Swindon AdvertiserDon’t let park & ride be a waste of space (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Don’t let park & ride be a waste of space

Swindon Advertiser: Coun Joe Tray at the park and ride Coun Joe Tray at the park and ride

WARD councillors are calling for the Groundwell Park and Ride site to be brought back into use, as it is being wrecked by thieves and vandals.

The town’s park and ride scheme, off Cricklade Road, was mothballed by Swindon Council for being a drain on resources and has never been opened again – despite rumours at one time of a reprieve.

In recent years, residents have pitched alternative uses to the council, including a dog park, and a market to promote traders, although none of these have come into fruition.

Now councillors Joe Tray and Teresa Page (both Lab, Penhill and Upper Stratton) will present a motion at Thursday’s full council meeting, asking Coun Mark Edwards, the cabinet member for finance, to present options to cabinet on the use of the site.

Coun Tray said: “The thing a lot of people have said is ‘What’s going to happen to it?’ It’s a waste of money and resource sat there.

“The people who have paid for it are the taxpayers of Swindon. They’ve paid for it, let’s have a use of it, don’t let it sit there rotting.

“I think we should listen to what other people are saying and see if we can come up with uses for it, temporary or whatever, to give us some examples.

“I have been approached by some youngsters around my way who would love to see it used as a skate park area. Also people have said ‘What about a car boot or farmers’ market?’.

“Let’s get the agreement to use it, clean it and tidy it up and have the conversation with the people of the area about what they would like to see done with it, what ideas they’ve got and see if we can make it happen.”

Coun Tray, a firefighter at Swindon fire station, in Drove Road, said the facility was falling into disrepair.

He said: “It’s only getting worse and worse.

“It’s all fenced around and there’s holes cut in the fence where people have been breaking in.

“Everything there that can be nicked has been nicked, and there’s been fires. I’m also a firefighter and I have attended twice.

“The CCTV cameras are gone. The wiring that supplied them and wires around there have gone because of the value of copper wiring.”

Coun Rod Bluh, the council leader, said: “We’re happy to look at the options. I wouldn’t be happy to narrow it to community use because I think that would be difficult for us financially but we need to see what the various options are, whether commercial or community.

“That site is not much use to anybody at the moment and it does need to be looked at what we can do with it.”

Comments (25)

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3:30pm Sun 17 Feb 13

itsamess3 says...

Housing or supermarket--seems to be the only thing these days.
Housing or supermarket--seems to be the only thing these days. itsamess3
  • Score: 0

3:41pm Sun 17 Feb 13

anotherimigrant says...

Can anyone tell me how much it cost to develope this folly?

Can anyone tell me how much the Mechanics is going to cost?

Dont forget that the council turned down the offer to own it for £1. Yes a quid. But it would have cost, if my memorys right 70k:)

Didnt anyone think that the Pikys and wouldnt give it a visit.

Pity Msrs R Blur didnt want to take Penhill as his ward. Something usefull may have happend on this sink estate. But probably not.

It doesnt matter what you think it would be usefull for, if the council fools didnt think of it first, it isnt going to happen.

What about having a Lake up there for speed boats, or a canal stop over,, a go cart track for the boy racers from Penhill before they get their licences to kill.
Can anyone tell me how much it cost to develope this folly? Can anyone tell me how much the Mechanics is going to cost? Dont forget that the council turned down the offer to own it for £1. Yes a quid. But it would have cost, if my memorys right 70k:) Didnt anyone think that the Pikys and wouldnt give it a visit. Pity Msrs R Blur didnt want to take Penhill as his ward. Something usefull may have happend on this sink estate. But probably not. It doesnt matter what you think it would be usefull for, if the council fools didnt think of it first, it isnt going to happen. What about having a Lake up there for speed boats, or a canal stop over,, a go cart track for the boy racers from Penhill before they get their licences to kill. anotherimigrant
  • Score: 0

3:59pm Sun 17 Feb 13

house on the hill says...

Maybe if we had a proper criminal justice system we would deal with the vandals and squatters with the contempt they deserve rather than a smack on the wrist or a stay in a 5star facility for a few months which just makes it worse anyway. Hey let's give them an ASBO, their grrrrrreat........
Maybe if we had a proper criminal justice system we would deal with the vandals and squatters with the contempt they deserve rather than a smack on the wrist or a stay in a 5star facility for a few months which just makes it worse anyway. Hey let's give them an ASBO, their grrrrrreat........ house on the hill
  • Score: 0

4:00pm Sun 17 Feb 13

house on the hill says...

