That the report of the Community and Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s Commuter Parking Task and Finish Group be noted and its recommendations be accepted.
The Executive considered a report setting out the management response to the recommendations from the Commuter Parking Task and Finish Group following its review into the problem of commuter parking on residential streets.
Norman Jorgensen, Chairman of the Community and Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee, provided some background to the report and stated that the Committee appreciated that there would not be the resources available to deal with all the recommendations immediately. The expectation was that the Executive would develop a plan to review the recommendations and that was the outcome the Committee was hoping for.
Councillor Jorgensen did however feel that some of the recommendations could be taken forward quickly including: working with rail companies to further improve cycle storage at stations; the opportunity to introduce buses to take people to and from Twyford station; the promotion of wider discussions and action regarding car parking and bus access to Twyford Station; and consideration of the creation of a car park on land on the Woodley side of Earley Station using sustainable travel CIL or S106 contributions.
The Executive Member for Planning and Highways commented that the Council had built a number of park and rides and were intending to continue to expand those and one of his ambitions was to look at multi-destination park and rides which would take people to and from stations. Consideration was also being given to improving turning circles at stations in order that the buses could serve the stations. Councillor Kaiser felt it was an excellent report but wanted to reiterate that, in the context of the savings that the Council had to make, some of the recommendations may be challenging. A programme would be put together over the next 3-4 months to address them.
The Leader of Council felt it would be helpful if the Community and Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee could put the recommendations into a priority order as any plan for future work would need to concentrate on the high priority items first and asked that the Chairman take this back to the Committee.
Following a query by Councillor Pollock it was confirmed that, with the advent of Crossrail, it was expected that usage of Twyford Station would increase by around 15% and therefore it was recognised that car parking would be a growing problem and there were alternatives that would be explored.
Because the majority of future development will be happening in the south of the Borough and consideration needs to be given to the provision of access to Wokingham town centre the Executive Member for Environment felt that the report didn’t refer to the initiatives for providing a transport interchange at Wokingham Station and the high quality buses in the area. The report also seemed to suggest that train users were only going to London whereas on the Waterloo line people were travelling to other stations. Consequently all destinations, times and capacity should be considered and addressed.
RESOLVED: That the report of the Community and Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s Commuter Parking Task and Finish Group be noted and its recommendations be accepted.