Free Preston city centre car parks to begin charging from today
A number of free city centre car parks in Preston will begin charging from today.
New parking charges came into affect this morning (October 28) for the Registration Office and Lancashire Archives car parks in Bow Lane.
Charges will also be introduced for weekend parking at neighbouring Arthur Street car park next to County Hall from Saturday (November 2).
Lancashire County Council said the charging structure for the three car parks will be consistent with other county council parking provision in the city centre.
New 'pay and display' signs and machines had been installed at the three car parks last week, ahead of the introduction of the charges.
Use of the Registration Office and Lancashire Archives car parks will continue to be restricted to visitors and people using those services.
The Arthur Street car park had been reserved for council staff and visitors during the week, but had been free for public use at weekends.
But from Saturday (November 2), weekend visitors using the 136-space car park will have to pay £1.60 for up to two hours, £3.20 for no more than four hours or £4.00 to permit them to stay all day.
But the new machines are not equipped to accept contactless payments.
The Council said people can either pay with cash or use their phone to pay via the Ring Go app.
Lancashire County Council’s cabinet approved the plan to introduce charges at the Arthur Street car park in August.
County Cllr Keith Iddon, the authority’s member for highways, told a cabinet meeting that the Council had been "shooting itself in the foot" by not charging for the car park at weekends.
"We are shooting ourselves in the foot, because we charge for car parking [elsewhere] in the city, but this one is free - so it makes common sense to me to charge people to park there," he said.
The Council said the decision was made to introduce fees due to the council experiencing increased costs and service demand pressures in maintaining the car park.