Epping Forest Council plans Double Decker car park

Parking in town centres is one of the biggest problems for motorists, especially if you live in a commuter area where a huge amount of motorists attempt to find cheap or even free parking each day. Many local councils have struggled to provide parking facilities in busy town centres for both commuters and shoppers, and so instead they have charged high prices for all day parking in order to deter commuters and encourage them to find other ways to get to their local train station.

For example, at Epping station it now costs commuters £6 a day to park their vehicle, which has led to many parking further away in Bakers Lane and Cottis Lane which is only £2.80. However, there are now concerns that there is no longer any room for shoppers to park in the area, and so local businesses are calling upon the council to do something so that their trade doesn’t suffer. Therefore, Epping Forest council are now considering building upon the current car park so that it becomes a ‘double decker’ car park that provides twice the amount of spaces.

Discussing the idea with the cabinet last night, Epping Forest District Council’s highways portfolio holder, Gary Waller, said: “One possibility that we’ve started to look at is to increase the capacity of one of the car parks by constructing an additional deck above ground level. I find the idea quite an attractive one because it seeks to help visitors and shoppers by increasing the supply of spaces rather than limiting demand by inflating the cost of parking. A new parking deck would also represent a very visible demonstration of the council’s determination to benefit its residents and businesses.”

However, Mr Waller admitted that the council may have trouble funding the new project, and Epping Forest Chamber of Commerce Chairman John Price also pointed out: “Extra spaces are always useful because we have not got enough as it is. The only real problem would be the view from St John’s Road, but it’s going to relieve parking in St John’s Road anyway. Maybe there could be short term parking downstairs and long term parking upstairs, for example.” Councils across the UK are often faced with the problem of parking, and raising the costs often angers motorists who already have to pay for car insurance, fuel and road tax, so alternative ideas will always be welcomed.

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