Proposals unveiled for park and ride facility

Fieldforcarpark

Cheshire East Council has unveiled initial proposals for a park and ride facility in Handforth.

Draft plans have been presented for a car park including 105 standard parking bays, 10 disabled parking bays, 8 motor bike bays and 36 bicycle lockers in a field adjacent to Handforth Youth Centre.

The bus turning circle would, in part, use the existing entrance to Old Road and a new pedestrian crossing would allow pedestrian access from the car park to the pavement on the south side of Station Road.

Roger Small, Chair of Handforth Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group (HNPSG), said "Provision of a station car park in the small field to the east of Handforth Youth Centre forms an integral part of Policy H17 of the Handforth Neighbourhood Plan – a plan adopted by Cheshire East Council in July 2018. It also forms an integral part of an application to Access for All for the provision of a pair of lifts at the station – an application announced as successful in April 2019.

In order to achieve adequate footpath width on the south side of Station Road it might become necessary to narrow the carriageway over the railway bridge, a process that would involve the installation of traffic light control.

A significant fraction of the costs of developing the proposed station car park would be met by monies accruing from the development of the Garden Village at Handforth and with the intent of meeting the anticipated parking needs of the new village.

Representatives of Cheshire East Council held a drop-in session for neighbouring residents in Handforth Youth centre on Monday, 10th February, which was intended as a prelude to the submission of a planning application.
It was attended by several parish councillors along with nearby residents.

Speaking about the event, Roger Small said "Residents from Hereford Drive, expressed concerns about loss of privacy, light pollution from the car park, possible antisocial behaviour in the car park, and noise. However, the council representatives suggested that privacy in the rear gardens of Hereford Drive would be preserved by suitable landscaping and tree planting. Light pollution could be minimised by the use of directional, low level lighting. The likelihood of antisocial behaviour could be minimised by the use of CCTV. It was also suggested that noise could be minimised by concentrating the parking of electric vehicles and their charging points in the north east corner of the proposed car park."

There was also some discussion that, separate from the planning application and following the construction of the park and ride facility, it might prove possible to extend the double yellow line system to prevent parking at the southern end of Hall Road outside St Benedict's church. Possible systems for charging for car park use were discussed.

Photo: The site proposed for the Park and Ride facility. The building top left is the Handforth Youth Centre.

Tags:
Handforth, Handforth Station
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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Andrew Thomas
Wednesday 12th February 2020 at 4:00 pm
So where is one expected to ride too? Wilmslow, Manchester or somewhere else?
Richard Burgess
Wednesday 12th February 2020 at 4:01 pm
I’ve never heard of anything more stupid a park and ride in Handforth ,
Were would you go to from Handforth ?.
Howard Piltz
Wednesday 12th February 2020 at 4:06 pm
Congratulations, Handforth, How come you folk get plenty of double yellow lines and now a Park & Ride facility AS WELL ! What has Wilmslow done wrong? We've got bugger-all.
Richard Armstead
Wednesday 12th February 2020 at 5:04 pm
Sounds good to me. A mainline railway station with it's own car park. This must encourage car drivers to use public transport. I thought this was what reducing congestion and pollution and increasing low carbon connectivity was all about?

How about another one in Wilmslow on the site reserved for the unwanted and not needed Wilmslow Business Park and a 3rd in Alderley Edge. Create a 5-10minute shuttle bus service along this corridor and make Wilmslow a car free town centre except for through traffic.

Carbon neutral by 2025 in Cheshire East is a pipedream without some radical solutions.

