To consider the proposed decision of the Cabinet Member to endorse the principles of the Canterbury District Transport plan
80. Canterbury District Transport Plan
The Committee received a report setting out the proposed decision of the Cabinet Member to endorse the principles of the Canterbury local Transport Strategy. The Chairman explained that the report was returned to the Committee despite having been discussed previously owing to a number of administrative errors that, whilst not substantive, could have called in to question the proper consideration of the matter by the Committee.
The Chairman had agreed that three members of the public may speak to the item, Ms Barwick, Mr Hirst and Mr Baker, as well as local member for Canterbury City South West, Mr Vye.
Ms Barwick addressed the committee. She referred to the Car parking strategy to gradually reduce car by the means of parking tariffs to encourage park and ride and sustainable transport, at paragraph 462 of the strategy. As Chairman of the Canterbury Independent Traders Alliance, and representing their views at that time, she held the following:
Finally Ms Barwick urged the Committee to only endorse the transport strategy with a recommendation that reference to city centre parking closures be removed.
Mr Baker addressed the Committee; he particularly referred to the issue of parking at Canterbury West Railway Station. He argued that, since the introduction of high speed rail at that location, patronage had increased dramatically placing additional and unsustainable pressure on car parking spaces. He maintained that all 120 available spaces were taken by 10am each day, with approximately 15 regular commuters already parking in the nearby city council car park intended for casual rail users and shoppers. A copy of a petition signed by 49 taxi drivers who also supported an increase in spaces in order that they had a designated waiting area had been distributed before the meeting.
Mr Baker also referred to the findings of an independent consultant who had recommended that 120 parking spaces were needed at that location. He argued that not only was that figure not met, being only 99 currently, but that the City Council intended to reduce that number, citing as evidence the Local Plan which identified both the overflow car park and the city council car ... view the full minutes text for item 80
To receive the report from the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport and Corporate Director for Growth, Environment and Transport and to consider and endorse or make recommendations to the Cabinet Member
(1) The Cabinet Committee received a report of the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport and the Corporate Director of Growth, Environment and Transport which contained information on the Canterbury District Local Plan & Transportation Strategy.
(2) Three members of the public had requested to address the Committee: Debbie Barwick, Chairman of Canterbury Independent Traders Alliance (CITA), Jeremy Baker, a resident of Canterbury and rail commuter and David Hirst, a member of Canterbury City Council (CCC).
(3) Ms Barwick referred to the Car Parking Strategy, para 4.52 of the covering report, and proposals to sell off parking spaces in the city centre and raise parking tariffs. The Strategy earmarked 439 parking spaces for sale, 18% of the total city’s parking spaces. Figures showed a reduction of 1/4m cars into the city centre car parks between 2005 and 2014. Park and Ride figures had gone down by 22% between 2006 and 2013.
(4) Mr Baker stated that the introduction of high speed trains had meant that Canterbury West, which had historically had slow trains to London, now had half hourly peak time trains which took 56 minutes to reach London. This had meant enormous changes to the number of commuters transferring to Canterbury West to take advantage of the improved services. KCC’s own Kent Travel Report 2012 showed that between 2002 and 2012 patronage of Canterbury West had increased by 153%. A study had been carried out for KCC and Southeastern Trains which had concluded that 120 car parking spaces would be needed by this year. Currently there were only 99 spaces for rail users which were always full by 9 o’clock each morning meaning other commuters had to use other car parks meant for shoppers which therefore affected anyone trying to park in the city centre later in the day. KCC’s Rail Action Plan for Kent recognised a need for increased parking spaces at many stations.
(5) CCC’s draft District Local Plan proposed to build an office block on one of the car parks adjacent to the station and housing on the station’s overflow car park. This would result in a loss of more parking spaces, in addition to those mentioned by Ms Barwick. Mr Baker stated that the strategy before the Committee did not address the loss of parking or provision of any additional parking.
(6) Mr Baker then referred to a petition from the taxi drivers at Canterbury West station which he presented to the Chairman.
(7) Mr Hirst introduced himself as a Canterbury City Councillor representing the views of Canterbury residents and local business who had concerns about parking, bus services and traffic. Many of the local traders had raised their concerns with him regarding the gradual closure of city centre car parks and high parking tariffs. Mr Hirst supported the traders request to delete the closures of city centre car parks from the strategy.
(8) Mr Hirst was also referred to car parking issues at the local stations and the petition Mr Baker had presented from the ... view the full minutes text for item 55