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Alma Road Car Park

The Windsor and Eton Parking Strategy

The W 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 conclude:

"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... 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.

Our Conclusions
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.

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