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Hazel Grove Park and Ride

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JohnEllis
Citizen

JohnEllis
Re: Hazel Grove Park and Ride
29th January 2012 at 3:50PM
This strikes me as one of those ideas that sound good in theory but become less so when you start to look at the practicalities. I'm by no means pouring cold water on it, but I can immediately see some factors which could severely limit its potential success.

If Hazel Grove's railway station was up on the viaduct crossing Macclesfield Road instead of being where it is, or if it didn't take half a lifetime to get up the A6 into Manchester, or sometimes even to Stockport town centre, on the bus, the notion of a park & ride on that land would be, I'd imagine, an unqualified success.

But things are as they are. On a typically miserable and wet morning. are people really going to leave their cars at Melford Road and walk up to the railway station to complete their journey to work?

Or get the bus and experience an even slower journey up the A6 - not only stopping at every bus stop, but also allowing for the occasions (usually in school holidays when there's less traffic flow) when 192's just stop, infuriatingly, at a bus stop for two or three minutes - than they'd have in their cars?

I don't think so. The only way to make such a scheme viable, I suspect, would be to have a free shuttle bus from the park and ride to the station and perhaps on to Stepping Hill for the hospital staff, outpatients and visitors.

And even then, some provision would need to be made for extra capacity on the trains, which can be packed to the doors at peak times as things are at present.

And finally I suspect a very considerable numbet of people who might use a park and ride at Melford Road would come from out of the area, from New Mills, Disley, Poynton, &c. If the scheme required, as it surely would, some degree of public subsidy, part of the cost should surely fall on Derbyshire/High Peak and Cheshire East councils, and not solely on Stockport and Greater Manchester council tax payers.
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Guest
Drifter
Re: Hazel Grove Park and Ride
30th January 2012 at 3:53AM
I still think that utilising some of the constantly empty Mirlees car park would have made for another option to the problem, at least using that site for hospital staff and visitors.

It's only a stones throw away and if required perhaps offer to provide a shuttle service.

It's just within walking distance for most people should they not want to wait for the shuttle bus.

It's a shame in times when land and space are so desperately needed that this car park so near to the hospital has been left unused for so many years now.

I would of thought even renting the land on a short term basis would have given Hazel Grove the much needed parking spaces it so badly requires.

Perhaps however as someone early said in another thread that there are adequate parking spaces in HG but no one wants to pay.

However something desperately needs to be done as the problem not getting any better.
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Guest
Drifter
Re: Hazel Grove Park and Ride
30th January 2012 at 4:13AM
JohnEllis Wrote:

This strikes me as one of those ideas that sound good in theory but become less so when you start to look at the practicalities. I'm by no means pouring cold water on it, but I can immediately see some factors which could severely limit its potential success.

If Hazel Grove's railway station was up on the viaduct crossing Macclesfield Road instead of being where it is, or if it didn't take half a lifetime to get up the A6 into Manchester, or sometimes even to Stockport town centre, on the bus, the notion of a park & ride on that land would be, I'd imagine, an unqualified success.

But things are as they are. On a typically miserable and wet morning. are people really going to leave their cars at Melford Road and walk up to the railway station to complete their journey to work?

Or get the bus and experience an even slower journey up the A6 - not only stopping at every bus stop, but also allowing for the occasions (usually in school holidays when there's less traffic flow) when 192's just stop, infuriatingly, at a bus stop for two or three minutes - than they'd have in their cars?

I don't think so. The only way to make such a scheme viable, I suspect, would be to have a free shuttle bus from the park and ride to the station and perhaps on to Stepping Hill for the hospital staff, outpatients and visitors.

And even then, some provision would need to be made for extra capacity on the trains, which can be packed to the doors at peak times as things are at present.

And finally I suspect a very considerable numbet of people who might use a park and ride at Melford Road would come from out of the area, from New Mills, Disley, Poynton, &c. If the scheme required, as it surely would, some degree of public subsidy, part of the cost should surely fall on Derbyshire/High Peak and Cheshire East councils, and not solely on Stockport and Greater Manchester council tax payers.


