Drivers take up cheaper town parking

Bonny Street Car Park in Blackpool
Bonny Street Car Park in Blackpool
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Figures released today show town centre car parks are busier following the introduction of cheaper charges.

Blackpool Council slashed prices by more than half at the beginning of June in order to tempt more people to shop in the resort.

Coun John Jones, Blackpool Council

Coun John Jones, Blackpool Council

People can park for up to 10 hours for £3 at weekends during June and July, in 11 car parks. Figures show overall more people are using the car parks, with 442 more cars on Saturday, June 21 compared to Saturday, May 31 before the offer began, and 331 more cars on Sunday, June 22 compared to Sunday, June 1.

Coun John Jones, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We’ve seen some very interesting results from our summer car parking offer so far.

“We’re still studying the numbers and patterns of where people have parked, but the numbers last weekend are up about 50 per cent compared to the weekend before the offer began, which was a half-term weekend.

“The volume of people taking advantage of the offer has increased over the last three weeks as word has spread.

“We will continue to monitor progress, and we expect it will continue to increase in popularity as a result of the improving summer weather and the volume of events taking place driving traffic into town.”

The car parks included in the deal are Bolton Street, Bonny Street, Chapel Street, Cocker Street, Cocker Square, Gynn Square, Lonsdale A, Lytham Road, Queen Street, South King Street and Talbot Road.

Bonny Street and Lonsdale have seen the biggest increases. Central, West Street and East Topping Street car parks have been excluded from the offer because they are already busy, the council claims. There has been a mixed reaction from businesses.
Simon Wrigley, who owns the Number 5 cafe on Cedar Square and the Coffee Pot on Birley Street, said: “The last three Saturdays have been busier, but that could be because we have had good weather and Mamma Mia opened. However, I welcome anything the council is doing to encourage more people into the town centre.”
But Alix Porter, of MG Bargains on Talbot Road, said: “We haven’t noticed any extra footfall at this end of town.”