MSCP update on Cllr Nikki Barton’s website

From Councillor Nikki Barton’s most recent update, http://www.haslemerefirst.com/haslemere-councillor-update-for-recent-weeks/, an update on parking and a multi-storey car park.

Multi-Storey Car Park (MSCP)

Invited by Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport to join an MSCP working group following a letter I sent to his offices expressing my concerns about the proposals to push through a MSCP without full consideration of all the facts. Attendees at the meeting: representatives from SWT, Dept for Transport, MP Jeremy Hunt’s office, HTC, WBC, Haslemere Chamber, SCC parking team.

DfT representative explained that the finances of a multi-deck MSCP at Haslemere train station don’t stack up because the additional revenue from any extra spaces provided at the station are included as ‘costs’ rather than revenue.  This is because all day parkers would incur a ‘cost’ in losing their access to free on-street parking having been effectively ‘driven’ into the MSCP by yellow lining and parking restrictions.

SWT agree to pursue the additional 60 spaces on the Jewson’s side of the tracks currently used as a bus depot and to carry out a cost/benefit analysis for a single storey construction at the station. This would be a cheaper option (£2.5 m) and could provide an additional 150 spaces which is it presumed would be filled by those on the season ticket waiting list. I agreed this could a viable be an option if 1) no town wide, all day on-street parking controls were required, 2)  a proper, open and transparent public consultation was carried out, 3) a new planning application was submitted subject to full traffic and environmental impact assessments.

I also stressed that any decision on the MSCP should be made on the basis of what is right for Haslemere, not on political expediency and that I assumed that Haslemere Town Council would consult publicly if it intended to raise the precept/local taxes in order to provide a large contribution to the MSCP.

I continue to believe a holistic transport strategy for Haslemere is needed going forward. The one deck MSCP and the use of the bus depot space should provide an additional 210 spaces at the station freeing parking space on our streets but only for a short period and then what?  In the longer term more parking at the station will attract more cars, increase traffic/congestion and pollution in the town.

There is potential for more creative transport thinking, Haslemere Vision is currently considering these issues. For example, season ticket data shows that a cluster of 338 commuters live in and around Fernhurst, suggesting opportunities for car and taxi shares/hoppa buses. In the longer term, a park and ride may be a viable option given the prospect of large housing developments to the south of the town.