Preston's 'temporary' markets car park to remain open - with new tariffs.

A temporary car park, opened in Preston city centre more than a year ago, is to continue at least for another 12 months.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 3:45 pm
The car park is on land where the old indoor market and its multi-storey once stood.

And drivers will be able to leave their vehicles on the site of the former indoor market hall for longer than the current 90-minute maximum.

Council bosses have agreed to a budget increase of £16,000 for the running of the site for another year.

They have also decided to lift the time restriction after motorists expressed a desire to park there longer.

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New tariffs announced for longer opening.

"It became clear that car park users wanted to stay longer than the 90 minutes maximum stay, perhaps combining a leisure activity with their shopping experience," says a council report.

The site opened at the end of January 2020, slightly later than originally planned, and was only expected to be is use for around a year.

It is on land where the old market hall and the adjacent multi-storey car park stood.

Officers say that in the current financial year it is only expected to break even.

The report says: "The ability to generate income, brought about by the delayed opening of the car park, has been compounded by the lockdowns that have been imposed during 2020/21 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The predicted operational income for the car park has therefore not been realised.

"In line with any new car park, it took a period of time for the market surface car park to become established and it was becoming reasonably well used prior to the first lockdown in March 2020.

"The car park provides a good value, centrally located facility that, outside of the lockdown periods, has proved popular with shoppers attending the indoor and covered markets, together with other businesses in the area.

"The car park will at least break even this financial year, despite the impacts of the lockdowns."

The current tariffs are 60p for each 30-minute stay up to a maximum of 90 minutes (£1.80). Those rates will stay in place, with addition time costing £2.20 up to two hours, £3.70 up to four hours, £5 for up to 12 hours and £8 for up to 24 hours. An overnight stay will cost £3.

The council report adds that the site "has provided a useful, good value and centrally located facility for customers.

"If allowed to operate for a longer period of time then it will also continue to relieve and prevent congestion and provide convenient surface level parking close to the city centre at competitive rates to future customers."