Park and Riders ‘arle’ the priority!
From Monday 13 May Gloucestershire County Council will be making it easier for park and riders to travel into Cheltenham.
Gloucestershire County Council is leading the way nationally by introducing ground breaking technology to manage use of the park and ride site at Arle Court. The park & ride service at Arle Court is an important and well used service that helps ease congestion and improves air quality in Cheltenham.
The site has 576 parking spaces, but people wanting to park and ride regularly find it difficult to find a space due to motorists parking for free and then walking off site to their place of work, rather than paying to use the bus service into Cheltenham town centre.
From Monday 13 May, bus users will be asked to register their car registration number at one of the two touchscreen machines on site. The machines will provide a reusable ticket with a printed QR code; once on the bus, and after paying the driver, the user will just need to scan their ticket on the QR code reader to qualify for free parking.
If the ticket isn’t scanned on the bus, the user will be issued with a fine. The new system also applies to the 99 bus service linking Cheltenham and Gloucester hospitals. For people who want to park at the site but not use the bus service; a maximum of 150 parking spaces will be available and a parking charge of £6 per day and £3 after 1pm will apply.
Users will be able to book a parking space up to one week in advance, but once the 150 capacity limit is reached the MiPermit system will prevent any further bookings. To book and pay for one of the available 150 spaces; drivers will need to use the MiPermit cashless payment system which will be available from 6 May, either online at www.mipermit.com and or as an app at the Apple and Play stores.
Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “Using Arle Court Park & Ride is an easy way to visit Cheltenham town centre and help reduce traffic congestion. These improvements will help to address concerns about parking by people working nearby as well as freeing up much needed spaces for park & ride bus users.
“Our recent bid to central government for funding to upgrade junction 10 on the M5 includes extra spaces at Arle Court to support our vision to help people travel around Cheltenham.”
Rupert Cox, Managing Director for Stagecoach West, said: “This change will mean more and more people will be able to use Arle Court Park & Ride as a convenient and cost effective way of getting into central Cheltenham. The Park & Ride bus service features high specification Gold buses with leather seats, free wifi and great value fares.”
Kathryn Pulham, Finance Director for Pulham & Sons (Coaches) Ltd, said: “We are pleased to be working with Gloucestershire County Council to implement the new systems at Arle Court Park & Ride which is used by NHS staff and members of the public on the 99 service. We hope the new arrangements will free up the required spaces to encourage more people to use the 99 to Cheltenham and Gloucester hospitals.”
Further information about the changes at Arle Court Park & Ride is available at www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/arlecourt