Concerns remain over car parking displacement strategy for Leamington town centre

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Residents living in Leamington town centre remain gravely concerned about Warwick District Council ‘s plans to make up for some of the shortfall in parking while it builds a new headquarters in the area - despite the most controversial part of the proposals now being scrapped.

Several of those living in the area attended the meeting of the authority’s executive at the town hall on Wednesday evening and spoke to The Courier afterwards to highlight their fears about more cars coming into the town centre after the headquarters move and Covent Garden multi-storey car park rebuild is finished and the increased pollution and subsequent health issues this could bring with it.

They want more consideration given to a park and ride scheme with electric buses to bring shoppers and business staff into the town centre and better provision for cycling.

Executive members voted to support the council’s parking displacement strategy, from which the tennis courts at Christchurch Gardens in Leamington were removed as a proposed site last week after a massive public outcry opposing this part of the plan.

The revised strategy results in the reduction of about 80 spaces from the initial proposals as a result of the Christchurch Gardens decision and will also include the use of about 220 spaces at the car park for the council’s current Riverside House headquarters in Milverton Hill, Leamington, during weekends while the new HQ and car park are being built

At the request of the council’s overview and scrutiny committee, the council will look into the possibility of allowing the public to use this car park on weekday evenings as well. The strategy also involves permanently expanding the two existing car parks in Archery Road and off Princes Drive at each end of Victoria Park by adding about 50 and 37 spaces respectively and building a temporary new car park of about 80 spaces on land off of Court Street in Old Town. Parking at Archery Road and in Princes Drive would be free for up to three hours and cost £1 for 24 hours thereafter.

These car parks are therefore aimed at both park users and long-stay motorists.

Motorists would have to pay between 30p and £2 to park at Court Street from 30 minutes to four hours and £4.50 for the day and the authority is in discussions with Warwickshire County Council about reducing fees for short stay customers at St Peter’s multi-storey car park to encourage more shoppers to use this site.

The plans are subject to approval from the full council and being granted planning permission.