Parking concerns raised in Lowestoft
CONCERNS have been raised from theatre-goers this week after a council announced plans to close a multi-storey car park in the evenings.From April 1, car park fees across the district are set to generally rise by 10p an hour during the next year following new charges unveiled by Waveney District Council.
CONCERNS have been raised from theatre-goers this week after a council announced plans to close a multi-storey car park in the evenings.
From April 1, car park fees across the district are set to generally rise by 10p an hour during the next year following new charges unveiled by Waveney District Council.
And as part of these measures, the Battery Green multi-storey car park will now be open between 8am and 7pm Monday to Saturday, and from 9am to 6pm on Sundays.
But the changes have sparked an outcry from patrons of the Marina Theatre, who are fearful of walking longer distances late at night at the end of shows.
With the nearby multi-storey Britten Centre car park already closing at 9pm every night, there is now concern that there is nowhere safe, and well lit, in the immediate proximity for patrons to park.
Regular theatre-goer Terry Weatherley from Lowestoft, told The Journal: 'Whenever I go out in the evening I park at the Battery Green car park and it is always pretty full - so I would've thought that the revenues from the car park would be a profit-maker for the council. I think some of the elderly customers are a bit intimidated about having to walk through the town during the night and if this closure happens then it means that 700 theatre-goers in some 300-plus cars have to find somewhere else to park.
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'I would urge the council to reconsider,' he added.
But yesterday a spokesman for the council revealed that the Battery Green car park is 'barely used' on most evenings.
'With numbers dropping off to single figures and often only one or two, the car park will therefore now close at 7pm,' the spokesman said.
'There are plenty of alternative parking facilities in the centre of Lowestoft and car parks such as Whapload Road, next to the police station, are within easy walking distance of the theatre.
'However, given its proximity to the Marina Theatre we will liaise with the theatre's management team and open the car park later when large audiences are expected.
'Overall it is important that we provide value for money and keeping a large car park lit and open for a handful of vehicles at most is not a sensible idea when there are other options close by,' the spokesman added.