Additional multi-storey car park planned for Bristol Parkway

Artist's impression of a proposed new multi-storey car park at Bristol Parkway.

Bristol Parkway railway station could get a new multi-storey car park providing an additional 710 bays after officials at South Gloucestershire Council cleared the way for a formal planning application to be made by Network Rail.

Funding for the project has already been approved by the Government, in the second tranche of its £100M Station Commercial Projects Improvement Fund announced earlier this year.

First Great Western, which operates the station, says the project will provide “much needed parking space” that is “essential if Bristol Parkway is to retain its strong connectivity with London”.

Notices on display at the station state that “fast track building processes” will be used to complete the new car park by March 2013. The company also claims that the construction techniques will “minimise noise and disruption for neighbouring houses and car park users”.

During the works, alterations will be made for access to the main car park to ensure minimal build up of traffic to surrounding roads and First Great Western says it hopes to provide alternative spaces for those lost during the construction period.

The new building will be clad in materials in keeping with the surrounding area, which, the company claims, will also help prevent light and noise pollution.

The new three-storey car park will be constructed in the area north of the station building and will be integrated into the existing single deck multi-storey car park providing a single structure. The current drop-off points and taxi rank will be relocated to provide an integrated transport hub, including cycle parking and a bus interchange.

A ‘screening opinion‘ requested by Network Rail has concluded that a costly and time-consuming Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will not be required by the local authority, leaving the way clear for a full planning application to be made in the next few weeks.

Planners at South Gloucestershire Council have, however, stressed that the development must not impact on plans for a bus rapid transit route through the car park of the station. This is a reference to the North Fringe to Hengrove scheme that will initially see Bristol Parkway connected via a spur from the main bus route between Bradley Stoke and Hambrook along the proposed new Stoke Gifford by-pass. Future plans could also see the rapid transit network expanded to included a link from Bristol Parkway to new developments on the Filton Airfield site, via Gipsy Patch Lane.

News of the planned development comes despite a nearby Council-run park and ride facility offering hundreds of parking spaces at a cheaper rate that the main station car park remaining significantly underused.

The Parkway North Park and Ride, situated around 500m east of the station in Hunts Ground Road, was officially opened on 31st May 2011. A Freedom of Information request submitted by the BBC revealed that the £1.3m facility was used by just 139 motorists in its first three months of operation.

Usage of the park and ride has increased slightly since waiting restrictions were introduced on Hunts Ground Road but The Journal’s reporter recently counted fewer than thirty cars using the facility on a mid-week afternoon.

Commuter parking on residential roads remains a big problem in Stoke Gifford and South Gloucestershire Council is currently considering the introduction of a residents’ parking scheme following a public consultation held in 2011.

Parkway North park and ride, Hunts Ground Road, Bristol.

Photo: Plenty of spaces at the South Gloucestershire Council’s  Parkway North park and ride facility in Hunts Ground Road.

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  1. It seems that Network Rail may not need to make a formal planning application, if the minutes of Stoke Gifford Parish Council’s July meeting can be believed:

    “They [Network Rail] intend to construct the car park under the permitted development rights afforded to them given their status as Statutory Undertakers (Part 17, Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995, Part A).”

  2. BBC Radio Bristol this morning ran another piece about under-use of the Parkway North Park and Ride.

    Figures obtained by them through a new FoI request show that an average of ten cars per day used the car park in the year to 31st August 2012.

    Story also on the BBC website:

    Few drivers using £1.3m Stoke Gifford car park

    The increasingly desperate Bristol Post has hijacked the story here:

    Spaces at £1.2m car park at Stoke Gifford still not being used

  3. proof if needed that the development of Filton Airfield was a done deal a long time ago. If the rapid bus route fails this will be the biggest waste of taxpayers money.
    Defending the indefensible is becoming a habit for Filton Labour SGlos councillors
    700 Parkway spaces agreed and theirs stands empty every day.Wreckless decisions.

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