Concerns over 'personal' questions in park and ride survey
QUESTIONS have been raised over a council survey about a new park and ride which asks about sexual orientation and religion.
The questions have been called "intrusive and unnecessary" but the county council said such questions are used for equality purposes.
Some 8,000 Gloucester people have been asked for their views on the new multi-million pound Elmbridge transport plan.
The major scheme will provide 1,000 park-and-ride spaces and a transport interchange at one of the county's busiest roundabouts at a cost of £16.5million.
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Longlevens resident Dave Bennett, from Brooklands Park, said: "It is intrusive and completely unnecessary.
"Why does it matter what your faith or sexual orientation or even your gender is just to use a park and ride?
"I'm at a loss as to why this information is needed."
A spokeswoman for Gloucestershire County Council said: "Collecting equality information allows the council to ensure it is delivering its services fairly, equally and appropriately to all groups.
"A key part of the Equality Act 2010 places a requirement on the council to ensure that it is aware of the needs of the people who use our services.
"When we run consultation events, equality monitoring helps us to determine if we are reaching people from all walks of life in order to gain a representative view of people's opinion.
"If anyone is uncomfortable answering these questions, they can choose to not respond."
The third consultation event for the plans took place at Longlevens Library on Wednesday.
Andrew Hieron, design team leader at Gloucestershire Highways, said: "We have distributed 8,000 leaflets and this is the third of 10 consultation events."
Hucclecote Jim Beeley, who works at Gloucestershire College, said: "There's a real need for this park and ride but I'm not entirely sure about the location.
"It is a good idea because the traffic into the city centre is horrendous."