A word of caution. Traffic light controls on a hump backed bridge will need to be pretty smart to prevent congestion on Station Rd and into Wilmslow road from the other direction. At busy times the existing lights at that junction cause congestion, queuing and increased pollution. I think more traffic lights are unnecessary here and counter productive into the bargain.
Alasdair Carmichael
Wednesday 12th February 2020 at 5:18 pm
It sounds more like a much needed station car park than a park and ride facility. Is a shuttle bus necessary to take people to the station? it would take as long for the shuttle bus to maneuver around the traffic lights on the hump back bridge as it would to walk from the car park to the station. The added congestion of a bus dropping people at the station makes no sense.
Lynne Prescott
Wednesday 12th February 2020 at 5:30 pm
We do need parking at Handforth station as the only public parking near it is too small. This means the parking at Handforth health centre and library, designed for short stay, is always full and parking spreads out into the nearby roads,and other shopper parking, which are really too narrow to support it. We missed an ideal opportunity to build a car park on the old British Legion club which could have given direct access to one platform ( surprise surprise, Jones homes snapped it up for £400k houses). As the article points out, the upcoming NCG village, with over 2000 houses planned on the basis that a significant proportion of owners commuting into Manchester and Wilmslow by public transport (!) will put pressure on Handforth’s existing amenities. Now the only issue is to provide trains to get them on.. ( lets hope the operator of last resort can do better than Northern Rail!)

My only concern is the mention of another set of traffic lights. With the station road junction, another set at Meriton road to accommodate the new estate going up there and at least 3 pedestrian crossings including the one for the school on Station road, the centre of Handforth will be gridlocked
Robert Taylor
Wednesday 12th February 2020 at 6:27 pm
Richard Burgess, agree. Waste of time money and energy. Would also be a waste of time money and energy anywhere near Wilmslow.
Richard Armstead
Wednesday 12th February 2020 at 6:59 pm
Alasdair I didn't say the shuttle service would go to Handforth Station. Buses would travel between the 3 park and ride locations stopping at appropriate points.
Audrey Youngman
Wednesday 12th February 2020 at 7:02 pm
Absolutely stupid. There seems to be a brand of intelligence that nobody understands. Short term answer long term problems.
Pat Langan
Wednesday 12th February 2020 at 7:04 pm
The car park wouldn't be a waste. It would be intended for commuters to Stockport and Manchester and elsewhere. The shuttle bus is intended for people who would eventually be living in the new Handforth village.
Rev. Sevillia
Wednesday 12th February 2020 at 7:35 pm
The commute to Manchester and back from Alderley Edge, or Wilmslow, or Handforth is a REAL problem, now that the 130 bus no longer does that journey.
(It used to be four buses an hour, then one, then none...)
The only way to commute to Manchester is to go by train. All good if you live near a train station, but if you are over a mile away, what do you do? Especially if it is raining or snowing?
All three stations need to have a decent train commuters car park.
To park for the day in Wilmslow, costs £7 and if you arrive after 7.30am, all the spaces are gone.
Why are we spending billions on a high speed railway, when the basic commute to Manchester and back, is more and more impossible, UNLESS you drive in. Not everyone wants to do that, due to the increasing danger on over crowded roads.
Peter Davenport
Wednesday 12th February 2020 at 7:42 pm
What I notice is missing from the thesis is will it be free, and pay with a bus fare.? It wil benefit Handforth, no doubt,
P Davenport but not Wilmslow, or have I missed something?
Carol Shawcross
Wednesday 12th February 2020 at 9:41 pm
That’s a very Important point made by Peter Davenport above....... is this a free park and ride service?
If not, and the cost of all day parking is high, then it would not be used enough and commuters would still park on private roads and walk to the station. If this is the case then forget this idea!
John Harries
Wednesday 12th February 2020 at 10:24 pm
It's a car park! (primarily for the convenience of BR travellers).
Judging by the remarkable 'upgrade' to the Wilmslow Road/Station Road junction last year (or was it 2018....time flies when our local congestion is deliberately exacerbated) I guess CEC must be using the same bunch of planning professional visionaries for this new scheme who thought that one up.
Century plus old hump-back bridge over the main line - within 30M of which on the south side (each side of the station) are two recent residential developments, both with vehicular access points either side of the bridge and now, on the north side, the proposed bus turning circle/parking and pedestrian crossing (and there is another, existing crossing at Hall Road about 50M further along Station Road...) plus inevitable additional traffic feeding from The Sanctury (as yet barely started) residential development/using Hall Road. There will also be significant traffic contribution from the Dean Row Road (another barely started) residential expansion - and it's all coming through a deliberate throttle point over the bridge, where, 100M further on we have the above mentioned junction masterpiece outside the Freemasons Arms!! Yup, that's all going to work just fine.
