08 NOV 2010
A call for Park & Ride commuter changes
Winchester & Chandler's Ford MP Steve Brine is leading calls for the new Park & Ride, south of Winchester, to open half an hour earlier.
The MP says it will help local commuters make substantial savings, reduce congestion in the city and allow them to catch the early train and has written to the council.
Currently, the site opens at 07:00 during the week, which leaves commuters tied to catching the 07:18 train to London at best, taking into account the 13-minute journey from the car park to the station.
This means commuters often struggle to make it from their arrival at Waterloo across London to their desks in time to start work, leading to a large number using the station car park in order to get to work in time. If the Park & Ride was to open at 06:30, commuters could save up to £400 per year, as well as alleviating congestion in the city centre.
John Pallot, a commuter from Chandler’s Ford, said: “I could save around £400 per year if the Park and Ride was able to open at 6:30am. It takes 13 minutes to travel from the site to the station, and as it currently opens at 7am, this means the first train I can conceivably catch is the 07:18. Taking into account the 35-45 minutes travel time from Waterloo to work, it is just not viable for me to get to the office at an appropriate time.
“I have spoken to fellow commuters who agree that if the Park and Ride opened at 6:30am, considerable savings could be made while ensuring getting to work on time.”
Steve added: “Much has been made of the new Park & Ride system over recent years, and it is an excellent addition to the city. However, as with all things new, issues come up which need addressing, and this is one such problem.
“People who would like to use this excellent service feel they cannot due to time constraints, so we really need to find a work around which lets everyone win. I realise there may be operational issues at the site around opening earlier, but it would be a great shame if we failed to recognise how much half an hour could improve this service for the benefit of commuters, the environment and the scheme itself.”
Steve has already received correspondence (on 11 October) from Winchester City Council acknowledging the idea and undertaking to look at its implications in practice and costs.
Pictured; Steve joins commuter John Pallot at the South Winchester Park & Ride site
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