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How Fishergate traffic rules have damaged parking at St George’s

Posted on - 12th June, 2017 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - News, Politics, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Transport
Trapped inside the St George's car park Pic: Louise Hogg
Trapped inside the St George’s car park – what became a regular Preston past-time Pic: Louise Hogg

The new Fishergate traffic rules have seen a significant drop in the number of shoppers using the St George’s Shopping Centre car park.

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Documents submitted to Preston City Council’s planning committee explain how the shopping centre wants to amend how it charges for parking.

A report states the top floor of the car park is regularly empty and the total number of shoppers parking during December last year was 16 per cent down on December 2015.

This drops by 27 per cent compared to December 2014 and 39 per cent down on December 2010 at the Lune Street car park.

The city council has an agreement in place with the shopping centre dating back to 1998 when permission for the car park was given which restricts any long-term parking charges or contract parking.

Read more: Why these London Road traffic lights are out

St George’s Shopping Centre now wants to make the top level – level 6 – available for contract parking with permits available to buy.

The move comes after a number of horror stories of motorists becoming trapped in the St George’s Shopping Centre for hours during peak shopping periods during the run up to Christmas.

Going nowhere from the St George's car park...
Going nowhere from the St George’s car park…

Planning officers, who are recommend the proposal for approval, state: “The variation would serve the original obligation equally well in that it still enables the Council to control the charging mechanism.

“It would provide the owner the flexibility required to operate the car park in a way that best serves their customers, those who work within the shopping centre and customers and visitors of the City Centre as a whole.”

Read more: Fishergate bollard is sent flying into another bollard

Councillors meet on Thursday 15 June to consider whether to amend the restrictions placed on the shopping centre to allow the long-term parking.

Where do you park in Preston city centre? Let us know in the comments below

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