Locally (over the next 24 months) Wilmslow Road (B5358) will have to handle at least 1000/day additional vehicle movements (much at peak periods) brought about by the residential developments off Sagars Road and there is a recent planning application for a park and ride development at The Hallmark Hotel...
The A555 has already grown traffic density for the B5358 through Handforth - at peak times traffic is bogged down from The Waggon and Horses to the Freemason Arms and I'm sure worse is to come - planning, the asylum's been handed over to the lunatics.
Verna Riding
Thursday 13th February 2020 at 11:47 am
Nothing seems to have been mentioned regarding the inaccessibility of Handforth Station, due to the steps accessing both platforms. Laughable that plans are afoot to provide a Park and Ride facility before spending the money which was approved a couple of years ago to make access easier for the elderly, disabled, parents with children and prams
Verna Riding
Thursday 13th February 2020 at 2:24 pm
I am corrected in that the funding for access to Handforth Station was only a year ago. I am aware that this is a totally separate issue from the current proposal but still feel that my comment makes a valid point
David Smith
Thursday 13th February 2020 at 9:10 pm
I said 20-odd years ago that Tony Blair's idea for a Millennium 'dome' was waste of money and the £1,000,000 million that it cost would have been better spent on decent public lavatories in our town centres or building a large car park at all stations so that travellers can just drive from home to their nearest and go on from there by train. The bigger the demand, the larger the car park and if required a large high-rise multi-storey - parking fee to be included in any rail fare.
In a similar vein, HS2 is not doing anything for the greater need for decent rail travel. For instance - why are all station platforms about 10 inches LOWER than ALL the trains that stop beside them? In the name of disabled access how on earth has this situation been allowed to exist for so long? When Manchester Piccadilly station was renovated years ago how come the platforms were not raised? There is to be a new platform at Leeds station and I wonder if it will be at a height to allow level access into the trains?
I said 20-odd years ago that Tony Blair's idea for a Millennium 'dome' was waste of money and the £1,000,000 million that it cost would have been better spent on decent public lavatories in our town centres or building a large car park at all stations so that travellers can just drive from home to their nearest and go on from there by train. The bigger the demand, the larger the car park and if required a large high-rise multi-storey - parking fee to be included in any rail fare.
In a similar vein, HS2 is not doing anything for the greater need for decent rail travel. For instance - why are all station platforms about 10 inches LOWER than ALL the trains that stop beside them? In the name of disabled access how on earth has this situation been allowed to exist for so long? When Manchester Piccadilly station was renovated years ago how come the platforms were not raised? There is to be a new platform at Leeds station and I wonder if it will be at a height to allow level access into the trains?
PS: the dome was eventually sold - sorry, given away - for a mere £600m.
Pete Taylor
Friday 14th February 2020 at 9:59 am
@David Smith, whilst I agree with your thoughts on HS2 might I remind you that the Millennium dome was a project conceived, and construction commenced, under the John Major government. Michael Heseltine was put in charge of this, because he already had experience of being responsible for the disastrous Liverpool Festival Gardens project. With hindsight Blair might have been better advised to cancel the project but the mood at the time over-ruled that.

I'm not sure how we got there from the Handforth car park but there you go! ;-)
Simon Worthington
Friday 14th February 2020 at 4:03 pm
John Harries. Spot on accurate summary.
Perhaps the green brigade, referrred to elsewhere on this site, will now take a good look at commuting. Surely the believers will now work walking distance from home and not need carparks or trains.
Richard Armstead. Make Wilmslow a car free town apart from through traffic. My thoughts are the opposite. Ban through traffic especially goods vehicles now we are surrounded by bypasses etc.
Graham Peters
Sunday 16th February 2020 at 9:19 am
What a stupid idea! So we have the main arterial route on the A34, and no easy access to the proposed location off the said road!
Either battle through the roundabouts and two sets of traffic lights from Dean Row; or spend an age dribbling through the centre of Handforth from the Lakeland roundabout (that assumes the road is open and not closed due to flooding!)

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