Strategic Park And Ride Opportunities For The Southampton Area

Executive Summary

January, 02

1. Introduction

1.1. Background to the Study

1.1.1. Peter Brett Associates were commissioned in August 2001 by Hampshire County Council and Southampton City Council to undertake a study of strategic park and ride opportunities for the Southampton area, on behalf of the Southampton Area Transport Strategy (SATS) group of local authorities.

1.2. Aims of the Study

1.2.1. The focus of this study was to produce a strategy for the development of park and ride within the SATS area. Opportunities for park and ride are identified together with the constraints that act as a barrier to successful implementation. The study concludes with options for a way forward and an action plan.

1.2.2. Throughout the study the emphasis has been on park and ride as a strategic transportation measure which can have benefits for the wider south Hampshire area, meeting the travel needs of local communities, increasing travel choice and reducing the impact of the private car on local and sub regional networks.

1.3. Outcomes of the Study

1.3.1. The study identified the key opportunities and constraints through an initial review of the SATS area. It considered relevant policy documents at national, regional and local levels and it confirmed the support for both sustainable transport objectives and specifically park and ride development for the Southampton area.

1.3.2. The study team undertook a comprehensive review of previous park and ride studies, to provide a summary of previous site selection work and preferred options over the last 10 years. Each of the studies (Wootton Jeffreys (1993), Halcrow (1995), MVA (1998)) identified sites on three main corridors and there was some consensus on potential sites in the Nursling, Stoneham and Windhover areas. The key differences were in specific site location, timing of introduction and whether a single, two or three site strategy would be the most effective.

1.3.3. The focus of the study is primarily on bus based park and ride but other modes such as rail and ferry services were also considered. Rail options would need to overcome rail capacity issues on approaches to Southampton, the distance of the Central station from the city centre and funding constraints, therefore they probably represent longer term opportunities. Ferry opportunities from Hythe are also considered to be smaller scale but potentially viable, although impact on local parking and traffic management would need to be addressed.

1.3.4. A detailed site assessment process was then undertaken to identify those sites most suitable for park and ride operations, including new sites not considered by previous studies. 54 sites were identified initially from previous studies, site visits and local knowledge, although this was reduced to 24 sites when sites were rejected for being unavailable due to development, too small, inaccessible or too close to the city centre.

1.3.5. The assessment framework for the remaining 24 sites included the following primary criteria:

1.3.6. Each of the sites on the Eastern, Northern and Western Corridors were comprehensively assessed and the following sites were identified has having the greatest potential:

1.3.7. The suitability of the principal corridors for park and ride services into Southampton were also reviewed. It is important that the choice of an optimum park and ride site also recognises corridor constraints and opportunities, as a good site will not achieve its potential if access to the city centre is severely constrained. The corridor assessment identified the Eastern corridor, via Bursledon Road or Portsmouth Road and Itchen Bridge as having the greatest potential, with appropriate bus priority measures. As the Western corridor approach via Millbrook Road is often considered free flowing there may a perception that car access from this corridor is easy and so park and ride will appear less attractive. The study recognises that the Northern corridor faces the greatest congestion from Bevois Valley into the city centre, but again bus priority measures would need to be implemented to achieve faster journey times.

1.3.8. Following site and corridor assessments the study considered key strategic city centre issues such as levels of parking provision, as this will have real impact on the long term viability of park and ride provision. It was noted that much had been done to reduce city centre commuter parking, for example, but the City Council has limited control on parking as it operates only 45% of off street parking. Therefore the local authorities have only limited opportunity to influence parking demand through pricing strategies.

1.3.9. The study report concludes with an assessment of the overall park and ride strategy and recommendations for further action and scheme development.

1.4. The Way Forward

1.4.1. Immediate action:

1.4.2. Work to be completed before the first park and ride site is implemented

1.4.3. Implementation process for the first park and ride site

1.4.4. Post implementation review - within 12 months

1.4.5. Long term - Developing a City wide park and ride network

1.5. Conclusions

1.5.1. The development of a strategy for park and ride in Southampton is therefore based on the detailed analysis described in the report. From that work the key elements of the strategy are identified:

1.5.2. Applying the strategy suggests that the immediate action required should be:

1.5.3. Implementation of the first site is therefore proposed at Redbridge Lane which would help respond to one of the most urgent parking problems within the SATS area, at the General Hospital. The demand case is thought to be robust for this service.

1.5.4. The next site for implementation is proposed for Windhover subject to planning approval for the development of land within the strategic gap. In practice the timing of this implementation might be quite close to that of Redbridge Lane. This is not perceived to be a problem since these sites target different transport markets.

1.5.5. The need for a third park and ride site can be reviewed in the light of the demand for the Redbridge Lane and Windhover sites. In the short to medium term a two site strategy may be sufficient to meet the transport needs of the city. However the northern site has strategic value should city centre and University bound road traffic increase substantially.