Plans for nearly 4,000 new parking spaces at Watford Junction will bring more congestion and pollution to the area, according to critics.
The Green Party reacted with disappointment to the plans laid out by Watford Borough Council which will see the number of parking spaces in the Watford Junction area greatly expanded.
The Council’s masterplan for the Watford Junction development outlines the provision for 3,771 additional parking spaces covering an area of approximately 177,000 square metres, although it does state the blueprint should only be viewed as a flexible “design guide”.
“More car parks means more cars being brought into Watford. More cars in Watford means more congestion, more air pollution, and less space for bicycles and buses,” said Su Murray, chairman of the Watford Green Party.
“At a time when an increasing number of people are leaving their cars behind in favour of walking, cycling, and public transport, the council has put forward plans to expand the number of car parking spaces.
“It’s time that the council took its responsibility for sustainable development seriously, and published a sustainable and more detailed transport plan for public consultation before going ahead with these developments.”
However Mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill said the plans would not merely about creating more parking but also designed to make traffic around the junction flow more smoothly.
“We have to be pragmatic about what is happening in our town. The station is already very busy,” she said.
“We would be mad to build this development without making more parking provision.
“It is not just about parking: it is about traffic management around the whole of the junction. It is a well-thought out plan to ease congestion.”
The plan proposes two multi-level car parks located immediately next to the station, one to the east and one to the west.
As well as the extensive car parking provision, the masterplan lays out a design which includes 2,777 residential units as well as sizable employment, retail, education and community facilities.
Ms Murray residents to respond to the public consultation before it closes on October 3, and to join the Green Party calls for more sustainable transport planning.
The Watford Green Party will be holding a special meeting on Monday September 26 to discuss a response to the consultation, and welcome fellow residents to join them to discuss the matter.
If you’d like to attend the meeting, email Su at firstname.lastname@example.org