Swindon AdvertiserTorched park & ride could be skatepark (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Torched park & ride could be skatepark

Swindon Advertiser: Torched park & ride could be skatepark Torched park & ride could be skatepark

THE future of the old Groundwell Road Park and Ride site remains in doubt after the building was gutted by a devastating fire over the bank holiday weekend.

Fire crews were called to the bus shelter shortly after 2am on Monday, and the huge blaze took more than four hours to extinguish.

The service was mothballed by Swindon Council in 2009 to make £331,000 of savings, and despite a number of proposals to revitalise the area, it lay derelict and open to the elements and vandalism for years before the fire this week finally destroyed the building.

Coun Joe Tray (Lab, Penhill and Upper Stratton), who works as a firefighter, said: “In my role as a firefighter I have been there a number of times, and it was just asking for something like this to happen.

“It was dangerous for the firefighters who had to attend the scene.”

Coun Tray has floated a number of ideas to rejuvenate the site, and hopes if money can be found a decision for its future can now be made.

“I put a motion to full council earlier this year asking for something to be done because I was quite embarrassed by the state of the place,” he said.

“There are some thoughts in the council that it might go back into fruition as an overspill car park, and I have been pushing for a farmers’ market to be installed there.

“The point is that it is a potential car park area and could be used as such. The youngsters in the area have also been pushing for a skate park, and considering the skateboard park planned for Salt Way is meeting opposition, I have told Nick Martin it might make a good alternative.

“It is a secure site and would not interfere with the residents because not many people live close to it.

“I would love to see the council get their act together and do something about it.

“If they could find the money, anything that would stop it staying derelict would be an improvement.

“When you come into Swindon and pass the old Park and Ride and it says it is closed, that sends the message that Swindon is closed for business rather than the vibrant place it is, so we need it open. We just need something that will inject a bit of life back into the place.

Coun Paul Baker (Lab, Penhill and Upper Stratton), said: “I think people would like to see it as a Park and Ride again.

“The fire might finally force the council’s hand to do something.

“It was well used as a Park and Ride. It was in use four or five days a week and it made it easy for people to get into town.

“The demand will still be there. Now it has to be cleaned and levelled that might happen.

“The problem is whether any money will be available for it.

“It is going to cost thousands of pounds just to clean it up.

“Maybe now the council can just clear the site and leave it as it is for the foreseeable future.

“ It will be cleaned and it will not be the eyesore it has been. In that case even if people do get in there they would get bored.”

Comments (6)

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6:37pm Thu 29 Aug 13

Always Grumpy says...

Coun Joe Tray (Lab, Penhill and Upper Stratton), who works as a firefighter, said: “In my role as a firefighter I have been there a number of times, and it was just asking for something like this to happen.

Would that be the strike breaking firefighter living in Queensfield?
Coun Joe Tray (Lab, Penhill and Upper Stratton), who works as a firefighter, said: “In my role as a firefighter I have been there a number of times, and it was just asking for something like this to happen. Would that be the strike breaking firefighter living in Queensfield? Always Grumpy
  • Score: -1

9:01pm Thu 29 Aug 13

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

Quote “It is a secure site and would not interfere with the residents because not many people live close to it."

How the hell is it a secure site if it is regularly trespassed up on? Only a week or two ago I'm sure there was an article about how much of the site had been stripped of metal and the like; and how there were holes in the fence.
Quote “It is a secure site and would not interfere with the residents because not many people live close to it." How the hell is it a secure site if it is regularly trespassed up on? Only a week or two ago I'm sure there was an article about how much of the site had been stripped of metal and the like; and how there were holes in the fence. LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 7

8:25am Fri 30 Aug 13

silvergran says...

Various people have come up with things that could be done with the site, but the Council in their wisdom, decided to leave it derelict so I'm not surprised that something like this has happened. The park and ride was very useful and it's a great shame that it was abandoned.
Various people have come up with things that could be done with the site, but the Council in their wisdom, decided to leave it derelict so I'm not surprised that something like this has happened. The park and ride was very useful and it's a great shame that it was abandoned. silvergran
  • Score: 1

8:49am Fri 30 Aug 13

Morsey says...

Maybe relocate the Blunsdon Market and car boot there when work begins on the stadium site ... 10 - 15 - 20 years time?
Maybe relocate the Blunsdon Market and car boot there when work begins on the stadium site ... 10 - 15 - 20 years time? Morsey
  • Score: 1

10:02am Fri 30 Aug 13

william pitt says...

The council only decide to do something about it when its at rack and ruin and in this mess, just more money for them waste and turn it in to something they will over spend on and will still again get vandalised.
The council only decide to do something about it when its at rack and ruin and in this mess, just more money for them waste and turn it in to something they will over spend on and will still again get vandalised. william pitt
  • Score: 1

11:21am Fri 30 Aug 13

John Smith II says...

I don't understand, in the SA story of 10th February 2009 'Park and ride site 'will lure vandals'', former Councillor Peter Greenhalgh was quoted as below:


"Coun Peter Greenhalgh, the lead member for sustainability, transport and strategic planning, said no decision has yet been made on the park and ride.
But he admitted that if the site was mothballed security would be provided.
He said: “I’m disappointed that, as with the Christmas Tree on the Magic Roundabout, Coun Montaut believes that the people of Swindon are going to damage something just because it’s there.” "


To what extent did he mislead fellow councillors and the people of Swindon?
I don't understand, in the SA story of 10th February 2009 'Park and ride site 'will lure vandals'', former Councillor Peter Greenhalgh was quoted as below: "Coun Peter Greenhalgh, the lead member for sustainability, transport and strategic planning, said no decision has yet been made on the park and ride. But he admitted that if the site was mothballed security would be provided. He said: “I’m disappointed that, as with the Christmas Tree on the Magic Roundabout, Coun Montaut believes that the people of Swindon are going to damage something just because it’s there.” " To what extent did he mislead fellow councillors and the people of Swindon? John Smith II
  • Score: 0

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