Sir George had a meeting at the House of Commons with South West Trains, at which he raised again progress with increasing car parking capacity at the four South West Trains stations in his constituency. “There was some good news on Overton and Grateley, with a useful progress report on Whitchurch and Andover.” The position as Sir George sees it at each station is as follows.
At Grateley station, South West Trains plan to provide 120 new spaces on the north side of the line by the end of August. A pre-planning application to Test Valley Borough Council is imminent, and the project is half way through the Network Rail review process. “There is real concern at Grateley as local residents are finding it increasingly difficult to live with the growing volume of cars parked near their homes. A number of commuters are also getting notices pinned on their windscreen. I very much hope that this particular project can be brought to fruition quickly and I know that Test Valley Borough Council have been as helpful as possible.”
At Overton, good progress is being made following discussions with De la Rue. An extra 100 car parking spaces should be provided by the end of August. “An extra site has been made available, and it looks as if this particular project is well on the way to completion.”
At Andover station, South West Trains are doing a feasibility study on the existing car park, which is already in their ownership. They are looking at a multi-storey solution, which would provide 200+ car parking spaces. “South West Trains explained to me that the business case at Andover has to stack up, and I explained to them that I was ready to intervene if I could usefully do so, particularly if there are some financial issues that need addressing. This project is clearly not as far advanced as the other two”
At Whitchurch, South West Trains are appointing a designer to take forward this project to use land to the north of the station, and he will start work in January. Again, they are looking at the feasibility of providing an extra 100 spaces north of the line, on land that is not currently in their ownership.
“South West Trains recognise that many people would like to travel off-peak, but the absence of car parking spaces at the stations prevents them from so doing. I was encouraged to hear that they attach priority to increasing the car parking capacity, and I will help them in whatever way I can”.