[A]ccess to three Carlisle City Council car parks will be restricted from this weekend onwards.
Due to anti-social behaviour, access to Caldew Riverside, Castle and West Walls car parks will be restricted overnight from this Saturday (10 February). All three car parks will be closed every night between 8pm and 6.30am. Closure times may vary for special events and on late night shopping Thursdays in November and December.
Cllr Chris Southward, Portfolio holder for Environment & Transport, said: “We are fully committed to making our car parks safe environments for all our users. With the support of Cumbria Police, we feel that the overnight closures are necessary. There have been numerous complaints from residents and car park users regarding anti-social behaviour including noise pollution, reports of high speed and dangerous driving. There has also been physical damage and reports of fly-tipping and littering. We apologise for any inconvenience the closures may cause but have an obligation to ensure the safety of our car parks.”
The issues relating to anti-social behaviour were referred into the newly set up Multi Agency Hub based in the Civic Centre. The Multi Agency Hub looks at long term problems and works with partners. Whilst the Police were able to have limited success in deterring the behaviour through prosecution the problem needed designed out with assistance from the City Council.
Police Sergeant Chris Blain, based in the Multi Agency Hub added: “We have received numerous complaints of anti-social driving on mainly Caldew Riverside Car Park and West Walls Car Park for quite some time. Residents from Milbourne Street and surrounding area have suffered from the loud sound of revving engines and loud exhausts for nearly 18 months. The noise is particular bad over weekends when groups of drivers meet up on the car parks late into the early hours disturbing nearby residents. The drivers have committed road traffic offences, caused damage to other parked vehicles and also damaged metal fencing and other street furniture. Despite a number of successful prosecutions, vehicle uplifts and regular routine patrols the problem continues to exist.
“We are very supportive of the plans to install gates at Castle car park, Caldew Riverside car park and Castle car park which will be operated by a local security firm. It will hopefully greatly improve the quality of life for nearby residents who have been plagued with this problem for such a long time. Local officers will continue to support residents and the City Council to ensure the new scheme goes smoothly. Officers will also be taking steps to prevent the issue being displaced to other parts of the City. This sort of anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated; it is dangerous and has had a detrimental effect on the quality of life for so many residents.”
A vehicle may be released from a locked car park during closure times at a charge of £45. This can be arranged by contacting Northern Security on 01228 547662.
For more information please visit www.carlisle.gov.uk/parking