Actually as it is council owned a waste of space is the perfect name for it!
Actually as it is council owned a waste of space is the perfect name for it! house on the hill
  • Score: 0

4:16pm Sun 17 Feb 13

salt and vinegar says...

Hundreds of thousands of pounds down the drain, absolutley shamefull the way they waste our money.

"SHAMEFULL" "SHAMEFULL"
"SHAMEFULL"
Hundreds of thousands of pounds down the drain, absolutley shamefull the way they waste our money. "SHAMEFULL" "SHAMEFULL" "SHAMEFULL" salt and vinegar
  • Score: 0

4:16pm Sun 17 Feb 13

bradley red 1 says...

Surely something good can be turned out there? what a waste of land come on swindon council pull your finger out!!!
Surely something good can be turned out there? what a waste of land come on swindon council pull your finger out!!! bradley red 1
  • Score: 0

4:20pm Sun 17 Feb 13

PaulD says...

the thing is with Park & Rides is that you have to have something worth riding to
the thing is with Park & Rides is that you have to have something worth riding to PaulD
  • Score: 0

4:35pm Sun 17 Feb 13

MrAngry says...

The Park and Ride facility was funded from the LTP budget which means a large chunk of the money came from central government. I think it cost £2 million excluding the cost of all the bus lanes on top.

One of the problems with government or developer (Section 106) funding is that the council can't wait to get its mitts on the external funding to build the facility but don't think about how they will fund ongoing maintenance and running costs.

Labour built the 2 Park and Ride sites, but that makes it easier for the Tories to mothball them.
The Park and Ride facility was funded from the LTP budget which means a large chunk of the money came from central government. I think it cost £2 million excluding the cost of all the bus lanes on top. One of the problems with government or developer (Section 106) funding is that the council can't wait to get its mitts on the external funding to build the facility but don't think about how they will fund ongoing maintenance and running costs. Labour built the 2 Park and Ride sites, but that makes it easier for the Tories to mothball them. MrAngry
  • Score: 0

4:52pm Sun 17 Feb 13

anotherimigrant says...

Thanks for that info Mr Angry.

2 MILLION :(. My what could we have done with that. Like the Brunel 90 million wasted on our illustriouse leaders pension fund that whent missing overnight.

I,m certainly not going to give my views on what could be done as it,s simply not worth it. But it doesnt matter if it was Liebour or Trotters in charge.

They are only interested in whats in it fofor them personaly.

Goes to show this councils idiots couldnt even run a park and ride.

Theres no hope.
Thanks for that info Mr Angry. 2 MILLION :(. My what could we have done with that. Like the Brunel 90 million wasted on our illustriouse leaders pension fund that whent missing overnight. I,m certainly not going to give my views on what could be done as it,s simply not worth it. But it doesnt matter if it was Liebour or Trotters in charge. They are only interested in whats in it fofor them personaly. Goes to show this councils idiots couldnt even run a park and ride. Theres no hope. anotherimigrant
  • Score: 0

5:10pm Sun 17 Feb 13

Trend says...

It is a shameful waste of money and usable space. Either make it into something for the community in that area or sell it for housing. At least if it was sold for housing some money could be got back from it.
It is a shameful waste of money and usable space. Either make it into something for the community in that area or sell it for housing. At least if it was sold for housing some money could be got back from it. Trend
  • Score: 0

6:25pm Sun 17 Feb 13

Davey Gravey says...

There is and always has been a prime location for a park and ride(the gwh hospital) served by the a419 and the m 4. The other locations and the wroughton sham in particular are a joke.
There is and always has been a prime location for a park and ride(the gwh hospital) served by the a419 and the m 4. The other locations and the wroughton sham in particular are a joke. Davey Gravey
  • Score: 0

7:14pm Sun 17 Feb 13

oldbutawake says...

I have the devil in me tonight!

