Gravesend Transport Quarter
The Transport Quarter is a very expensive £75 million scheme centred around Gravesend Railway Station. Gravesham Borough Council has gave the overall scheme 'outline' (in principle) planning permission However, that permission is now time expired. The intention was that the scheme would be delivered in four phases although this now seems somewhat doubtful. Despite this KCC and GBC seem determined to press on with road changes (phase 3) even though these are now pointless and destructive.
The phases are as follows:
Phase 1) changes to traffic circulation and improvements to the area round the Civic Centre. This part of the scheme has already happened and is known as the 'Community Square'.
Phase 2) a huge multi-storey car park between the Somerset Arms and the Railway Station. Phase 2 has received detailed planning permission from Gravesham Borough Council. However, Network Rail has decided not to fund this phase and it now seems unlikely to go ahead for the foreseeable future.
Phase 3) diversion of the main one-way system through the town from the north of the Railway Station (Garrick Row) to the south (Rathmore Road).
Phase 4) an upgraded 'bus interchange' at Garrick Street- an undercroft to the new multi-storey car park to provide additional bus stops (but no ticket office or public wc's).
Phase 2 was to be funded by Network Rail, phase 3 is still to be funded by the Government's Homes and Communities Agency. No funding has been identified for phase 4.
Urban Gravesham says...
The multi-storey car parking element, phase 2, would dominate the entire area and create an unpleasant and downmarket gateway to Gravesend.
The intention of phase 3 is that the removal of through traffic from Garrick Row will improve pedestrian connections between the Railway Station and the bus stops at Garrick Row. However, the unintentional effect of this is that service traffic to Tesco, to the Thamesgate Centre car park, and to the new multi-storey car park (if built), will have to turn round and go through narrow Railway Place (which will loose its loading and disabled parking bays) and up the east side of the new Community Square to get back to the main road system. This will create traffic, noise and fumes in a semi-pedestrianised newly done up area of the town- hardly desirable. It also results in the loss of hundreds of commuter car parking spaces at Rathmore Road
Urban Gravesham has continued to object to individual phases of the scheme when they have come forward as planning applications. We remain hopeful that we can persuade the Council and the various government funding agencies that the overall scheme is a) unnecessary, b) that it is damaging to the character of Gravesend, and that c) it demonstrates very poor value for money.
We would like to see the funding for this ill-thought-through scheme spent in a different way for the good of Gravesend.
Download UG's leaflet on phase 3 of the scheme (handed to KCC Councillors on 19/02/14)
Read Urban Gravesham's letter to KCC Councillors
The multi-storey car park (phase 2)
- 396 car parking spaces in a 6-7 multi-storey building between the Railway Station and Somerset Arms.
- Retail units
- Bus interchange (ie additional bus stops)
- Through traffic (apart from buses and taxis) blocked and diverted to Rathmore Road.
Map showing phase 3 traffic circulation arrangements
Latest news (October 2014)
KCC Councillors finally voted to give planning permission for the phase 3 of the scheme. However, the scheme still has to pass a value for money test before it is given funding. Surely common sense will prevail???