Traffic, access and parking
It is recognised that it will be vitally important to get the issues of traffic, access and parking right for the new developments at Abbey Fields Swimming Pool, Castle Farm Recreation Centre and the Kenilworth Wardens.
Warwick District Council and Wardens have already commissioned research into the existing patterns of vehicle movements on the current sites. The new designs have also been compared to similar examples elsewhere in the country.
This preliminary work suggests that the road network will be able to cope well with the increased amount of traffic to be expected from the new developments.
Further work will be done to investigate traffic issues more closely before the planning application is submitted. Councillors are being kept fully informed of the work being undertaken.
A Green Travel Plan will be developed to encourage as many people as possible to come to the facilities on foot or by bike. This Plan will also be influenced by the Management Plan for Abbey Fields, and whether cycling should be allowed in Abbey Fields.
Vehicular access to the Castle Farm Recreation Centre and to Kenilworth Wardens has been examined closely. 5 possible routes were originally identified. Further research has eliminated 3 of these routes on the grounds of ecological impact, impact on the sensitive archaeological remains, impact on the Green Belt and prohibitive cost.
The two remaining options are as follows:
- Kenilworth Wardens enter and leave their site via the stub road at the end of John o’Gaunt Road. Customers for the Recreation Centre and Scouts and Guides enter and leave from the current entrance in Fishponds Road. There is a footpath and cycle path only to link the two sites across the playing fields.
- All customers for both sites enter and leave via the current entrance in Fishponds Road. Kenilworth Wardens will then access their site from a newly-formed driveway.
There are few opportunities to improve car parking at Abbey Fields Swimming Pool. During busy periods in the summer it would be possible to encourage people to park at Castle Farm to use the swimming pool. However, it is not anticipated that people will use this route in the dark in winter. It is anticipated that the best way to improve access to the Pool is to encourage more green travel.
The Design Team will continue to investigate the best solutions for parking for the Swimming Pool.
At Castle Farm it is planned to significantly increase the parking available on site. In addition, an overflow car park will be provided for busy periods. The car park will include new security features to discourage misuse. The car park will include a drop-off area to improve flows for parents dropping younger people for activities.
The amount of parking to be provided will be re-assessed in accordance with planning standards, to make sure we are providing enough.
Kenilworth Wardens will also be providing a significant car park. The spaces provided will also be assessed against planning standards to ensure there is sufficient provision.
The Council and Wardens will be working closely with local residents to try to prevent kerbside parking outside homes in the area by customers of these facilities.
A successful Green Travel Plan will also reduce the need for parking.