Plans to build a new level of car park decking in Marlow may be back on the table – just in time to stop the town from becoming a ‘motorised jungle’.

Marlow Town Council initially proposed an extra level to the busy car park on Riley Road in November 2019 to alleviate long-term parking issues.

The plans comprised an upper deck to the existing car park, 150 spaces, two entrances, stairs and a lift, to be built behind the Sainsbury’s supermarket – creating the equivalent of a multi-storey facility.

However, with the formation of the new unitary authority Buckinghamshire Council in April 2020, replacing Wycombe District Council, and the many stressors of the COVID-19 pandemic, the proposal has not progressed beyond its initial form.

Speaking at a Marlow Town Council meeting on April 16, Councillor Neil Marshall, who also sits on Buckinghamshire Council, said he thought the plans were “worth resurrecting” due to local concern that “car parks (in Marlow) are extensively full these days”.

Cllr Marshall said: “It was COVID that put a stopper on (the plans) and Buckinghamshire Council is, shall we say, not flush with cash.

“But we are losing trade because people cannot get parked.”

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He said local charity The Marlow Society had asked the council to reconsider the plans, and suggested that property developer Sorbon Estates might be “interested in helping to finance it”.

Back in January, residents called for an empty unit in the Globe Business Park to be turned into a new car park rather than a warehouse facility amid fears that more commuters parking on residential streets would put an unmanageable strain on the town’s parking infrastructure.

Marlow resident Colin McCulloch told the Free Press that he was deeply concerned about the high street turning into a “motorised jungle” and criticised the local council for “not seeming to care about congestion, pollution and parking problems”.

However, Steven Broadbent, Cabinet Member for Transport at Buckinghamshire Council, denied the existence of parking issues in the town at the time, insisting that only 65 to 70 per cent of Marlow’s 832 designated parking spaces are used on average. 

He said the figures were “similar to pre-COVID days” and showed that the parking trend in Marlow is “at present, remaining steady”.