New parking restrictions in Worden Park are set to be enforced from the start of next month.
Free parking in the main car park was reduced from three hours to 90 minutes back in July when the overspill section was closed for resurfacing.
But the repairs have been delayed because of the scale of the work which is now known to be necessary. The overspill spaces have since been reopened at weekends to accommodate visitors to the park until that work gets underway.
A meeting of South Ribble Borough Council heard that the new waiting restrictions have not yet been enforced – and so nobody has been fined for breaching them. But members were told that the car park will be patrolled “from the beginning of October”.
The reduced waiting times are designed to keep spaces available while the overall capacity is reduced by the works.
Earlier in the summer, Buckshaw and Worden ward councillor Alan Ogilvie warned that the temporary closure of the overspill risked causing chaos on the surrounding residential roads if it was not completed by September – because many of the spaces are used by Runshaw College students who have been issued with council permits to park there.
Cabinet member for the environment, Sue Jones, said that she had heard of “inventive students” approaching residents and asking if they could park on their driveways.
Cllr Ogilvie said that the temporary signage installed to advise of the reduced waiting times was confusing, because the normal three-hour restriction had been left visible.
“In July, I was asking for a completion date – but now I find myself asking for a start date,” he added.
Councillors heard that the signage would be rectified – but that the authority was unable to confirm when the works would begin. When they do, the overspill car park will be fully closed, even at the weekend. It is not known how long the repairs will take.
In a statement issued after the meeting, Cllr Jones said: “The works for the overspill car park at Worden Park are due to be tendered over the next few weeks. A timescale for completion will then will be dependent upon weather and other factors.
“We previously hoped that work would begin at the end of this month. However, changes were made following consideration of workload and the resources available for delivery. Once the work has been completed, the council will make a decision over how it is to be used going forward.
“We want Worden Park to continue to be a high-quality facility that is safe and visitor-friendly and the improvements to the car park will benefit all of our visitors and residents who love coming to the park.