Leamington Spa Station Travel Plan
Leamington Spa is a mainline station with regular services calling at the station serving a wide variety of destinations. Key destinations include London, Oxford, Birmingham, Stratford-on-Avon, Manchester and Bournemouth.
Need for a Travel Plan
The number of people choosing to travel by rail has increased which has led to increased demand for all types of facilities, especially car parking facilities at rail stations. Average weekday footfall at Leamington Spa station has increased by nearly 25% between 2004 and 2008, and this upward trend is likely to continue. It is essential that passengers are encouraged to access the station using more sustainable modes where possible.
Pedestrian facilities: The key pedestrian routes to and from Leamington Spa town centre are of generally acceptable quality. It is noted that the route via the subway is likely to deter some people from using this route due to personal safety issues. Visitors arriving at the station may find if difficult to navigate their way into the town centre, as part of the travel plan, a preferred pedestrian route into the town centre will be adopted and an appropriate signing strategy implemented. Small improvements to the key pedestrian route (e.g improved lighting) would make a real difference to the quality of the favoured pedestrian route.
Parking facilities: There is currently a 150 space car park available at the station for rail users. This car park operates to capacity, especially during the working week and many users choose to park on local streets where possible. There is a formal taxi rank within the station forecourt, however this is often oversubscribed and would benefit from alterations to reduce conflict with other station users. There is a need to encourage car sharing at the station.
Cycle facilities: There are approximately 100 cycle stands available for use at Leamington Station, which are used to capacity during the week. It is acknowledged that safety and security for cycle parking in the station forecourt is an issue and there is a need to introduce more long stay, secure cycle parking within the station area overall.
Bus Facilities: Service number 68 calls at Leamington Station. Using this service passengers can get to Leamington town centre in less than five minutes. In addition the number 68 serves a number of places in the local area including Cubbington, Lillington , Warwick, Hatton Park, Hampton magna and Warwick Parkway.
Description of the process
While a number of the objectives involve improvements that will be implemented by Warwickshire County Council (e.g. improving signing for cyclists and pedestrians, minor works proposals), Chiltern Railways and Network Rail are crucial to deliver improvements such as the station forecourt development and helping to encourage car sharing to the station. It is essential that local stakeholders are involved in the delivery of the Travel Plan as a whole in order to ensure successful delivery of the key objectives.
In relation to wider public engagement, the continued promotion of sustainable travel options (e.g. Leamington cycle map) will continue, in addition marketing of improved facilities will help to ensure the objectives of the Travel Plan are met.
Warwickshire County Council will work with Chiltern Railways to tailor marketing initiatives which target existing rail users at Leamington Station as well as members of the public who do not currently travel by train, examples include billboard advertising to advertise competitive fares and the promotion of reduced price parking charges for those choosing to car share.
Action Plan highlights
- Encourage car sharing via the promotion of 'three for free' - free car parking if three of more people arrive in the same car.
- Provision of additional cycle parking
- Expand the shared taxi scheme, dependent on success.
- In the longer term, Station forecourt redevelopment to include the following:
- Bus interchange and the provision of new stops
- Dedicated long term secure cycle parking facilities
- Pedestrian crossing on Old Warwick Road
- Creation of a new walking route into Leamington Spa from the northern side of the station.
Key lessons learned
One of the biggest lessons learned through the Warwickshire STP was the importance of involving external stakeholders (e.g. town societies / cycle fora. / disabled groups etc) at the earliest possible stages. A good example of this can be shown through the development of the Leamington Spa STP; as part of it's development a number of potential walking and cycling routes were identified to receive signing between the station and town centre.
When the options were presented at a stakeholder workshop, the route that officers thought to be the least convenient and safe was actually favoured by the stakeholders - local knowledge is vital! If consultation had occurred earlier, the stakeholders could have identified routes on which to focus thus saving both time and resources.
Working closely with the TOC / Network Rail on the STP is obviously critical. Of particular importance is the need to coordinate schemes that a Local Authority may deliver within the Highway, with schemes that a TOC / NR may deliver within the railway operational land. For example the location of a Local Authority funded Toucan Crossing sited to serve a new station forecourt highway access, funded by the TOC. Schemes coordinated in this way can be used to demonstrate match funding.
A focus on STAP measures other than those described for the two categories of station below, will have limited influence on achieving STP objectives and targets.
- Focus on modal shift measures for those stations with a high existing footfall (where the footfall is a significant proportion of the potential station catchment).
- Focus on access barrier remediation measures for those stations with a low existing footfall (where the footfall is a small proportion of the potential station catchment).