January 19, 2022 2.55 pm This story is over 29 months old

Concern over Lincolnshire coast car park set for £3.5m upgrade

Fears car park income won’t be enough to repay loan

A car park in Cleethorpes set to get a £3.5million extension earns less than £23,000 a year in revenue on average.

The council has borrowed the money to fund a single storey extension to the town’s Grant Street car park, with the loan set to be paid back using revenue generated from the facility.

Councillors have expressed concern after figures obtained under the Freedom Of Information Act show the spaces currently make surprisingly little income.

North East Lincolnshire Council says the extension will significantly increase the amount of cash brought in by the car park.

Over the past five financial years, the existing car park generated an average of just £23,200 in net revenue.

The council hopes revenue would rise to £169,000 a year as 268 new spaces are created on top of the existing 65.

Labour Councillor Marie Green said she found the current average revenue “shocking” and asked if there was a better way to attract visitors to the resort.

“My concerns regarding this development are based around whether it is needed by Cleethorpes residents and visitors, and if so whether there is a better way to satisfy this need,” Councillor Green said.

“The car park is currently seriously under used by cars.

“The cost of constructing the car park is £3.5 million pounds and a paper to the council claimed it would generate £169,000 of income a year. I would be very interested in knowing where this projected income is actually going to be coming from.

“How long it would take for the residents of our town to repay something that local residents do not even want?”

A spokesperson for North East Lincolnshire Council said that the estimation was based on the car park’s current usage.

“A single-storey extension to the existing Grant Street Car Park is expected to generate a substantially higher income than at present,” the spokesperson said.

“Currently, almost half of the users park for four hours or more, a quarter of users park between two and four hours, and 11 per cent of users park for up to an hour. With the number of chargeable spaces set to increase from 65 to 339, keeping the same uptake percentages will see an increase in the income generated from the car park. This revenue will be used to pay back the funds required to build the extension.

“Bigger parking bays, electric vehicle spaces, lighting, CCTV, being part of the Park Mark Safer Parking scheme, as well as improved signage to the car park, will all be part of the overall scheme and will support in increasing its uptake.

“With a current shortage of car parking in Cleethorpes during the peak tourist season, it is vital we cater for the volume of traffic we welcome to the resort. The single-storey extension to Grant Street Car Park will relieve some of the parking pressures in existing resort car parks and side streets, and also reduce the need for visitors to drive around the resort searching for somewhere to park, therefore, reducing congestion and helping the environment.”

Councillor Debbie Rodwell also expressed worry about congestion that could be caused by the extension.

“Anyone who lives in Cleethorpes near Grimsby Road knows how traffic is already bumper to bumper at peak times and Cleethorpes is getting busy all throughout the year,” she said.

“This is good for businesses but not necessarily good for residents who want to get about and my big concern is on the impact of traffic on pollution levels for those who live near that area.”

The Freedom of Information figures cover the financial years 2016/17 to 2020/21.

Revenue from the current car park peaked at £25,064 in 2019/20, and dropped back down to just under £21,000 the following year during the pandemic.

Funding was approved by the council in December, with hopes that it will provide more peak parking.

The work will be managed by the council’s regeneration partner EQUANS.