Date issued: 4 February 2021
On Friday 12 February 2021, Colchester Borough Council will be surrendering the lease it has to operate part of Middleborough Car Park as a public car park.
The council has taken the decision to surrender the tenancy for a number of reasons, including the increased costs associated with maintenance, the reduction in use seen in recent years, and the impact Covid 19 may have on future need for long-stay commuter parking.
The decision also supports the council’s commitment to its Climate Emergency Declaration and Strategic Vision as well as the principles set out in its new Parking Strategy, which aim to consider the quantity and location of parking provision alongside congestion, air quality, alternative travel options and providing long-stay parking outside of the town centre.
Middleborough Car Park has been used as a long-stay, commuter car park and the Parking Strategy recommends reducing car journeys into town at peak times, when alternatives, such as Colchester Park & Ride, already exist and other future active travel measures are on the horizon.
Councillor Mike Lilley, Colchester Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Communities, Wellbeing and Public Safety, said: “The council understands that the supply and provision of adequate, accessible and good quality car parking is important to residents, visitors and businesses.
“It’s important to strike a balance between adequate parking provision, cost and support for businesses in these uncertain times, alongside our Strategic Vision of tackling the climate emergency and leading sustainability.
“The coronavirus pandemic has impacted on the way people travel and use their vehicles, and usage of Middleborough Car Park has dropped by 50% since the start of 2019.
“Bearing these factors in mind alongside costs, the council’s budget gap and the considerable financial uncertainty created by the pandemic, surrendering the lease is the right action to take.”
The small number of parking permit and season ticket holders for Middleborough Car Park have already been notified of the changes and been offered alternative parking provision. Signage informing motorists of the upcoming change has also been installed.
Alternative nearby council-owned car parks include Sheepen Road and St Mary’s Car Park.