Taxi drivers’ traffic fears over station parking area
SNARL-UPS could happen around a redeveloped Ashford International Station because not enough room is being made for traffic.
A taxi drivers’ group has warned that there are only three spaces on a joint bus and taxi rank in present plans and roundabouts will be too small to deal with volumes of traffic.
Ashford Borough Council stressed that the scheme is still under public consultation and the plans are subject to change.
Sue Whybrow of Ashford Independent Taxi Drivers said: “The small roundabouts seem incapable of dealing with the intended flow of traffic.
“There is not enough room to accommodate all the traffic that is proposed.”
Mrs Whybrow made her comments in a letter to consultants Optimum, who are overseeing the changes.
Her letter said that on the entrance to the domestic part of the station there were only three spaces on a joint rank for buses and taxis.
She wrote: “Where are buses and extra taxis to be accom- modated while they wait for spaces?”
Mrs Whybrow said: “All these vehicles will be exiting the station at one small roundabout and meet the park and ride bus service and cars from new developments at Newtown and South Ashford.
“To the right is another roundabout where the traffic will have to fight with the traffic travelling to and from the town and exiting the Ashford Designer Outlet and the Asda supermarket.”
Sta- tion is going through an extensive revamp, with the first two phases including a new glazed station entrance, an improved forecourt area, landscaping and improved cycling and pedestrian access.
The overall cost is not yet finalised but phase three is estimated at up to £2.8 million and involves work on the station approaches and road layout.
This will start next spring and be completed by spring 2011.
A progress report on station works by Optimum Consultancy was presented to Ashford’s Joint Transportation Board last month.
An Ashford Borough Council spokesman said: “We have had feedback from taxi drivers, and we value their input and those from others in the consultation.
“But these are initial plans and they are subject to change. Full formal consultation also takes place by early February.”
Road layout at the International and domestic stations at Ashford