Alma Road Car
and Eton Parking Strategy
S Atkins Report
"More car parks in the town centre
are clearly not the answer..."
The following is extracted
from a four volume report prepared by W S Atkins, Town Planning
Consultants, and commissioned by WMBC, dated October 1997. W S
Atkins have an enviable reputation in this country and abroad
as Town Planning Consultants.
The four volumes should be readily available for public reference
at both York House in Windsor and the Town Hall in Maidenhead.
However, it will not surprise many to hear that they are not
easily obtained. Persistence is the name of the game!
Volume 1 concerns itself with a survey
that W S Atkins undertook in the town centre and contains the
results of these surveys.
W S Atkins concluded that "Almost
two thirds of town centre users would consider using Park and
Ride if only short-term, relatively expensive parking was available
on-street and car parks in the town were regularly full... "
In Volume 2, which concerns itself with
selected Park and Ride Schemes around the country, W S Atkins
"Park and Ride can be used as part
of an overall traffic management strategy. By itself it is not
a solution - it requires controls over the price and availability
of all town centre parking. Within this context it can be useful
at preventing the growth of traffic in town centres."
"There is no need to encourage tourist
coaches to use Park and Ride. These visitors are already arriving
in the town in buses... the Park and Ride site may be useful
as a Coach Park once passengers have alighted, however."
"The current parking regime in Windsor
is not suitable for Park and Ride... ...to create a successful
Park and Ride site greater control over the Town Centre parking
must be exercised by the Borough."
"Policy documents should make clear
the Council's conviction that the current situation of almost
unrestricted access to the town is unsustainable. The future
situation should restrict access by car, with an alternative
method of access provided by the park and Ride schemes."
In Volume 3, page 3.10, W S Atkins report
on capacity and usage of all Car Parks in Windsor. For example,
at the Leisure Centre Car park, of the 227 spaces available,
only 116 are used at peak times. There are therefore always at
least 111 spaces available a short distance from the Alexandra
Gardens Car Park.
Of the total 1277 spaces available at the
time of the report, only 968 where in use at the peak time. (3.00pm)
leaving almost 300 spaces available.
These four reports are substantial
and the above represents W S Atkins' conclusions only.
The conclusions of W S Atkins clearly show
that Park and Ride is the sensible long-term option. The concept
works well in other parts of the country such as Oxford and there
are many modern technologies now available that mean that the
need for short journeys by private cars can be reduced in the
short term and almost completely removed in the longer term.
We may be talking a considerable number of years before Windsor
and the surrounding roads return to the traffic levels that the
residents will find acceptable, but to achieve that, our Borough
representatives need to make a giant leap in their thinking and
invest in these new technologies, support those businesses that
are prepared to play their part, and generally change attitudes
towards the car.
More car parks in
the town centre are clearly not the answer.