Parking under pressure as construction work starts at Bristol Parkway

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

Car parking at Bristol Parkway railway station and in surrounding residential streets is likely to come under severe pressure from today as construction of a new multi-storey car park gets underway.

With 400 spaces being taken out of service during the ‘fast track’ six month project, some travellers are likely to find it impossible to park, particularly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, as the 1100-space car park is usually full on those days.

Speaking at yesterday’s Stoke Gifford Safer and Stronger Community Group meeting, Parkway Station Manager Linda Swainger said:

“It’s going to be quite tough while we take out these 400 spaces.”

“An alternative for travellers is the Parkway North Park and Ride but I’ve got to be honest with you, it won’t accommodate all the people who want to use Bristol Parkway.”

“We’re trying through all channels to persuade travellers to arrive by different means such as bus or bike.”

Flyer showing parking arrangements at Bristol Parkway railway station.

A plan (see right) of the temporary arrangements in place during the construction shows that temporary drop-off and short stay areas will be made available in the existing ‘west’ car park.

Cycle racks that were previously situated in front of the north entrance to the station building have been relocated to its west side.

Once completed, the new multi-storey car park will provide spaces for an additional 710 vehicles, which, says station operator First Great Western, is essential if Bristol Parkway is to retain its strong connectivity with London.

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.

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.

Working hours for the construction teams will be restricted to between 7am to 6:30pm Monday to Friday and 7:30am to 5pm on Saturdays. There is no plan for construction work to take place on Sundays, although this has not been ruled out.

Most construction traffic will access the site from the less busy eastern approach, via Hunts Ground Road.

Residents attending yesterday’s Safer and Stronger meeting expressed the fear that street parking around the station, which is already a big problem, would become “unbearable” during the construction work.

One member of the public asked if First Great Western had considered providing a free peak hour mini-bus to ferry people between the station and the Parkway North car park (between 500-600m away in Hunts Ground Road) but Ms Swainger told him there was “no point” as it was only 5-6 minutes walk away.

South Gloucestershire Council, which owns Parkway North, was ridiculed in the national media last month for providing a park and ride “without the ride”, after the BBC revealed that the 200-place car park was being used by fewer than ten motorists a day. A Council spokesperson told the Bristol Post that the facility had been installed in advance of new housing developments in north Bristol and the introduction of a bus rapid transit system in 2015 [Ed: Other Council sources say the rapid transit system won’t be operational until 2017/18].

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

Photo: The under-used Parkway North car park could receive a much-needed boost in custom during the construction work.

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