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Park and Ride Schemes: Coastal Areas

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many park and ride schemes operate in English seaside towns; where such schemes are located; what recent assessment he has made of the viability of such schemes; what the average public subsidy provided for such schemes in 2008 was; and if he will make a statement. (260005)

The Department for Transport does not hold central data on park and ride sites located in seaside towns. Local authorities are responsible for funding most park and ride schemes, mainly through the integrated transport block, which the Department allocates to support local transport plans (LTPs). The funding is for local authorities to invest in transport capital works, including park and ride, according to their local plans and priorities. It totals £576 million for the 2008-09 period.

Local authorities also make appropriate assessment of the on-going viability of park and ride schemes. It would not be appropriate to initiate a specific nationwide audit of park and ride schemes on top of the other audit and reporting processes Government require from local authorities.

The Department does provide funding for major transport projects of over £5 million. In 2008, one major scheme in a coastal town for which there was a park and ride element received £16.2 million of Government funding. However only a small proportion of that amount would have been dedicated to the park and ride element.

Park and ride schemes play an important part in helping to tackle congestion in many localities. They are one of a range of policy tools suggested by the full guidance on the second local transport plans (2006 to 2011), published in December 2004 and shortly due to be revised for the next planning round.