A huge new leisure centre opened to the public today at Handy Cross.
The new multi million pound development replaces the magnificent Handy Cross Sports Centre which served Wycombe well for so many years.
Sadly there is no running track at the new leisure centre, however there will be a large supermarket and coach park.
What a shame Wycombe no longer has a one-stop-shop sports centre where track and field activities can take place alongside swimming and the like.
The supermarket will no doubt attract customers but sadly it’s out of the town centre so it means a separate trip by bus or car to go there. I fear it’s an example of planning that’s not joined up.
Then of course there is the new coach park. Only a few years ago Wycombe was given a new bus station in Bridge Street. Now there is a second bus station, or coach park, at Handy Cross.
Is the new coach park an admission that the poor layout of roads in the proximity of Bridge Street and general congestion in the town centre makes it unfeasable for long distances coaches to get to the Bridge Street bus station?
Anyone wanting to use the new coach park will presumably have to travel, possibly by bus, to Handy Cross as Wycombe no longer has a dedicated bus and coach transportation hub in the town centre.
What a mess transport in Wycombe is now!
Wycombe needs a dedicated bus station in the town centre where local bus services link to coaches serving national destinations.
In my opinion it was a waste of money building a second bus/coach station at Handy Cross and the supermarket should have been constructed in the town centre so everyone could access it easily.
If a major retailer had opened in the town centre, complementing the shops already here, it would have provided a welcome boost to the established businesses in the town.
The fragmented approach to shopping, with large out of town retailers, was one of the worst mistakes of 1980’s planning. Yet thirty years later Wycombe is still making those dreadful mistakes.
Will our town ever flourish?
Wycombe may have a new leisure centre, supermarket and coach park but the facilities are all in the wrong places.
The new Handy Cross Development will also bring in the park and ride already located in Cressex.
Money has been spent moving an already established park and ride a few hundred yards to a new location when the same money could have built a new park and ride in West Wycombe, Loudwater or Totteridge.
Instead of building new facilities money has been spent, or some may say wasted, moving an existing facility.
What are the town planners thinking of?
It’s time to look to the future and demolish the bungled development that opened today at Handy Cross. Wycombe deserves better.
What do you think?
*My blogs are published every Tuesday and Friday evening around 8.00pm here on the WycombeToday.com website.