Parking set to be banned under new-look market

View of the revamped Preston Fish market canopy
View of the revamped Preston Fish market canopy
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Motorists look set to be banned from parking their cars under the market canopies in the centre of Preston.

Parking is currently allowed in the space in the evenings and on Sundays, but council bosses say it blocks paths for pedestrians, creates litter and causes problems for stallholders.

The Markets Quarter is a multi-million pound development and the vision for the area - restoring the canopies and building a new market hall, cinema and leisure complex - is to create a “positive environment” for the people of Preston.

Leaders say cars parked under the canopies do not form part of the vision, and propose to take on a private parking enforcement contractor to stop people leaving their cars.

It is hoped removing the option of parking will help protect the restoration work on the Fish Market canopy, and will also help prevent damage to the larger canopy, currently undergoing a facelift.

If the move is agreed next week by the council’s cabinet, leaders say it will also help stop other issues created from the parking, such as damage to trestle tables, litter left by drivers, plus oil and fluid leaks.

Vehicles parked overnight can cause stallholders difficulties the following morning when setting up their stalls.

Coun Robert Boswell, cabinet member for community and environment, said: “The removal of parking under the market canopies ensures a safer and cleaner environment for market traders and their customers.

“It will also help prevent unnecessary damage to the newly restored columns and also to market stall trestle tables.

“Off street parking is available in the evenings and Sundays in the locality along with public car parks such as the Market Hall car park.”

A report to the cabinet said, at times, drivers start to arrive and park before all the traders have cleared away, and when approached by market staff some can become “abusive and refuse to move their vehicles”.

If the ban is brought in, signs will be put up to warn drivers.

Council chiefs said they would not receive any money generated from fines imposed by the contractors, and said the ban would not apply to vehicles owned by those trading on car boot or flea market days.