Commuters driving round in circles on the streets of St Annes for a parking space could soon be a thing of the past, according to one councillor.
Coun Edward Nash, from St Annes on the Sea Town Council, says negotiations are under way to get the company which owns the town’s underused multi-storey car park to operate at its full capacity.
Currently only two floors of the five storey car park are operational, and it is hoped businesses in the town centre will get on board with plans to have areas of the building contracted out for their workers’ use.
At present many commuters park in residential streets near the centre of St Annes, meaning the people who live there have to park away from their own homes.
Coun Nash said: “The ideal solution is all the office workers have contracted parking because they cruise around and it’s like kerb crawling here sometimes.
“We’ve got an all-round problem and yet we’ve got a major asset there in the multi-storey car park with three floors unused, and our thoughts at the moment is to encourage the owner to improve it.”
The issue was discussed at a meeting of the town council’s policy and resources committee on Tuesday, and councillors are now in the early stages of negotiation with the car park’s Northern Irish owners the Conway Group to offer out contracts to businesses in the town for their employees to park there.
It is then hoped it would make it viable to open the unused floors of the building.
The plans have been welcomed by St Annes Chamber of Trade, which has been campaigning for a solution to the town’s parking problems.
The organisation has circulated a petition for a number of measures to improve the parking experience’ for drivers in St Annes, including extending on-street time limits from one hour to two.
Arnold Sumner, its co-ordinator, said: “This would be a wonderful idea.
“We would like to free up a lot more parking in St Annes in accordance with our petition.
“The parking policies we’ve got are just driving people out of St Annes, that isn’t helping the high street.”
Despite repeated attempts, no-one from the Conway Group was available for comment.