Car parking changes set for Chorley town centre
16 November 2022
A new car park strategy has been approved at a recent Cabinet meeting, which will see changes implemented to parking tariffs in the town centre in 2023.
The changes aim to ensure that there is sufficient parking capacity to accommodate the future demand of visitors and workers in Chorley, as well as ensuring that Chorley continues to be a thriving town, with the car parking provision helping to support the local economy.
Deputy Leader of Chorley Council, Councillor Peter Wilson said: "It's important that the strategy tries to address the main car parking priorities for Chorley town centre, with regards to capacity, accessibility, price and impact on the environment, for the next 5 years, and also that it reflects the change in demand and consumer habits as a result of things like the Covid pandemic and Market Walk now being home to leisure and entertainment venues.
"There's a lot to consider when developing the strategy in terms of how the car park is used differently by users - some use it for a quick stay to pop to the bank for example, some people use a specific car park that suits them which may be because that car park has parent and child spaces or electric charging bays for example, or some for a day's shopping or working in the town centre.
"To ensure availability of spaces in the locations that visitors want, and that there is a churn of vehicles throughout the day to support the local traders, we have to do this by the use of tariffs and enforcement."
The changes that are expected to be implemented early in the New Year include:
- town centre car parks will remain free after 1pm on Saturday and all day on Sunday except on the Flat Iron Car Park where charges will apply 8am till 5pm, 7 days a week.
- the tariff on the Flat Iron car park will increase from 50p per hour to £1 for a maximum of 2-hours stay (removing the option of paying 50p for the first hour).
- free parking periods on long stay car parks will be reduced from 3 hours free parking to 1 hour, however users will be able to park for 4 hours for just £1.
- Portland Street car park, currently a long stay car park that often becomes occupied with town centre workers, will be a maximum 4 hour stay (for £1) with 1 hour free in order to help availability for customers to be able to park closer to the leisure offer in the new Market Walk extension, such as when visiting Reel Cinema and Escape Entertainment.
- shoppers short stay car parks will continue to offer an initial hour's free parking and longer costing £1 for up to 3 hours maximum stay - the 3 hour limit allows for a turnover of vehicles in the car park, and more people shopping with local traders.
The strategy also highlights opportunities for the car parks to become more accessible and implement future environmental improvements which reflects the Council's declaration of a climate emergency, by considering the future of vehicle types and promoting the uses of alternative and sustainable forms of transport including walking and cycling.
Councillor Wilson continued: "Even with these changes, Chorley remains exceptionally cheap and one of the cheapest town centres for parking in the country, at just £1 for a 4 hour stay on some of our car parks. We are confident that visitors will still find Chorley a fantastic place to come and take advantage of the outstanding entertainment venues, great variety of shops and much more."
The town may see further car park changes to what is currently a temporary car park on the former Buzz Bingo site, if the Council's bid for £20m of Levelling up Funding is successful, which could see the site turned into a Civic Square with multi-level parking amongst other town centre schemes.