Why not equip it as a short stay travellers' site?
Already hard-topped, a few power points and a communal toilet/washroom block and there you go!!
Just in time for the usual rush of caravans coming in for the summer which would mean they wouldn't have to park illegally all over the town!
I have the devil in me tonight! Why not equip it as a short stay travellers' site? Already hard-topped, a few power points and a communal toilet/washroom block and there you go!! Just in time for the usual rush of caravans coming in for the summer which would mean they wouldn't have to park illegally all over the town! oldbutawake
  • Score: 0

7:16pm Sun 17 Feb 13

MrAngry says...

@ Davey Gravey

There was a plan to provide a P&R next to the hospital but the planning was flawed and it became an embarrasing c*ck up.

The council had funding, but assumed that they could drain the site into the Highways Agency's drainage system. At that time, the A419 flyover wasn't built and the HA wouldn't allow SBC to use the surplus drainage capacity until they had established their own requirements.

There were also arguments about whether the access to the P&R would be off of the A419 or Marlborough Road.

SBC had funding but no viable design.
@ Davey Gravey There was a plan to provide a P&R next to the hospital but the planning was flawed and it became an embarrasing c*ck up. The council had funding, but assumed that they could drain the site into the Highways Agency's drainage system. At that time, the A419 flyover wasn't built and the HA wouldn't allow SBC to use the surplus drainage capacity until they had established their own requirements. There were also arguments about whether the access to the P&R would be off of the A419 or Marlborough Road. SBC had funding but no viable design. MrAngry
  • Score: 0

7:50pm Sun 17 Feb 13

Davey Gravey says...

MrAngry wrote:
@ Davey Gravey

There was a plan to provide a P&R next to the hospital but the planning was flawed and it became an embarrasing c*ck up.

The council had funding, but assumed that they could drain the site into the Highways Agency's drainage system. At that time, the A419 flyover wasn't built and the HA wouldn't allow SBC to use the surplus drainage capacity until they had established their own requirements.

There were also arguments about whether the access to the P&R would be off of the A419 or Marlborough Road.

SBC had funding but no viable design.
A child could have done a better job. Its clear to anyone that the hospital is the best location. Already served by frequent buses that are not filled
[quote][p][bold]MrAngry[/bold] wrote: @ Davey Gravey There was a plan to provide a P&R next to the hospital but the planning was flawed and it became an embarrasing c*ck up. The council had funding, but assumed that they could drain the site into the Highways Agency's drainage system. At that time, the A419 flyover wasn't built and the HA wouldn't allow SBC to use the surplus drainage capacity until they had established their own requirements. There were also arguments about whether the access to the P&R would be off of the A419 or Marlborough Road. SBC had funding but no viable design.[/p][/quote]A child could have done a better job. Its clear to anyone that the hospital is the best location. Already served by frequent buses that are not filled Davey Gravey
  • Score: 0

8:51pm Sun 17 Feb 13

John Smith II says...

Odd, in the story 'Park and ride site 'will lure vandals'', from 10th Feb 2009, former councillor Peter Greenhalgh was quoted as saying that if the then open Park & Ride was mothballed then 'security would be provided'.

Did this security happen? Judging by the suggestions in the above story if it was, it wasn't very effective...

Still, along with the promising 'Park & Ride Closed' signs, this eyesore is another welcoming gateway to the town that suggests that it is not exactly thriving and open for business.
Odd, in the story 'Park and ride site 'will lure vandals'', from 10th Feb 2009, former councillor Peter Greenhalgh was quoted as saying that if the then open Park & Ride was mothballed then 'security would be provided'. Did this security happen? Judging by the suggestions in the above story if it was, it wasn't very effective... Still, along with the promising 'Park & Ride Closed' signs, this eyesore is another welcoming gateway to the town that suggests that it is not exactly thriving and open for business. John Smith II
  • Score: 0

10:11pm Sun 17 Feb 13

Empty Car Park says...

Still, along with the promising 'Park & Ride Closed' signs, this eyesore is another welcoming gateway to the town that suggests that it is not exactly thriving and open for business.

Or vibrant, or buoyant, or visionary, or bucking the trend
[quote] Still, along with the promising 'Park & Ride Closed' signs, this eyesore is another welcoming gateway to the town that suggests that it is not exactly thriving and open for business. [/quote] Or vibrant, or buoyant, or visionary, or bucking the trend Empty Car Park
  • Score: 0

10:23pm Sun 17 Feb 13

Eastern Badger says...

