A TRADE chief has welcomed a new operator for a key town centre car park – and plans to broaden its appeal.
Euro Car Parks has taken over the running of the multi-storey block in St George’s Road, St Annes, from operator NCP.
The company has already extended opening hours to 24 hours a day from a previous closure of 6.30pm, and is also to look at re-opening the upper floors, which have been out of use for some years.
Alongside fees ranging from £1 for up to an hour’s parking to £4 for up to 24 hours, season tickets will be available at £400 a year.
John Moxham, chairman of St Annes Chamber of Trade said: “It’s great news. It must be the most under-utilised piece of real estate in town and anything which helps increase its use has to be welcomed, especially in the Christmas season.
“It will provide a boost for the night-time economy as well as potentially being a major aid to easing the long-standing problem of parking congestion.”
Town centre workers claiming free on-street spaces early on weekdays and reducing parking options for shoppers has been highlighted as a problem at recent meetings of the chamber and Mr Moxham hopes the new St George’s rates will have widespread appeal.
He added: “£400 a year fee equates to £8 a week and sounds good value to me. There has been an increasing problem with free spaces all being taken early by town centre workers.”
A Euro Car Parks spokesman said the site has 250 spaces of which only 64 are open for use, adding: “The additional spaces may be open in the future.”