I'm with you John on the fact that it would have a better chance of sucess if the facility was nearer to say the hospital for visitors and staff, however do you not think if this service was provided totally free and if the only other options were to pay to park at the hospital or adhere to the supermarkets guidelines and timescales, and in as much that most of the Grove is now setup as residents only parking, do you not think some people might suffer the inconvenience and use this facility?

Some people will do anything for free parking..

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A chaste cog
Drifter
Re: Hazel Grove Park and Ride
30th January 2012 at 11:44AM
Hi all,

Thanks for your responses. To clear a few details up - this proposal is going to be funded entirely by private money and will be a bus-based park ride site which utilises the existing, regular 192 service. In this respect it is very rare, as nearly all P&R sites in the UK are funded (at least partly) by public money. It will also put an urban site to beneficial use which has lay dormant for a long period. If planning permission is granted, it is hoped the scheme will be up and running within a year or so.

It is not intended to cater solely for any particular destination (i.e. the hospital), but rather to encourage modal shift to buses from people who already travel by car down the A6, which should have beneficial knock on effects to congestion and the free flow of traffic, generally. The issues raised about localised parking around the hospital are separate, however the new facility will of course open up another travel / parking option to hospital staff / visitors should they wish to use it.

It is anticipated that the largest number of people who will 'shift' to regularly use the service will be individuals who commute to and pay relatively high parking costs in Stockport town centre. It takes around 5 or 6 minutes additional travel time into Stockport on the bus from HG (compared to private car), however the daily costs of using a bus Park and Ride will be substantially cheaper for many.

The existing rail P&R will not be connected in any way to the new facility, but the fact that the railway station P&R is well used indicates there is an excess of demand for this type of service down the A6 corridor.

This was the reason for my original questions about that existing facility, i.e. typically by what time in the morning does the car park fill up and if there is any noticeable drop in demand during non-school term time periods etc? If any of you have been long term users of the facility, how has it changed over recent years and what makes you use it?
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JohnEllis
Citizen

JohnEllis
Re: Hazel Grove Park and Ride
30th January 2012 at 7:53PM, Edit: 31st January 2012 at 8:24AM by JohnEllis
Guest Wrote:

... this proposal is going to be funded entirely by private money and will be a bus-based park ride site which utilises the existing, regular 192 service.
It is anticipated that the largest number of people who will 'shift' to regularly use the service will be individuals who commute to and pay relatively high parking costs in Stockport town centre. It takes around 5 or 6 minutes additional travel time into Stockport on the bus from HG ...
Well, if this is an entirely private venture, I'm sure you'll have a carefully researched business plan which will have looked at the opportunities and risks with a thoroughness which my impressionist conjectures couldn't rival. And I think you're realistic in seeking to appeal to Stockport commuters rather than those heading on into Manchester.

But I still wonder whether car drivers, a notoriously hasty lot, will be willing to foresake the car to chug into Stockport on a bus that can stop to pick up and set down passengers at nearly 20 stops between the Rising Sun and Mersey Square. (You might advise customers that they also have a possibly quicker option of crossing the road to catch BakerBus's 391, 392 and 393 services at the Haddon Road stop. OK, there aren't that many of them, and they may well be pretty full at peak time, as they come from Macc. and Poynton. But they have the advantage of stopping very little after Haddon Road, as most A6 bus passengers let them go by).

However money counts in hard times, and static pay and rising prices surely make the times hard. If your parking charges are considerably less than those in central Stockport, that may well draw punters in. I wonder if Stagecoach would be willing to offer a concessionary fare to passengers producing a car park ticket - if only for, say, the first couple of months of the scheme's operation? That might be an extra incentive for driver/commuters at least to give the idea a go. And it'd be in Stagecoach's interests to invest in the scheme to encourage the new custom. My guess is that the hardest part will be getting drivers to break their usual habit and give the project a try. Get them in, and as long as the experience isn't too dire they may well stick with it.
Guest Wrote:

I still think that utilising some of the constantly empty Mirlees car park would have made for another option to the problem, at least using that site for hospital staff and visitors.
Hadn't thought of that. It's such an obvious idea, once you do think of it, that I can't believe someone hasn't explored it already to deal with the problem of hospital parking. Maybe there's some major snag that we're not aware of.
Guest Wrote:

... do you not think if this service was provided totally free and if the only other options were to pay ...? Some people will do anything for free parking..
Oh, I agree, free is best - at least as long as an unmanned and free car park isn't infested with scallies looking to break into cars! But as this is a private venture, it certainly isn't going to be free.