The good news is that as part of the 'plan' to develop 8,000 homes to the East of Swindon is a PARK & RIDE - it's part of how they show its a sustainable development because they obviously work - really well.

One Park & Ride shut and one only open because Nationwide borrow half of it.

It's reassuring that someone is in charge if this now eh?
The good news is that as part of the 'plan' to develop 8,000 homes to the East of Swindon is a PARK & RIDE - it's part of how they show its a sustainable development because they obviously work - really well. One Park & Ride shut and one only open because Nationwide borrow half of it. It's reassuring that someone is in charge if this now eh? Eastern Badger
  • Score: 0

12:16am Mon 18 Feb 13

Moth says...

anotherimigrant wrote:
Can anyone tell me how much it cost to develope this folly?

Can anyone tell me how much the Mechanics is going to cost?

Dont forget that the council turned down the offer to own it for £1. Yes a quid. But it would have cost, if my memorys right 70k:)

Didnt anyone think that the Pikys and wouldnt give it a visit.

Pity Msrs R Blur didnt want to take Penhill as his ward. Something usefull may have happend on this sink estate. But probably not.

It doesnt matter what you think it would be usefull for, if the council fools didnt think of it first, it isnt going to happen.

What about having a Lake up there for speed boats, or a canal stop over,, a go cart track for the boy racers from Penhill before they get their licences to kill.
How dare you denigrate the people of Penhill in such a way.

Considering your grasp of the English language is extremely poor, perhaps you should go back to school and learn to read and write properly.

Your ignorance is really quite astounding.
[quote][p][bold]anotherimigrant[/bold] wrote: Can anyone tell me how much it cost to develope this folly? Can anyone tell me how much the Mechanics is going to cost? Dont forget that the council turned down the offer to own it for £1. Yes a quid. But it would have cost, if my memorys right 70k:) Didnt anyone think that the Pikys and wouldnt give it a visit. Pity Msrs R Blur didnt want to take Penhill as his ward. Something usefull may have happend on this sink estate. But probably not. It doesnt matter what you think it would be usefull for, if the council fools didnt think of it first, it isnt going to happen. What about having a Lake up there for speed boats, or a canal stop over,, a go cart track for the boy racers from Penhill before they get their licences to kill.[/p][/quote]How dare you denigrate the people of Penhill in such a way. Considering your grasp of the English language is extremely poor, perhaps you should go back to school and learn to read and write properly. Your ignorance is really quite astounding. Moth
  • Score: 0

12:37am Mon 18 Feb 13

anotherimigrant says...

zorroy. wot partnot tru. i to old 2 go 2 skool. an they all full of ecko migrants

grow up yourself and behave yourself

i good riter spell purfect:

try makin comments about the storey
zorroy. wot partnot tru. i to old 2 go 2 skool. an they all full of ecko migrants grow up yourself and behave yourself i good riter spell purfect: try makin comments about the storey anotherimigrant
  • Score: 0

3:28pm Mon 18 Feb 13

gina948 says...

Hmmm...so many options, what gets me though is a) how did the council get the planning for this considering all other applications to build on the land was refused? (we all know the answer, I'm just trying to be funny!) and b) Did they not map out the use of the Park and Ride at our (tax payers) cost prior to the whole thing being built and shut? Anyone would think that the council didnt know what they were doing in Swindon!
Hmmm...so many options, what gets me though is a) how did the council get the planning for this considering all other applications to build on the land was refused? (we all know the answer, I'm just trying to be funny!) and b) Did they not map out the use of the Park and Ride at our (tax payers) cost prior to the whole thing being built and shut? Anyone would think that the council didnt know what they were doing in Swindon! gina948
  • Score: 0

5:23pm Mon 18 Feb 13

umpcah says...

gina948 wrote:
Hmmm...so many options, what gets me though is a) how did the council get the planning for this considering all other applications to build on the land was refused? (we all know the answer, I'm just trying to be funny!) and b) Did they not map out the use of the Park and Ride at our (tax payers) cost prior to the whole thing being built and shut? Anyone would think that the council didnt know what they were doing in Swindon!
Anyone would think that the council didnt know what they were doing in Swindon ? Surely not !
[quote][p][bold]gina948[/bold] wrote: Hmmm...so many options, what gets me though is a) how did the council get the planning for this considering all other applications to build on the land was refused? (we all know the answer, I'm just trying to be funny!) and b) Did they not map out the use of the Park and Ride at our (tax payers) cost prior to the whole thing being built and shut? Anyone would think that the council didnt know what they were doing in Swindon![/p][/quote]Anyone would think that the council didnt know what they were doing in Swindon ? Surely not ! umpcah
  • Score: 0

6:01pm Mon 18 Feb 13

choccibear says...

