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New Newbury multi storey car park is now open - but causes a row

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The new multi-storey car park between Newbury town centre and the station has opened – and prompted immediate outcry.

“There is no sign to tell anyone they can use the new car park,” said Liberal Democrat spokesperson on highways and planning Tony Vickers (Lib Dem, Wash Common).

“I’ve seen council officers drive in and out but nobody else. Yet it is supposed to be there for rail users as well.

“Possibly it is because the developer and the council, as planning authority, have yet to agree a Parking Management Strategy.

"In that case, it still doesn’t look good if only the council knows about and therefore can use what is presumably a free car park.”

The other issue that Mr Vickers has raised with the council is the lack of any signage for pedestrians.

He said his own son’s family nearly missed their train last week because they found that the temporary route via Mayor’s Lane was closed.

“The only sign about the change seen yesterday was at the station side base of temporary staircase saying “PEDESTRIANS PLEASE USE OTHER FOOTPATH”. No indication which direction to turn,” he said.

“It is yet another example of the council thinking about its own affairs before thinking about the people it serves.”

In a statement to Mr Vickers, the council said it is working with the developer to improve both pedestrian and vehicular signage to and from the station and the new car park.

The council added that the new multi-storey car park does not form part of a formal pedestrian route, although there is nothing to physically stop people from doing so if they wish.

Pedestrian signage from the north side of the station will therefore direct pedestrians along Cheap Street and Westfields can be accessed via Station Road/Bartholomew Street.

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