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Building on the success of the current temporary Park & Ride service from Dorchester Town Football Club, the district council is now looking at setting up a permanent facility to meet growing demand.
The preferred site would be based at Monkey’s Jump roundabout (near McDonald's). The alternative site considered would be south of Stadium Roundabout.
The proposal is part of a long term strategy to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality by encouraging commuters and other long stay visitors to park on the edge of town. At the same time the scheme would support the local economy by increasing short stay car parking space for shoppers and visitors in Dorchester town centre.
The proposals follow an in-depth study which considered 20 potential Park & Ride sites around the town. The study identified Monkey’s Jump and the Stadium Roundabout as the possible options, with Monkey’s Jump offering several major advantages. As well as capacity for up to 950 cars the site also has space for toilet facilities and bike lockers. It would be linked to a cycle lane into town.
In addition, the Monkey’s Jump site has the shortest journey times, on average 25% less than the Stadium Roundabout site, regardless of the direction of travel into Dorchester. It would also cost around 40% less to develop.
Leader of West Dorset District Council, Cllr Robert Gould, said:
“Our long term aim is to reduce traffic in Dorchester town centre and the Park & Ride scheme is an effective way of achieving this. We’re really pleased with the success of the temporary service and want to make sure we can keep up with the increasing demand for spaces. The proposed new scheme would be better for commuters and better for local businesses.”
The new Park & Ride would be developed in two phases; the first for around 400 cars and opening late 2013.
The district council is now consulting local town and parish councils and the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce on the proposal. It is also inviting local people to submit comments before coming to a final decision.
To read the full reports and give your views visit www.dorsetforyou.com/parkandride. The reports can also be viewed at the district council’s reception at Stratton House. The consultation closes on 28 April 2011.