New Shrewsbury park and ride could serve hospital too
A new park and ride off the A5 complete with hotel accommodation could also serve Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, it was revealed today.
Shropshire Council's car parking strategy has been published as part of plans to tackle congestion in and around Shrewsbury.
Talks have been opened with Royal Shrewsbury Hospital to have it included on the route of a new park and ride service.
No specific site has been revealed for a possible new service.
It would operate in tandem with three existing sites currently operated by Arriva – at Bicton Heath Co-op, Meole Brace Retail Park and near the Tesco Extra store at Battlefield.
Councillor Steve Davenport, portfolio holder for highways and transport, said Shrewsbury should model itself on towns like Chester which operates a successful park and ride system and takes traffic out of the town centre.
"Before I started working on this project I didn't even know where the park and ride stops were," he said.
"We should be promoting them and making good use of it. We should be looking at increasing the number of drop off and pick up points to promote clean air.
"I'm thinking about a new park and ride on the bypass with a hotel and things like that. It's going to be a top priority.
"I've also started talks with the hospital about including them. Whether it's for staff or patients, it's something we're going to look at in greater detail."
George Candler, the council's director of place and enterprise, said that to make it a success the buses would need to be more regular.
He added: "They come every 20 minutes now which isn't ideal. In an ideal world it would be every eight minutes but when you increase the frequency, the bigger the cost, so it's something we need to look at with Arriva.
"The park and ride sites need to be upgraded so they offer more in the way of facilities as well. Essentially we want people to park on the outskirts and travel into Shrewsbury."