A ST ANNES traders’ chief has welcomed a new operator for a key town centre car park – and ambitious plans to broaden its appeal.
Euro Car Parks has taken over the running of the multi-storey block in St George’s Road from long-time operator NCP.
Already, the company has extended the opening hours to 24 hours a day from a previous daily closure of 6.30pm, and is also to look at possibly re-opening the upper floors, which have been out of use for some years.
Alongside fees ranging from £1 for up to an hour’s parking to £4 for up to 24 hours, season tickets will be available at £400 a year and John Moxham, chairman of St Annes Chamber of Trade said: “It’s great news. That must be the most under-utilised piece of real estate in town and anything that helps increase its use has to be welcomed, especially in this Christmas trade season.
“The fact it will be open round the clock has to be a good thing and will provide a boost for the night-time economy as well as potentially being a major aid to easing the long-standing problem of parking congestion.”
Town centre workers claiming free on-street spaces early on weekdays and reducing parking options for shoppers has been highlighted as a problem at recent meetings of the Chamber and Mr Moxham hopes the new St George’s rates will have widespread appeal.
“£400 a year fee equates to just £8 a week and sounds like good value to me,” said Mr Moxham. “There has been an increasing problem with free spaces all being taken early by town centre workers and it would be good to see that situation alleviated. But the main thing is to get this car park in widespread use.”
A Euro Car Parks spokesman said the site has 250 spaces of which only 64 are open for use, adding: “The additional spaces may be open in the future.”