It’s a rail problem at Great Bedwyn
Plans to increase car parking at Bedwyn Station are causing more tension between commuters and residents.
First Great Western says there are 17 car parking spaces at the station and it has submitted an application to Wiltshire Council to increase the total to 40 by creating 23 additional bays.
The new spaces would be built on disused land between the railway line and the road and would include a disabled bay.
The proposals have been welcomed by Bedwyn Trains Passenger Group.
Chairman Steve Smith said: “We are delighted that there are plans for new parking spaces. Obviously we welcome anything that will improve the station.
“There are good days and bad days for parking and at the moment it hasn’t been too bad but at other times it does cause a problem.”
However, opposition is mounting from residents in bungalows at The Knapp opposite the station, who have been battling for years to stop railway commuters parking outside their homes, because they say new car park would only make the problem worse.
Jan Thornton, from the Knapp Residents’ Association, said: “People in The Knapp are very unhappy about it. There are some major discrepancies in the application that need to be corrected.
“There are 25 spaces at the front of the station, not 17 as the application says, and eight cars already park on the road which gives a total of 33 spaces.
“If there is nose-first parking cars will be reversing out into traffic and people whizz down this road, the hazard that this would cause is farcical. We’ve already got enough cars down here. We nearly have as many cars down here as Swindon station car park.
“Wiltshire Council is trying to make Bedwyn a sustainable transport hub but we can’t even sustain what we already have. It’s important but they need to find a proper car park.”
The application also outlines plans to provide a new ticket machine and bike shelter, which have already been put in place.
A First Great Western spokesman said: “Planning consent is a further step towards providing the increased parking we, and our customers want to see.”
The planning application is due to be discussed by the parish council this evening.