AN UNDER-USED park and ride in Stratford looks set to close.
County council figures for the park and ride at the Rosebird Centre show it is flagging with the facility in Bishopton used by three times as many people.
The park and ride was part of a three-year planning agreement for the Rosebird Centre when it opened in 2012 but there is no requirement for the owners, the Bird Group, to finance the service after that.
Figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats in Stratford show last November 2,489 passengers used the service, which is operated by Johnsons Coaches, with revenue of £1,700, or 70p per passenger. This compared with 8,203 journeys at the Bishopton park and ride, near Stratford Parkway train station, over the same period, generating revenue of £9,700, or £1.18 per passenger.
Lib Dem councillor Kate Rolfe said it would be a ‘tragedy’ if the site closed and said the council needed to do more to promote the service.
She said: “The Northern Park and Ride started slowly and then built up and I think that with more promotion the same could happen at the Rosebird site.
“We must remember that the 2,489 passengers are people who would probably otherwise have driven into the centre of town, many of them down the already overcrowded Shipston Road and Clopton Bridge.”
Coun Ian Fradgley accused the district and county councils of being short-sighted because they turned down an option to buy land at the site for a park and ride.
He said: “Now they presumably have to pay to use the site if they want to keep the Park and Ride going.
“Closing this park and ride will just add yet more traffic in the town centre. I thought the Conservatives realised that Stratford has a traffic problem, so what on earth are they playing at?
“We will be putting forward proposals at the district council’s budget asking for a small sum to be put aside to examine whether cheaper ways of running the park and ride can be found, to keep the service open.”
Coun Lynda Organ, district council finance chief, said: “Following a review of the trial Warwickshire County Council considered that the Rosebird Park and Ride was not sufficiently well used to merit the use of council tax to fund it and chose not to take over the service.”
No one from Warwickshire County Council had responded as we went to print.