Work gets underway to expand Swan Meadow car park ahead of Saffron Walden Waitrose redevelopment

Uttlesford District Council headquarters on London Road, Saffron Walden.

Uttlesford District Council headquarters on London Road, Saffron Walden. - Credit: Archant

Work to increase the number of parking spaces at Swan Meadow car park in Saffron Walden got underway today (Tuesday).

The scheme to expand the capacity within the current footprint of the car park involves the removal of some vegetation and the reconfiguration of parking bays so that more can be included. When complete, the car park will accommodate 420 spaces and 10 disabled bays – providing in the region of an additional 40 spaces in total.

The capacity of the car park will not be affected while the work is ongoing and the project is expected to take up to two months to complete.

It is hoped the extra capacity will help lessen the impact on car parking provision when the Waitrose redevelopment begins in the New Year. The 294-space car park at Fairycroft Road will be out of use while the store redevelopment takes place.

Cllr Susan Barker, Uttlesford District Council’s cabinet member for environmental services, said: “I am pleased to see that work has started to expand the capacity at Swan Meadow car park – it is a step forward and begins to address the issue of where people will park when Waitrose begins work on its store extension.

“Following surveys of Swan Meadow car park we know there are 100 spaces still available at peak times, notably on a Saturday.

“The council is committed to working with Waitrose, Saffron Walden Town Council and the Town Team to explore other options.”

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As part of the planning application, Waitrose is required to run a shuttle bus service to and from the Swan Meadow car park during the store redevelopment, expected to get underway in February. The shuttle bus will run on a constant loop, seven days a week, with hours to be confirmed according to demand.

Directional signs will be introduced to inform motorists of where the alternative car park facilities will be, while Waitrose and Uttlesford District Council will be working together to introduce an information leaflet with a map highlighting the parking locations in the town.