No parking permits for Runshaw students when Worden Park car park reopens

Runshaw College students will not be given permits for Worden Park’s overspill car park when repairs on it are completed later this year, under proposals to be considered by South Ribble Borough Council.

By Paul Faulkner, Local Democracy Reporter
Monday, 28th September 2020, 12:36 pm
Updated Monday, 28th September 2020, 2:05 pm

The facility has been largely closed for more than a year after its surface began to break up. The authority said that the damage had been caused by overuse and misuse after it started allowing up 100 students to park on the land back in 2016.

The repair work will cost the council £120,000 – and a cabinet meeting heard that the permit system for the college in Leyland is unlikely to be reintroduced once the car park reopens.

Student use of the facility would be restricted to 90-minute stays, matching a new maximum waiting time proposed for all motorists. A revised layout and traffic-calming measures will reduce the number of spaces by 20 to 266, in addition to the 70 available on the main car park.

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Worden Park's overpsill car park is in need of £120,000 of repairs

“The overflow car park, as the name suggests, was never meant to take the amount of traffic that was allowed over last few years,” Cllr Sue Jones, cabinet member for the environment, said at the meeting.

“When the passes were sold to the Runshaw students, it meant that the car park was used on a very regular basis – and we weren’t able to check and maintain [it].”

As the Post revealed earlier this year, there was an explosion in complaints from local residents about illegal parking on residential roads close to Runshaw College in the months after the Worden Park overspill closed.

Roads including Cairndale Drive were pictured lined with cars in spite of daytime restrictions preventing parking, while vehicles were also reported to be pulling up on roads reserved only for residents’ access.

Parking restrictions have been ignored on Cairndale Drive and other roads close to to Runshaw College since the overspill at Worden Park was shut

The results of a public consultation into parking across South Ribble are now being assessed. That proposed a new hour-and-a-half waiting limit on both of Worden Park’s car parks between 9am and 3pm during weekdays in term time.

Cllr Jones added in statement after the meeting: “Anyone will be able to park in the car park during that period, but if the proposal is approved, enforcement action will be taken on those who do not adhere to the time period and guidelines.

“Misuse of the car park at Worden Park has been a longstanding issue, and we hope that any new proposals will ensure that the car park is used for the benefit of park goers only.

“One of the biggest proposals of the consultation was to introduce one hour’s free parking at those car parks which currently incur a charge. We hope, if approved, that this will encourage even more people to come along and enjoy our town and village centres.”

The overspill car park at Worden Park was first closed in June 2019

A spokesperson for Runshaw College said: “We’re proud of our relationship with South Ribble Borough Council and have really enjoyed working with them on the recent Leyland Town Deal, where we are both anchor partners – and we’re always happy to work with them on any community-related areas.”

Buckshaw and Worden ward councillor Alan Ogilvie – who has long raised concerns about the impact of Runshaw-related parking in the area – welcomed the impending works.

However, he warned: “I do have a slight concern that we are proposing to go with the lowest cost [tender bid] and the second-lowest quality score.”

Cllr Ogilvie sought – and received – an assurance that on-site monitoring of the work would be carried out by the council’s officers.

“The report goes into the reason for the problems in the car park – it was all down to the students not driving properly – but personally I think it had a lot more to do with the ground conditions on which the car park was laid,” he added.

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