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Inside Politics with Michael Wilkinson: Two big announcements Gloucester should welcome

By citizenmike  |  Posted: February 26, 2014

Inside Politics with Michael Wilkinson

Comments (8)

TWO big announcements have been made this week which should be warmly welcomed.

Firstly, there’s a £2million plan to redevelop Gloucester railway station and secondly there’s a £1.5million plan to create a new piazza at Gloucester Quays, which will also become home to a new TGI Friday’s diner.

This is tangible proof that Gloucester is being invested in and what a difference it will make.

On Tuesday evening a friend from London joined me here in the city and so it was the perfect opportunity to pick his brains on his first impressions of Gloucester.

There was a huge, overwhelming sense of disappointment with the area around the railway station.

This rings true with so many people that have visited Gloucester for first time and it is testament to the great need to get on with the redevelopment of the railway station, the bus station and delivering the wider King’s Quarter vision.

After that largely disappointing start, my friend walked through the city centre down Westgate Street, completely missing the Cathedral, and down by the prison toward Gloucester Docks.

Signposting tourists to our great attractions has been another burning issue to come out of this talk about a railway station revamp. It was only when I guided my friend to the Cathedral later that evening that he was able to see all its splendour.

So, he arrives at Gloucester Docks. My, oh my, how things change. He said that it looked smart, a nice place to be and had been heavily invested in. Above all ‘it gives you hope for Gloucester’.

A quick shop around the Quays for a discounted lasagne dish, a walk around the pleasant area and a meal and drinks in Dr Fosters ticked all the right boxes.

It is an undeniably nice place to hang out, to bring your friends, to show off Gloucester at it’s best. That’s why the arrival of TGI Friday’s, an unashamedly fun, family restaurant, will sit very comfortably at the Quays.

The plan to turn that ugly car park in front of the Waterways Museum into a stunning piazza with Spanish steps will pave the way for an idyllic cafe culture. I for one can’t wait to don a pair of shades and sip a latte in the pleasant surrounds (if the darned weather changes) or buzz around the glorious markets. Bring it on!

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  • jas37  |  February 27 2014, 11:06PM

    SandraPee., There are 3 or 4 disabled spaces in this car park, (I know where they all located for good reason )many more in the main Docks and Quays car parks. I think you are mistaken if you think your opinion is shared by all disabled people on this one. I know many disabled and elderly people that enjoy the events that take place when this car park is turned into an events venue, many of whom would love to see a permanent, pleasant open Square. Many others that visit the Docks(and visiting/sitting outside the Cafes) are not comfortable and are even unsettled by cars passing close by entering and exiting this car park. I suspect your intentions were well meaning but in this instance it perhaps it would be helpful if you asked views of others rather than making assumptions. Remember, many of us also have family members and friends that are disabled.

  • SandraPee  |  February 27 2014, 10:28PM

    Jas37. 3 disabled parking spaces ? There's a lot more than 3 spaces where disabled people can park there. There's enough public paved areas at the Docks as it is which'' thousands of people can use '' .

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  • jas37  |  February 27 2014, 10:14PM

    Sandrapee, I'm fully aware of that but are you suggesting that this Public square that would potentially benefit and be enjoyed by many thousands of people (including many disabled people) should not be constructed because we would lose 3 disabled parking spaces. Would this not be grossly unfair?

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  • SandraPee  |  February 27 2014, 9:52PM

    Jas37 A hundred meters to an able bodied person is a totally different thing from that experienced by a disabled person .

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  • jas37  |  February 27 2014, 8:08PM

    Yes, it will mean the loss of around 100 parking spaces but surely a quality public square is preferable to this car park, especially when there are two much larger alternative car parks within approximately 100metres - both of which contain a far greater number of disabled spaces than this one.--

  • SELINA30  |  February 27 2014, 1:40PM

    How is a new TGI Friday a political story? No mention of the Food Bank next to the Railway Station?

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  • Beekeeper  |  February 27 2014, 10:58AM

    TGI Friday - could it be the new Golden Egg?

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  • SandraPee  |  February 27 2014, 9:08AM

    Reducing the number of disabled parking options in the Docks is not the best of moves , Michael . Even an ugly car park by the Waterways museum is better for those with limited mobility than none at all . We're supposed to be an equal society, but to ignore the needs of our less mobile visitors and residents is foolish and extremely unfair . We've already lost a lot of parking in the Docks and to reduce more to make way for yet another eating establishment might be attractive to some but at the expense of others ?