Somerset

Somerset council considers park-and-ride for two towns

New park-and-ride schemes for Bridgwater and Yeovil have been proposed by Somerset County Council.

The idea has been put forward by the county council as part of its new parking strategy for the next 15 years which aims to improve parking.

But local councils have said park-and-rides are not feasible due to the cost and lack of space for bus lanes.

The strategy was updated as the council will be responsible for enforcing on-street parking in Somerset from June.

'Huge land-take'

Bridgwater town clerk Alan Hurford said: "There have been previous discussions over the years about a park-and-ride provision for Bridgwater.

"Generally it's been associated with the likelihood of bringing in bus lanes put in on the A38 and the A39 but the roads are just not equipped for bus lane provision like they are in the bigger cities."

South Somerset District Council leader Ric Pallister has said a park-and-ride scheme for Yeovil would have a "massive infrastructure cost".

"It's a huge land-take, and as we're seeing in Taunton, it's costing them half a million a year and every time you go there, you wonder what is going on, because it's just not being used," he said.

Taunton's park-and-ride scheme has two car parks at Silk Mills and in Henlade.

The county council is also considering standardising car park fees according to the size and population of a town.

Smaller towns could see a voluntary charge scheme brought in.

Cabinet member David Hall said the policy was in place to "make sure there is the right amount of parking, in the right places" suitable for local needs.

Although the council is taking over from the police to enforce on-street parking, Mr Hall said the council had "no current plans to introduce new on-street car parking charges in any town".

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