Visitors pay heavy cost

St Leonarsgate car park.
St Leonarsgate car park.

My wife and I are regular visitors to Lancaster city and do come for the day when we visit, not just a couple of hours but easily over five hours, having lunch and an evening meal before we go home.

The question we have after visiting the city recently is where do we now affordably park?

Over the past years we have found ourselves pushed more and more away from the centre in trying to find somewhere affordable to park which, because of the exorbitant parking charges which now stands at £6 for over five hours, has been outside somebody’s home.

Understandably not the best of parking solutions but the only option that has been available to us. This only parking option to long stay visitors has obviously driven Lancaster City Council to introduce residents’ parking at a mighty cost of £40 a year to their residents which is quite clearly a win-win situation to them but quite clearly a lose-lose situation to residents, visitors and the city’s trade.

We drove around for over half an hour to try and find a suitable parking space to allow us to visit affordably for the day but all we could find was either exorbitant parking charges, residents’ parking areas, areas not residents’ parking heavily double yellow lined or short stay parking for up to two hours.

In the end we gave up and commenced driving home down Ashton Road (A588) where we did find one parking space down by the Magnet Kitchen’s store.

I shouldn’t be pointing this out because no doubt that area will be sealed off to parking on our next visit.

We then had a lengthy walk of about a mile into the city centre taking over half an hour both ways there and back in driving rain, nicely soaked each time – what a welcome to us.

We enjoyed our day in the city even though the weather wasn’t kind to us and spent over £60. The question we ask each other is should we make a return visit when other shopping towns, cities and large shopping centres such as the Trafford Centre are far more amiable toward us visiting.

When we go to Preston we use their Park and Ride parking up securely and just costing us £1.30 (one adult and one concession). When we go to Southport we use their Park and Ride again parking up securely and just costing us £1.50 for the day and even better free when we go to the Trafford Centre.

In a latest letter (March 20) to the Lancaster Guardian headed Shopping suffers, sent in by Brian Yates, he states: “The council ought to be encouraging as many people as possible to come and shop there instead of (literally) driving them away”. We fully endorse this.

We have to say to Lancaster City Council and the traders in Lancaster centre that if a solution isn’t found to parking for visitors then the city centre trade will continue to suffer and ourselves personally will find alternative places to shop.

I am sure Primark taking over the much lost market hall next year would not find comfort from this, the report states that this development “will stem leakage from the city”. A sticking plaster over a large hole comes to mind.

Please Lancaster sort out the parking.

Kevin Hodgson


Full address supplied.