Friday, May 26, 2017

News: Forge Island parking plan

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Plans to increase the number of car parking spaces to over 500 on Forge Island in Rotherham town centre are being progressed as the former Tesco store bites the dust.

The site on the River Don was purchased by Rotherham Council for around £1.5m earlier this year. Ultimately it is set to play a key role as a catalyst for further regeneration of the town. The wider development incorporating Forge Island and adjacent sites could deliver a 25,000 sq ft cinema, 20,000 sq ft hotel and 6,000 sq ft of restaurants and bars. It has an estimated project value of £43.5m.

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In the meantime, as local demolition firm, Demex, take down the retail store that was vacated in 2014, the site is set to continue as a car park, offering mixed short stay, long stay, free and permit parking.

If approved, new plans would enable the Council to operate a car park on the whole of the 4.23 acre site, previously the Rotherham Forge & Rolling Mills, on a temporary basis for three years.

The site currently has 309 spaces, including 70 spaces in the "red zone" which is free for two hours in the week. All parking is completely free on weekends. Plans show space for an extra 235 spaces on the site of the old store.

With the buildings demolished, the proposed development will utilise two vehicular accesses to the site. The current access is from the bridge to Market Street, but there is a proposal for a new entrance to the car park via a junction with Bridge Street and Forge Lane, close to Rotherham Central Station.

Originally constructed to form a delivery / service yard access for the supermarket, the access road will be operated via a one way system and not as an exit.

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A transport assessment submitted with the plans from Rotherham Council concludes that: "The proposed temporary car park is not expected to result in any material impact upon the highway network and certainly would not have any severe cumulative impact."

The plans show that the car park is fulfilling a need as a short stay car park as the majority of users make use of the free parking offer. Some 509 of the 774 users on average per weekday. It is not clear in the plans how many spaces will remain in the "red zone" and be free for short stays.

Changes were made to parking charges in Rotherham town centre in 2016 to help fill a deficit in the Council's parking services budget. Councillors wanted an option to to increase charges on the basis of free (off street) parking being provided on Saturdays but this was not acceded to.

The Council's planning board recently approved plans from Tesco to introduce parking restrictions at its Extra store on the other side of town.

Images: Tom Austen


1 comments:

Cllr. Nigel Simpson,  May 26, 2017 at 3:01 PM  

To get higher quality shopping in the town centre we have to be brave and have 3 hours free parking -
time to shop and have lunch or see a movie then eat...

There is now 3 hours "free" parking in the centre with Tesco (as long as you spend a fiver on a top up shop)

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