Into city delay
A rail park and ride service that would help ease Bingham’s parking problems would cost £6m.
Nottinghamshire County Council says it is keen to provide the link but the money would have to come from central Government.
The county council’s rail project officer, Mr Jim Bamford, said the earliest date they could possibly secure the money was 2012, but it could take a lot longer.
The plan would be for the Robin Hood rail line that runs from Worksop to Nottingham to be extended to Bingham.
A new park and ride station would be created next to the rail bridge between the Margidunum and Saxondale roundabouts, and carparking spaces would be available for about 500 vehicles.
Mr Bamford said the service would stop there as well as Bingham, Radcliffe and Netherfield.
He said the project was in the county council’s local transport plan.
“The enthusiasm for it is there, the money is not,” he said.
“It continues to be an aspiration for the council and we will keep plugging away with it until we hopefully succeed.”
The chairman of Community Concern in Bingham, Mr Tim Chamberlin, supported the project.
He said long-stay parkers who took up parking spaces in Bingham town centre and then used public transport to get to work in the city would use it.
He said they could look at incorporating a bus park and ride option at the station in addition to the train service.
“To have a new station linked to a park and ride would be terrific,” he said.
“I would welcome provision for people to use public transport conveniently.”
The Mayor of Bingham, Mr Francis Purdue-Horan, was doubtful it would ever go ahead.
“I’m disappointed that there does not appear to be political will to pursue this project,” he said.
“The county council has stated this goal or aspiration for many years. It’s just pie in the sky.”
Mr Purdue-Horan said, if it was built, it would be a tremendous benefit to Bingham and the surrounding area.
The chairman of Bingham Business Club, Mr Adrian Malpass, backed the idea but was also not convinced it would happen.
He said as well as an out-of-town park and ride service he would like to see a smaller park and ride in Bingham itself.
Mr Malpass criticised the county council for claiming it could not find the money for the project.
“They cannot see the big picture,” he said. “They seem to spend their time looking for problems rather than solutions.”