From the Midhurst & Petworth Observer, Park and Ride could solve Midhurst’s parking problems.
Park-and-ride schemes could be the answer to the growing parking nightmare in the Midhurst area, it was been claimed by former chairman of West Sussex County Council Mark Dunn.
Cllr Dunn, who represents the Bourne division south of the Downs, said radical measures must be adopted to prevent the Midhurst area being branded an ‘unattractive visitor centre’ with no parking space for cars or coaches.
He believes shoppers and tourists should be bused into the centre of town, declaring the days of parking outside shops were ‘a thing of the past’.
“If people want to stop in the centre, it should be on meters at £1 for 20 minutes – those people who really want it should pay through the nose for it.”
And he believed the solution for Midhurst’s car parking and coach parking problems lay in the operation of park-and-ride by landowners using redundant land outside the town.
“There are places close to Midhurst where there is plenty of room for parking, for instance on land next to the A272 west of Midhurst.”
Cllr Dunn, said he wanted to see a ‘cooperative approach’ adopted with town, district and county councils talking to farmers and landowners to try to encourage them to operate park and ride services.
With growing tourism promoted through the new national park authority, he said more parking space was of paramount importance, both for cars and coaches.
Responding at the county local committee meeting, to a plea from Midhurst Town Council chairman John Etherington for help in finding a solution to the parking problem, Cllr Dunn said: “We are going as a community to need more space to park otherwise we will find ourselves an unattractive visitor centre – it is a very difficult problem.”
He said there was money to be made by landowners from the operation of park-and-ride services as tourists were used to paying for parking space, and coach parking was also needed.
Midhurst are not looking at parking as a single issue revenue earner. They recognise that imposing higher charges for parking in the town could be a way to incentivise visitors to use an alternative travel scheme via park and ride and hence reduce car journeys into the town centre. In Haslemere, bus services are being cut. There is no park and ride. Oh, I’m going to say it…there is no parking strategy.