Today brings that rarest of rare events: Mr Montaut making a sensible and understandable suggestion. Here’s his utterance from that rare lucid moment.
We can keep the car park open and redirect people on to existing public transport. This will cut the costs to the council taxpayers while preventing the traffic nightmare that will be caused by completely closing the site. It would also support Thamesdown Transport through these tough times while supporting the administration in delivering promise 43.
Promise 43, for those that have forgotten, is
We will work with bus companies to increase the frequency and hours of operation. We will also work with parish councils to develop good rural transport links and increase overall the number of bus journeys by 13% by 2006 and a further 20% in the following five years.
There’s only one slight flaw in Mr Montaut’s argument. Currently there are no Thamesdown Transport services that pass by the Groundwell Park & Ride car park. The number 17 service does pass very close though, as it loops round Penhill before heading directly into town along Cricklade Road. It seems this isn’t good enough for the campaigners.
As a commuter, normal buses take too long to get to work, particularly for users living in village areas. It would just add to journey times.
Even with a loop round Penhill, would taking a bus service that uses the bus lanes really take longer than driving a car and joining the traffic jam? Is it really the journey time that bothers Ms Spinks, or is it the thought of having to share a bus with residents of one of Swindon’s more maligned estates?