Taxi driv­ers’ traf­fic fears over sta­tion park­ing area

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Sam Len­non slen­non@thek­m­group.co.uk

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.”

Ash­ford In­ter­na­tional

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.

Fi­nalised

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.”

PD1658959

Road lay­out at the In­ter­na­tional and do­mes­tic sta­tions at Ash­ford

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