THE doomed park and ride site at Groundwell could become a vandals’ playground, according to one councillor.

Labour’s transport spokesman Coun Derique Montaut has also accused the Conservative administration of having a secret agenda to sell the land off.

North Swindon’s park and ride could be mothballed, under plans to be discussed by Swindon Council’s cabinet tomorrow.

The move would save the council £331,000 but has provoked a furious reaction from passengers.

Last week David Potter, the director of planning and transport at Swindon Council, told the Advertiser there were no plans to sell off the site.

But Coun Montaut was not reassured by the promises.

He said: “They may be saying they don’t want to close it permanently but I think there is a secret agenda.

“They may be looking at selling off this land, which is sought by developers.”

Coun Montaut also feels the mothballing of the site would lead to the site being a target for yobs.

He said: “It is almost certain that it is going to be vandalised.

“There would have to be security on the site, which would cost the council more money and be completely counter-productive “This is a very short-sighted move from the council, at a time when every other local authority is planning more park and ride schemes.

“This must be the only council in the country to consider getting rid of park and ride.”

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.”

The proposal to temporarily close the Groundwell park and ride is included in budget proposals, which will be voted on by councillors on February 23.

A protest group set up by angry passengers, Save Park And Ride Kampaign – Spark – will deliver a petition to Swindon Mayor Steve Wakefield, at the Civic Offices this afternoon.

The group expects to have more than 1,000 signatures by the time it hands over the petition.