I am disappointed that the latest Design and Access Statement for the new railway station in Kenilworth still indicates little or no planning in respect of dealing with the anticipated parking problems in and around the adjacent residential areas, on both sides of the track.
At the public exhibition about the new station, held in October, the main concerns voiced by residents were to do with parking and traffic congestion, yet in this latest statement there is still no clear indication of what, if any, plans are in place to deal with these problems.
I live on the east of the railway line where we already experience numerous problems with parked cars on pavements and blocked carriageways at the junction of Farmer Ward Road and Lime Grove, immediately adjacent to the footpath bridge. This creates dangerous, limiting conditions, and there are frequently near misses as two cars try to pass on what is effectively a single lane, and turning on to or off the main road is difficult. At times gaining access to my own gate can be a problem.
There will be direct pedestrian access via the public footpath from Farmer Ward Road to the railway station, so let’s be realistic about this. Travelling to the station via Warwick Road and Waverley Road drivers will experience delays caused by high traffic levels; via Priory Road there are two pedestrian crossings and at peak times the added hazard of children on their way to school; and via Station Road drivers are locked in to the one way system – the alternative is to go down Farmer Ward Road. It’s human nature to take the easiest route, especially if you’re in a hurry, so which route do you think will prove most popular?
There is no provision at all in the station planning documents to mitigate the problems of people parking on Farmer Ward Road and the surrounding streets. In the Updated Design and Access Statement, revised 16 December 2014, it says “parking on public roads in the area will be monitored and managed as appropriate” and the Transport Assessment states “the traffic impact at the site is minimal and no detrimental effect to … the (local road) network is experienced”. It also states that “in addition, there will be provision for a second access point directly onto the footpath from Farmer Ward Road, which will link to the station...”.
Does the council seriously believe that with two pedestrian access points from Farmer Ward Road there will be “no detrimental effect”?
On the east side of the tracks there will be an impact on Farmer Ward Road, Ebourne Close, Lime Grove, Laburnum Avenue, Ash Drive – in fact the entire residential area within easy walking distance of the new station is at risk of becoming a giant car park. Residents on the west side of the railway will experience exactly the same problems.
It would be extremely helpful if the council could indicate what plans they do have as the statement “parking … will be monitored and managed as appropriate” is not remotely informative and tells local residents nothing in real terms. This issue needs to be tackled now, not later when the community is swamped by cars.
Ann Hunt, address supplied