycle methods could be worth exploring.

Council joint leader Coun Marjory Bisset has said while there would be ‘significant improvements’ if the 20-year transport strategy is supported by the County Council, it would not bring overnight change.

Fellow joint leader Coun Lynn Denham added she felt the proposals would make Worcester a more attractive destination for residents and tourists, and provide a ‘dramatic boost’ to the local economy.

Worcester Conservative leader Coun James Stanley told the Observer the strategy was ‘interesting and wide-ranging’ and said he wanted to ensure people in the city had a choice between driving, walking and cycling.


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