Car Park Survey Results Published to Support Station Hotel Development

A survey on the usage of the Henley train station car park has been carried during June on behalf of Network Rail to support the proposed development of a 100 bedded hotel on the area opposite the train station entrance.

The survey was carried out over 3 days (Wednesday 5, Thursday 6 and Saturday 8 June).  The car parks currently provide a total of 321 spaces. The survey showed the maximum existing demands at any one time was 260 cars (81%) with the peak during the middle of the day with a significant drop-off from the early evening and overnight.  Approximately 65% are rail users with the remaining associated with those visiting the town centre/local businesses or contractor parking.  The coach parking area was also recorded during the survey and showed a maximum of just 1 coach at any point during the survey.

The hotel development would remove 130 existing car park spaces and would re-provide 70 plus 42 additional ones would be reconfigured from other Network Rail land.

In the report, the projected use by hotel guests would be 30-35 through the middle part of the day and between 80-95 overnight weekdays and 40-60 in the middle part of the day and 80-85 overnight on Saturdays.

The car parking provision post development proposed is 303 (a loss of 18 spaces) and 2 spaces for coaches.

The survey was discussed at the Henley Town Council Planning Meeting last night (Tuesday) and afterwards Chair of the Committee and Henley Mayor, Councillor Ken Arlett said, “We will be writing to formally object to the observations made.  The survey was only carried out for 3 days, the current usage is quite high and we don’t agree with the statements about hotel guests leaving first thing in the morning.  A survey was completed 5 years ago that stated it only 15% of the spaces were used.  In just five years, this has increased three-fold and although they have stated only 18 spaces will be lost they have not accounted for extra required for the hotel guests.”

Ken and County Councillor Stefan Gawrysiak had a meeting with Sue Cooper. Leader of South Oxfordshire District Council and David Rouane, Cabinet Member for the Environment on Friday to look at the Greys Road and Kings Road car parks.  They saw first hand the cars going round and round the car parks.  They also inspected the dreadful toilets in Greys Road which were due to refurbished in 2014.  SODC make £700K from the car parks each year.  Ken has asked to see the accounts and where the money is being spent and said that money should be reinvested in them.  He has also raised why the new paying machines don’t stop those people who are feeding the meters (many who work in the centre of town) by recognising their number plates and not allowing them to purchase another ticket.

What do you think?  Would a new 100 bed hotel bring the footfall we need to the town to help the retailers?  With the new Gardiner Place retail space open next year and more homes being built, should the infrastructure of our car parks not be invested in first?  Leave your comments below.

6 comments
  1. EJF says:

    Survey carried out in August. Many people on holiday. How very convenient for a ‘low usage’ result.
    Hope someone points this out to the planning people

    Reply
  2. Geoff Walsh says:

    I have lived in Wyndale Close for 10 years and support the totally the campaign to kill this lunatic idea of building a 100 bed hotel on the Henley Station car park. I am grateful to the Mayor of Henley, His Worship Cllr Arlett, as well as other Town Councillors for his/their support which is much supported. Within yards of this proposed development is the Imperial Hotel which I believe is owned by a retired GP who lives in Remenham. For the entire 25 years I have lived in Henley, I cannot remember that hotel ever open its doors to paying guests yet I have seen substantial work being done to it. We do not need another hotel. Certainly not on our Station car park based on rigged survey results. During Regatta, hey presto only a few weeks after Network Rail’s supposed survey (I use the Station most days and have seen no evidence of it taking place at all), the car park was full/pverflowing. The car park was full today and there were 5 coaches ….. errm could be because Henley is a tourist attraction …. AND is is now holiday season ????. Neither Network Rail nor GWR can be trusted – these are greed machines that can ruin communities, they have already started by forcing our beloved independent business Tubbies Diner to close its doors by deliberately inflating the rent. I ask everyone in our lovely town to rally to our cause please, many thanks Geoff Walsh

    Reply
  3. Colin Lacey says:

    I for one am in favour of it. Henley needs some accommodation. I recently had relatives staying and we couldn’t put them up since one is disabled (and we have steps to the house). The nearest suitable accommodation was Reading. Get people into the town and it might help keep some of these shops open

    Reply
  4. Joanna Cary says:

    Any accurate survey needs to take in parking throughout the town. Current pricing means this car park is not part of the mix, which is clearly daft. But if Henley is not to be short-changed, all parking provision should be looked at when this application is considered.

    Reply

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