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Blur bassist offers land to ease shortage of station parking at Kingham
6:30pm Tuesday 23rd October 2012 in News
ROCK star Alex James could hold the key to easing demand for car parking spaces at Kingham’s railway station.
The station’s 140-space car park is often full by mid-morning, with some passengers resorting to parking on the verges of the B4450 near the station entrance.
Oxfordshire County Council marked double yellow lines along the road two months ago to try to stop the practice.
But Mr James, the bass player in the group Blur, who has also turned his hand to making cheese and writing columns for newspapers, has offered land at his nearby Churchill Heath Farm for a potential overflow car park.
Churchill and Sarsden Parish Council’s minutes from its meeting on September 20 said: “In response to the continuing problems for rail travellers consequent upon the installation of double yellow lines, the land agent for Churchill Heath Farm has approached First Group with a view to using part of the land near the station bridge as an additional parking area.”
Parish council chairman Martin Bradshaw said: “What has been suggested by the people acting for Alex James seems to us to be a sensible thing to try.
“Bearing in mind the difficulties at the station at the moment, the parish council supported that idea, because we can’t see anything else in the offing.
“But I have no idea how it would work. We have seen no detail.”
John Ellis, the chairman of the Cotswold Line Promotion Group, which represents passengers on the route, said: “I was aware it had been suggested but I’m not sure how far it has progressed.
“We’re generally encouraging more car parking capacity at stations on the line because passenger traffic continues to grow.
“If people feel they can’t get car parking spaces, they’re less likely to use the railway.”
An extension to the car park at Charlbury station opened at the start of the month and work is under way on 191 spaces at Han-borough, where parking on verges on the A4095 is a major problem.
A spokesman for train operator First Great Western said: “We’re aware of the pressures on Kingham’s car park and the potential for expansion is excellent news.
“However, this is not something that can happen during the course of the current franchise.”
The firm’s franchise to operate the route ends next July.
Alex James’s representatives said they had “nothing to add” to what was said at the parish council meeting.