Billericay Station multi-storey car park ‘uneccessary’ after Covid

Billericay Railway station

Article by Poppie Webster: A huge multi-storey car park set to be built at Billericay train station is "unnecessary"... with the existing car park "never full", says a resident.

The train station, off Radford Way, is set to have more than 700 spaces under plans which have been given the go ahead.

The project will see a second layer added onto the existing car park.

But Philip Blows, who lives in Billericay, says although the works were necessary before Covid-19, he’s questioned if they should still go ahead with so many working from home. Philip, 44, said:

“Pre-Covid I could see that expanding the car park would be a great idea. It used to be full most days. Over lockdown it was, of course, empty. But now the car park we have currently doesn’t seem to be ever full. So it seems weird they aren’t pausing it, stepping back and thinking the world has changed and people are working from home. Let’s wait and see if there is a demand for it. Now is the time when people will be going back, if at all. It has picked up but I don’t think it will get a lot busier.”

Councillor Anthony Hedley, of the Billericay West ward, has insisted the car park is not just used by commuters.

The current car park has 388 spaces, which is set to be expanded to 785. He added:

“The nearest council car park is over subscribed with annual ticket holders who use the trains to get to London. There is also an inadequate level of parking for customers and staff from businesses that don’t have a provision for parking in and around the high street. Residents have also contacted us regularly complaining about parking on residential roads within the surrounding areas of the station. I do, however, understand the normal behaviour of people’s working habits have changed, but I don’t think at this stage anyone understands whether it’s permanent. I also think it’s necessary to do all we can to improve people’s car parking in Billericay, particularly in close proximity to the high street to help support these businesses and the people who use them.”

A Greater Anglia spokesperson, said:

“We are currently reviewing our plans for Billericay station car park, taking into account the condition of the existing car park and passenger number projections.”

Article by Poppie Webster, The Echo