Published: 00:04, 26 January 2019
The Wincheap park and ride site will become one of Kent’s biggest electric charging bay providers if plans for its major expansion are rubber-stamped.
Currently offering 600 regular spaces for city commuters and visitors, the car park will significantly grow in size to 870.
A tenth of those bays will be devoted to electric cars, with customers being encouraged to top up their vehicle’s charge while they use the bus service.
The huge provision of 86 charging bays comes after the number of registered plug-in vehicles in the Canterbury district increased by 47% in just 12 months, to 273.
Designed alongside plans for a new A2 off-slip and relief road through the neighbouring industrial estate, the park and ride expansion will result in the loss of allotments and a floodplain behind B&M Bargains and Pets at Home.
Launched in 1991, the service is a key aspect the city council wants to improve. The current bus terminal in Ten Perch Road, which launched in 1991, would be scrapped and buses would instead pick up and drop off passengers on a new road in the car park site.
A planning application for the authority’s proposals has been submitted to Canterbury City Council’s planning team.
Cllr Ben Fitter-Harding, who has been overseeing the council’s ANPR roll-out across the district, is excited about the electric vision for Wincheap.
“Bluewater has about eight charging points but we’ll have 10 times that,” he said.
“It’ll definitely be our biggest provision of electric spaces and it’ll be nice to deliver on our pledges to make a big package of improvements.
“I believe that for Canterbury to remain successful, you need a mixture of parking options.
“Expanding the park and ride is a fantastic part of that puzzle. At £3.50 per day, it is more affordable than city centre parking and is ideal for lengthy stays.”
As well as having more car spaces, the park and ride will include 11 motorhome bays, extra capacity for cycle storage and a new terminal building.
The northern extension of the car park will be on a flood risk zone due its close proximity to the River Stour. A detailed flood risk assessment has been compiled and will be scrutinised by planning officers.