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Lancaster car parking consultation extended

A public consultation on the Lancaster City Council draft car parking strategy has been extended.

People can now have their say on the plans until June 17.

Read more: 

INTERVIEWS: Strong words from Lancaster businesses as concerns grow over future of car parking

INTERVIEW: More revealed on future of multi-storey car parks in Lancaster city centre

Two Lancaster multi-storey car parks could be replaced by new 'transport hubs' on outskirts of city

The council wants to build new housing on existing car parks at Nelson Street and St Leonardgate, as part of its Canal Quarter development plans.

The strategy mentions long-term plans to replace covered car parks at St Nicholas Arcades and the Castle with new transport hubs/multi-storey car parks on the fringes of the city centre. 

A review of the "condition and utility" of the council-owned St Nicholas Arcades car park and Castle car park could be carried out within the next decade and a feasibility study into the new transport hubs completed within the next seven years.

The draft strategy says the council aims to provide 1300 to 1400 off-street parking spaces in Lancaster city centre in future to "provide sufficient capacity for currently identified peak demand periods".

There are currently a total of 1624 parking spaces in city council-run car parks in Lancaster city centre.

This includes permit-holders only car parking and the 287-space Castle Car Park, which is currently closed for refurbishment due to safety reasons but is due to reopen in 2025.

The car park has been shut since the beginning of June 2023 when concrete began to fall from the ceiling on the upper level.

Figures from January 2024 show that average occupancy of council-run car parks was 70 per cent, with peak occupancy of 95 per cent in December and the lowest occupancy of 60 per cent in April.

Also in the draft strategy - three permit-only car parks in Lancaster would be converted to short-stay within the next three years, parking at the car park opposite the old Kingsway bus station would be expanded to create 20-70 new long-stay spaces, and 70-150 temporary coach and car parking spaces would also be created on council land by early 2025 at locations to be confirmed.

Lancaster City Council said this would be to counteract the planned loss of parking spaces when new housing is built on the Nelson Street and St Leonardsgate car parks as part of the planned Canal Quarter development.

A loss of 126 spaces is expected from mid-2025 at Nelson Street, followed by a loss of 181 spaces and six coach parking spaces at Upper and Lower St Leonardsgate by 2026.

There are also long-term plans to build on the 89-space Edward Street car park, but the council said there would be a "managed and phased release" of car parking spaces to "ensure limited net loss".

The city council said that any net loss of spaces would not affect the continuing availability of private parking in Lancaster, nor the availability of on-street parking provided by Lancashire County Council.

The draft strategy also includes a plan to close all 'small surface' car parks within 15 years.

These include Lucy Street, Wood Street, Spring Garden Street, Windy Hill and Bridget Street car parks. But the council said that "any potential closure of these car parks will be dependent on the success of the long term strategy".

The draft strategy also includes promoting the use of modern technology for car parking payments, developing an electric vehicle charging strategy, and encouraging use of existing Park and Ride facilities including the 650-space Park and Ride at the junction of Caton Road and the M6 Junction 34, which is run by Lancashire County Council.

The Lancaster City Council draft car parking strategy for Lancaster city centre can be found here.

The results from the consultation will be presented to elected councillors to help create the finalised Lancaster city centre car parking strategy.

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