Monday, April 17, 2006


Winchester Southern Park & Ride

Hampshire County Council have announced that they plan to build a new Park & Ride site on the south side of Winchester, near to Junction 11 of the M3. I'm pleased by this news. A southern Park & Ride will serve one of the most important commuter routes into the city and reduce car travel not only into the city centre but also to the big employers along Romsey Road (the hospital, prison and university).

Brian Collin and I, together with County Cllr Charlotte Bailey, recently met with officers from the county's Environment Department to be briefed on the P&R proposals. We were also joined at the meeting by Parish Councillors from both Olivers Battery and Badger Farm.

Most of the discussion centred on the choice of site. The county have identified eight possible sites, but realistically the alternatives seem to come down to Site 2, the southeast side of the Bushfield roundabout, and Site 3, alongside the M3 on the old Tarmac construction site. Site 2 would be accessed from Badger Farm Road and Otterbourne Road, while Site 3 would have access from the Hockley roundabout. The county officers had a clear preference for Site 2, which is on a field covered with infill from the Twyford cutting. Site 3, which I still incline to favour, was considered to be too visible from surrounding countryside areas including St Catherine's Hill. If Site 2 is chosen, the design will be for an 800 space car park accessed via a traffic contolled junction on Badger Farm Road and a left in/left out junction on Otterbourne Road.

Of particular relevance to Olivers Battery and Badger Farm is the question of traffic. Hopefully, the P&R will reduce the overall amount of traffic on Badger Farm Road, but it seems likely that the bus lane will be extended to include much more of the road. Any such proposal will need to address the issue of the Olivers Battery Road South/Badger Farm Road junction!

The county is planning staffed exhibitions in late May, one of which should be in Badger Farm Community Centre. This will be a useful opportunity for anyone interested to take a look at the options and make sure their views are fed back into the process.
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