Cllr Jon Hubbard

Wiltshire Councillor for Melksham South

Serving the community across Melksham

Melksham councillor Jon Hubbard has blasted the decision of Melksham Town Council to recommend the return of parking for coaches and buses in King Street Car Park as spineless and backward-looking.

The decision taken at a meeting of the Town Council held on Monday 19th August saw Councillors vote to recommend that Wiltshire Council overturns a previous decision to remove the coaches and lorries from the residential area.

Melksham South Councillor Jon Hubbard was absent from the meeting as he was away on holiday but had sent in a written submission asking the council to delay making a decision until alternative sites had been properly addressed and Wiltshire Council have undertaken the transport analysis for the new Campus being built in the town.

Cllr Hubbard has vowed to continue to fight the proposal as it will now be considered by the Community Area Transport Group and then the Area Board before a final decision is taken by Wiltshire Council.

Speaking after the meeting Cllr Hubbard said "I will now do what Melksham Town Council could not be bothered to do and speak again to the local residents and ask how they feel. I still get stopped in the street by people to thank me for helping get rid of the coaches and lorries in the first place, and I don't think they will be happy by this decision.

"It's sad that a decision of this magnitude was taken with out any thought being given to the impact it will have on local residents lives. Melksham Town Council has today failed its residents and Councillors should be ashamed".

Note to Editors: below is the written statement presented by Cllr Hubbard to the meeting on 19th August

STATEMENT FROM CLLR JON HUBBARD RE POSSIBLE COACH PARKING IN KING STREET CAR PARK

The is a suggestion that permission may again be sought for the parking of coaches in King Street Car Park,

I would like to oppose this suggestion and explore the reasons why.

Firstly, the removal of HGVs and PSVs from King Street Car Park came only at the end of a long fought and hard won battle from local residents who lived on the adjoining streets. Unlike virtually all other parking facilities for large vehicles, King Street is surrounded on three sides by residential units all in close proximity.

The blight on local residents lifes from having lorries and coaches parking in King Street was considerable and it would be shameful for this council to support putting even some of these vehicles back into this residential zone.

Secondly there are alternatives. To the best of my knowledge the has been no feasibility study carried out on Lowbourne Car Park, yet this is regularly under utilised. This is a perfectly viable location where coaches could take advantage of short-term parking facilities with out causing distress to residents.

Thirdly, there is about to be a transport viability study undertaken for the Campus development and it is the current stated aim of the Area Board that the campus should provide some provision for coach parking. I know that the SCOB have currently made no such provision but I would remind this council that the final decision on these matters rest with the Area Board and not the SCOB. The transport survey will be looking across the town for suitable parking facilities for coaches and it seems hasteful to rush into a decision now that may prove to be a mistake down the line.

It is right that this council is concerned that there is a lack of coach parking. We are a listening council and we have heard the message that the lack of coach parking is a problem. But we have also heard of the impact of parking those large vehicles in King Street Car Park and the misery it causes to those living in the surrounding areas.

I urge you tonight not to rush into a hasty decision by to instead ask for Lowbourne Car Park to be considered and look with great care at the outcome of the transport viability study which is about to be undertaken.

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Published and promoted by and on behalf of Matt Harding on behalf of Jon Hubbard (Liberal Democrat), 16 St Mary's Place, Chippenham SN15 1EN

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