The first 522 parking spaces of the new Lincoln Central Car Park have been officially opened to the public.
The pay-as-you-exit car park, part of the £30 million Lincoln Transport Hub scheme, was given an opening ceremony this morning (November 17), off St Mary’s Street, two months ahead of schedule.
The first four floors of the car park opened at midday, with free parking until midnight.
The opening came just in time for the Christmas lights switch-on at 7pm featuring Gogglebox star Sandi Bogle and former X Factor signer Andy Abraham joining Danny and Nicky Cowley.
Some 522 car parking spaces are available with 117 more spaces to be opened next week.
The full 1,000 spaces will be opened just before Christmas with the price of parking starting from £1.60 an hour and 24 hour parking will cost £7.80.
Lincoln Transport Hub will also see a brand new bus station, improvements to the railway station and pedestrianising Sincil Street to Lincoln High Street.
City of Lincoln Council leader Ric Metcale, told The Lincolnite:”I am delighted [that the car park is opened two months early], it’s much needed car parking spaces right in the city centre.
“It was always our aspiration for the car park to be on before Christmas, but we were quietly determined to get it open in time for Christmas as we know we get a huge increase of people coming in to Lincoln for Christmas shopping and the Christmas market.”
Kate Ellis – Strategic Director for Major Developments at City of Lincoln Council, said: “It’s really exciting, whilst we still have a few bits and pieces to finish, I think that it’s really important to be open for the Christmas period.”
David Reid, operations manager at Willmott Dixon said: “We are delighted to have brought forward the first phase of the Transport Hub car park ahead of schedule in order to support the Sincil Street and city centre businesses at the start of the Christmas shopping season. It marks a key milestone in this exciting project which we are proud to be part of.
“We have continued to work in partnership with City of Lincoln Council to ensure this scheme is state-of-the-art and meets the needs of local people, helping the project to make a huge difference to Lincoln’s regeneration.
“We have also progressed training on the site, where a number of local young people have been able to experience what it is like to work on a construction site first hand; learning from our experienced site team.”