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Changes to closing times at Kendal car parks

[U]sers of two Kendal car parks are being reminded about changes to closure times from this weekend.

A trial period of extended opening hours at the South Lakeland House car park and Westmorland Shopping Centre car park will end on Friday, 12 January.

From Saturday, 13 January, the opening times at the two car parks will revert to pre-trial hours.

That means that from this Saturday the opening hours will be as follows:

South Lakeland House car park (lower levels):

  • Monday to Saturday – 7am to 6.30pm
  • Sundays and Bank Holidays – 8.30am – 6.30pm

Note: The top (open air) level of South Lakeland House car park will be open 24 hours

Westmorland Shopping Centre car park

  • Monday to Saturday – 7am to 7pm
  • Sundays and Bank Holidays – 9.30am to 5.30pm

Extended opening hours had been introduced at the two car parks as part of a package of parking offers introduced in Kendal to mitigate the impact of the closure of common land at New Road to vehicles.

Under the trial South Lakeland House car park had been kept open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide overnight parking options for residents, while the closing time at Westmorland Shopping Centre had been extended to 9pm.

But South Lakeland District Council’s (SLDC’s) Cabinet received a report before Christmas that showed very few drivers had taken advantage of the extra opening hours.

Security patrols were introduced at South Lakeland House car park once the hours were extended to prevent incidents of anti-social behaviour in the car park’s lower levels after issues in previous years.

Cabinet members heard that additional staffing costs were being incurred as a result and with only a handful of drivers each week using the overnight parking at South Lakeland House, and very few drivers taking advantage of the extra two hours at Westmorland Shopping Centre, it was agreed that, from 13 January, the car parks would revert to the pre-trial closing times.

It was noted that the top, open-air level of the South Lakeland House car park would continue to be accessible for overnight parking, and there is plenty of capacity to accommodate the numbers of vehicles using the car park for this purpose.

Notices have been put up and leaflets handed out to regular users of both the Westmorland Shopping Centre and South Lakeland House car parks to advise them of the revisions to opening and closing times from 13 January.

As well as deciding to revert to previous closing times at the two car parks, Cabinet also decided before Christmas that a number of cheap parking ticket offers introduced as part of the mitigation measures trial would be continuing.

This includes continuing with the popular  £1 ‘early bird’ all-day parking offer at Westmorland Shopping Centre, which was reduced from its previous rate of £2.20 as part of the package of offers.

The reduced rate parking tickets will continue until at least 31 March 2018.

The council has seen its parking revenue income drop by £1,500 as a result of lowering ticket prices during the trial period.

Councillor Graham Vincent, SLDC portfolio holder for the economy, said: “It is true the council has seen a drop in its parking revenues as a result of reducing the tariffs, but we consider this a price well worth paying to support our residents, businesses and visitors.

“That is why we have decided to extend these deals until the end of March and why we also intend to continue them into the next financial year, subject to council approval in February.’’

Full list of charges on council-operated car parks in Kendal:

Drivers are also being advised that, from Monday, 15 January, contractors will be working in South Lakeland House car park on some routine concrete repairs. This will involve the temporary loss of a small number of parking spaces in the areas where contractors are working. The work is expected to last several weeks, but all levels of the car park will remain in open to vehicles.

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