Sunday, 3 August 2008

Newbury Parking and Congestion

Newbury is a town almost perpetually plagued by traffic congestion. Some relief was gained by the opening in 1998 of the (in)famous Newbury Bypass, after its televised battles with 'tree people', and tunnel dwellers, amongst other protestors.

However, rises in through traffic, pedestrianisation of the town centre, limitations on access at some junctions, and considerable building work, have all conspired to almost return the roads to their previous levels of congestion.

Currently plans are under way to build a massive new development of shops, flats, and parking in the 'Park Way' are of town, with some parking areas already dug for archeological research (particularly over the area behind 'Jack of Newbury's' house in Northbrook Street. Whether or not the actual development goes ahead will, it seems, depend on the way the UK's economy goes . . .

The council has also chosen this time to change some of the town's other parking areas from 'pay and display' to ticket-operated barriers. This seems to be reducing parking spaces (as additional blockades are being constructed to allow access to private parking areas) and has also led to the removal of much of Newbury's motorcycle parking bays. Another bay (as a car park has closed) has been lost to the cinema development.

The council's advice is that bikes parked that are not causing obstructions, but not in marked bays, are OK.

There is still bike parking in the centre, and by the canal edge, in the 'Wharf' car park near the Museum. Another bay is within the Kennet Centre multi-storey; here the advice from the council is avoid the barriers.

Pics above show the pedestrianised town centre one lunchtime, and the traffic 'flow' just a few yards away.


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