Don’t let park & ride be a waste of space
WARD councillors are calling for the Groundwell Park and Ride site to be brought back into use, as it is being wrecked by thieves and vandals.
The town’s park and ride scheme, off Cricklade Road, was mothballed by Swindon Council for being a drain on resources and has never been opened again – despite rumours at one time of a reprieve.
In recent years, residents have pitched alternative uses to the council, including a dog park, and a market to promote traders, although none of these have come into fruition.
Now councillors Joe Tray and Teresa Page (both Lab, Penhill and Upper Stratton) will present a motion at Thursday’s full council meeting, asking Coun Mark Edwards, the cabinet member for finance, to present options to cabinet on the use of the site.
Coun Tray said: “The thing a lot of people have said is ‘What’s going to happen to it?’ It’s a waste of money and resource sat there.
“The people who have paid for it are the taxpayers of Swindon. They’ve paid for it, let’s have a use of it, don’t let it sit there rotting.
“I think we should listen to what other people are saying and see if we can come up with uses for it, temporary or whatever, to give us some examples.
“I have been approached by some youngsters around my way who would love to see it used as a skate park area. Also people have said ‘What about a car boot or farmers’ market?’.
“Let’s get the agreement to use it, clean it and tidy it up and have the conversation with the people of the area about what they would like to see done with it, what ideas they’ve got and see if we can make it happen.”
Coun Tray, a firefighter at Swindon fire station, in Drove Road, said the facility was falling into disrepair.
He said: “It’s only getting worse and worse.
“It’s all fenced around and there’s holes cut in the fence where people have been breaking in.
“Everything there that can be nicked has been nicked, and there’s been fires. I’m also a firefighter and I have attended twice.
“The CCTV cameras are gone. The wiring that supplied them and wires around there have gone because of the value of copper wiring.”
Coun Rod Bluh, the council leader, said: “We’re happy to look at the options. I wouldn’t be happy to narrow it to community use because I think that would be difficult for us financially but we need to see what the various options are, whether commercial or community.
“That site is not much use to anybody at the moment and it does need to be looked at what we can do with it.”
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