Temporary Preston city centre car park to remain open - and you can stay longer

A temporary car park in Preston city centre will remain in operation for the foreseeable future – and the length of time vehicles can stay will be increased.

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 6:54 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 8:22 pm

The 37-space facility opened last January following the demolition of the old multi-storey market car park off Ringway.

It was intended to offer additional spaces for around a year pending the start of work on a planned leisure and cinema complex on the site.

That scheme, which will also include restaurants and a bowling alley, had been due to get off the ground around now, but has been delayed because of the pandemic.

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The temporary car park on the site of the former multi-storey facility opened in January 2020 (image: Neil Cross)

However, the Post understands that the plans are still in the pipeline – and the development is also set to receive a share of the £20.9m secured by the city from the government’s Towns Fund last week.

In the meantime, the authority has decided that the pop-up car park will continue – and its current maximum 90-minute stay will be removed.

The present tariff of 60 pence per half hour for up to an hour-and-a-half will remain – with motorists to be allowed to park for up to two hours for £2.20, four hours for £3.70 and 12 hours for £5. A 24-hour tariff of £8 will also be introduced.

Preston City Council’s cabinet member for the environment Robert Boswell said of the decision:

The pandemic meant that it has taken a while for its popularity to build

“We’re pleased the temporary market surface car park, accessed from Tenterfield Street, has proved popular with customers over the last year, particularly outside of the lockdown periods. The car park provides good value, centrally-located, short-stay parking for Preston Markets and other nearby businesses.

“Due to the impact of the pandemic, we’re in a position to keep the car park available for longer. By also extending the maximum length of stay the facility is now really convenient for customers.

“The car park currently provides suitable access for essential trips into Preston, and looking to the future as restrictions ease, we hope it’s another parking option as we welcome back visitors to the city centre safely.”

A report accompanying the recommended decision notes that the car park failed to generate the expected level of income last year because of the effects of the pandemic and repeated lockdowns on the number of people coming into the city centre.

As a result of that – and a delayed opening, which meant it was not operational during Christmas 2019 – the facility has not yet recouped the costs of its construction as intended.

However, the car park is forecast to exceed the £16,000 breakeven budget set for 2021/22. The report states that the budget will be “scaled down once

the council has agreed a way forward and [a] date for the development of the site”.