But you seem to be thinking of people parking in the Grove to use local facilities, rather commuters using a "park & ride" to travel further on.I must admit, I've never found a difficulty in finding a free parking spot in the Grove during the day, as long as I've been prepared to walk 150 yards or so; and closer than that if I'm prepared to pay, as there's usually room in the Grove's various small car parks.
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Guest
Drifter
Re: Hazel Grove Park and Ride
30th January 2012 at 7:59PM
JohnEllis Maybe there's some major snag that we're not aware of.[/QUOTE Wrote:



Mirlees re-development into housing and industrial units


Mirlees re-development into housing and industrial units ??

Has been raised on here last year.
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Expert
Drifter
Re: Hazel Grove Park and Ride
30th January 2012 at 9:19PM
Guest Wrote:

Guest Wrote:

So - Kevin Hogg has neatly excluded himself from taking part in the decision making process then!


Not sure what you mean? However I don't agree. I think Kevin has played a big part in trying to sort this problem out.

Surely the idea of putting the space to some use that would benifit the community has to be a good thing. Better that than the notion of a gypsy caravan campsite.

As for makeing the decision surely that rests on more than one persons shoulders.


Maybe I should explain. If you take the time to read Stockport's code of conduct for Councillors (you'll find it here - http://www.stockport.gov.uk/2013/2994/developmentcontrol/37243/codeofconductforcouncillors) you will see that councillors publicly expressing a view about planning proposals prior to being in possession of the facts, as Kevin Hogg appears to have done in his post, should exclude themselves from the decision making process.
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A chaste cog
Drifter
Re: Hazel Grove Park and Ride
31st January 2012 at 11:32AM
Stagecoach are the actual promoters of the scheme and John Ellis is correct to say that a lot of work has gone into forecasting the likely usage of the new facility. Their obvious interest is in seeing increased patronage of the 192 service. Parking at the facility will be free.

The anticipated level to which people will change mode can be estimated by attributing generalised weighted 'costs' to different facets of travel behaviour and comparing them. So a generalised 'cost' might include, for example, inputs for travel time, fare, petrol costs, journey distance, wait time, walk time, car occupancy, parking costs, etc etc. Human behaviour can be mathematised quite accurately in this way when it comes to relatively large groups.

I work for the highways consultancy working on the project and these kind of 'cost' based models are well established and researched, and recommended for use in these kind of exercises by the DfT.

Notwithstanding all this, it doesn't necessarily take a mathematician to point out that if the average cost of parking in Stockport is around 5 everyday, and the cost of using a Park and Ride / bus fare is only 2 per day, then that will be an attractive proposition to many.

Insofar as Cllr Hogg is concerned and the 'pre-application' comments on this proposal, I understand the old rules on planning committee members commenting on potential development schemes have now been relaxed (nationally) and so there should be no conflict of interests there. It was always an ill-thought out rule anyway in my opinion.
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Coleman
Good Citizen

Coleman
Re: Hazel Grove Park and Ride
31st January 2012 at 12:03PM, Edit: 31st January 2012 at 12:45PM by Coleman
Guest Wrote:

Notwithstanding all this, it doesn't necessarily take a mathematician to point out that if the average cost of parking in Stockport is around 5 everyday, and the cost of using a Park and Ride / bus fare is only 2 per day, then that will be an attractive proposition to many.


How does that work? The standard fare for a 192 from HG to Stockport 2.30 one way or 3.70 for a day rider (cheaper then two singles)! So is the 192 fare being lowered or will it be a reduced fare if you park your car in HG?
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A chaste cog
Drifter
Re: Hazel Grove Park and Ride
31st January 2012 at 12:30PM
Apologies, I was simply plucking figures out of the air for the sake of the general point I was making.

The cost of a bus fare 'return' as you rightly say, is 3.70 for a day rider ticket. The average cost of parking in a publicly owned car parking space in Stockport Town Centre is around 3.10 whilst the average cost of parking in a privately owned car parking space is around 8.46. Of course, the cheaper spaces tend to get filled very quickly however.
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