There are still “significant challenges” in the quest to open a new long-stay car park in Bingham – eight years after a report said more space was needed.
Rushcliffe Borough Council says there is a “long-held ambition” to open a new car park in Bingham.
Rushcliffe Borough Council’s parking strategy in 2015 identified a need for
more car parking – but eight years later more space has not been found.
The council says it is now “imperative” that short-term options are explored to “provide parking relief in the town centre”.
Rushcliffe Borough Councillors discussed the issue at a cabinet meeting on September 12.
The authority’s report says one site owned by Bingham Town Council and identified for parking is near Bingham railway station and Butt Field.
The plans have been through the pre-application planning process where Network Rail “expressed concerns about the increased foot traffic over the pedestrian level crossing” near the proposed car park.
But Rushcliffe Borough Council says if the Moor Lane crossing was closed, it would have an impact on pedestrians and cyclists who use it.
Council documents stated: “Network Rail’s opposition to development at this location remains a significant risk. Without support from Network Rail, it is highly unlikely that planning permission would be obtained.”
At the meeting, councillors were asked to “recognise the challenges presented by Network Rail’s current lack of support for the scheme and the delay this presents to delivering a long stay car park at the preferred site”.
Councillors agreed at the meeting to set up a Bingham Car Park Strategy Group to tackle the problem.
The borough council currently owns and operates three public town centre car
parks in Bingham, with combined spaces of 165.
There are more spaces at the Market Place operated by Nottinghamshire County Council.
In 2022, Bingham Town Council asked Rushcliffe Borough Council for support for the car park project.
The borough council provided £25,000 funding in addition to £50,000 which Bignham allocated.
Cllr Rob Inglis (Con) said the new strategy group would be a “way forward”.
He said: “What is clear is that significant challenges with key stakeholders need to be overcome, especially Network Rail.
“There is no easy solution or answer and there are many hurdles to overcome.”
Cllr Abby Brennan (Con) said it was a “complex issue”.
She added: “We are now entering an era of positive cooperation with all the stakeholders.
“That gives us an opportunity to move forward with this issue.”
Cllr Ted Birch (Rushcliffe Ind) said he is set to bring a motion to the full council meeting on September 21 on the issue.
He said: “The Conservatives could have utterly failed to fix Bingham’s parking problems in the past ten years.
“If they were so serious about solving the problem, why didn’t they do something in 2019 when they had majorities on Rushcliffe Borough Council, Nottinghamshire County Council and Bingham Town Council?
“Our motion offers a far better way forward for the new car park project.
“If the Conservatives were serious about solving Bingham’s car park crisis, they’d take over the project and pull out all the stops to get it over the line.”