MrAngry wrote:
The Park and Ride facility was funded from the LTP budget which means a large chunk of the money came from central government. I think it cost £2 million excluding the cost of all the bus lanes on top.

One of the problems with government or developer (Section 106) funding is that the council can't wait to get its mitts on the external funding to build the facility but don't think about how they will fund ongoing maintenance and running costs.

Labour built the 2 Park and Ride sites, but that makes it easier for the Tories to mothball them.
I agree Section 106 funding is only good for the initial 10 year period or whatever. Nobody considers what will happen when it ends. Bus services to GWH are a recent good example of this. In the case of GWH at least buses are serving the communilty for those who don't have cars or even can't park cars at GWH. I think the council should now sell this site and invest the money in a better bus service and parking for the hospital. I don't think the site should be turned into a skate park, it needs to be something to benefit the whole of the community. The place is now in such a poor state of repair I think selling it is the answer. May be they can get some more Section 106 funding for something!!!!
[quote][p][bold]MrAngry[/bold] wrote: The Park and Ride facility was funded from the LTP budget which means a large chunk of the money came from central government. I think it cost £2 million excluding the cost of all the bus lanes on top. One of the problems with government or developer (Section 106) funding is that the council can't wait to get its mitts on the external funding to build the facility but don't think about how they will fund ongoing maintenance and running costs. Labour built the 2 Park and Ride sites, but that makes it easier for the Tories to mothball them.[/p][/quote]I agree Section 106 funding is only good for the initial 10 year period or whatever. Nobody considers what will happen when it ends. Bus services to GWH are a recent good example of this. In the case of GWH at least buses are serving the communilty for those who don't have cars or even can't park cars at GWH. I think the council should now sell this site and invest the money in a better bus service and parking for the hospital. I don't think the site should be turned into a skate park, it needs to be something to benefit the whole of the community. The place is now in such a poor state of repair I think selling it is the answer. May be they can get some more Section 106 funding for something!!!! choccibear
  • Score: 0

7:39pm Mon 18 Feb 13

Moth says...

I think there should be a farmers' market there. Good quality produce at a reasonable price is badly needed. I, for one, would certainly use such a market on a regular basis.

Turning it into a farmers' market would give local farms and small growers a much needed boost.
I think there should be a farmers' market there. Good quality produce at a reasonable price is badly needed. I, for one, would certainly use such a market on a regular basis. Turning it into a farmers' market would give local farms and small growers a much needed boost. Moth
  • Score: 0

8:16am Tue 19 Feb 13

gina948 says...

Considering its location, so far away from the town I think the whole area should be bulldozed and made into a small housing estate with a nice park to fit in with the rest of the surrounding area. Surely out of town farmers markets will be in competition with Blunsdons market (which could house a farmers market and keep it all in one place). Anyway, the council would be happy to sell the land for housing development wouldnt they...!
Considering its location, so far away from the town I think the whole area should be bulldozed and made into a small housing estate with a nice park to fit in with the rest of the surrounding area. Surely out of town farmers markets will be in competition with Blunsdons market (which could house a farmers market and keep it all in one place). Anyway, the council would be happy to sell the land for housing development wouldnt they...! gina948
  • Score: 0

2:04pm Tue 19 Feb 13

DiDiDI says...

You know what we could really do with in this area? A park and ride!!! Those people who used to use this area now park down at The Orbital shopping centre where there are lots of busses going into town (and elsewhere). The increase in parking at the Orbital was staggering once the park and ride at Groundwell closed.
You know what we could really do with in this area? A park and ride!!! Those people who used to use this area now park down at The Orbital shopping centre where there are lots of busses going into town (and elsewhere). The increase in parking at the Orbital was staggering once the park and ride at Groundwell closed. DiDiDI
  • Score: 0

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