New 200-space car park to curb decline of Hull's Old Town
PLANS have been revealed for a 200-space car park in Hull's Old Town.
The site was originally earmarked for residential and commercial development before the recession.
Now, the city council is aiming to turn the unused land into a car park to help rejuvenate the area.
The car park, in Tower Street, on the east bank of the River Hull, will offer residents and visitors up to two hours' free parking in a bid to increase footfall in the Old Town.
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Council leader Steve Brady said he hopes the development will attract more visitors to the city.
"It is essential we try to attract more people to Hull to increase trade," he said.
"This new car park will mean visitors can enjoy shopping and eating out in areas such as Whitefriargate and the Old Town without worrying about parking.
"The new swing bridge will offer easier access to the city and the car park will offer a safe and easy place to park."
Work on the site will start when the bridge opens, which is expected to be next month.
Traders in the Old Town have welcomed the decision to open another car park.
Graham Williams, manager at Dinsdale's Joke And Trick Shop in Hepworth Arcade said it is fantastic news.
"Footfall in the area is increasingly on the decline and has been for some time," he said.
"Gone are the days of people walking by and dropping into the shop. We rely solely on customers coming back to us who have visited before.
"The addition of a car park will make a huge difference.
"Anything that brings people back into the Old Town is brilliant."
The plans come days after Hull City Council announced a trial of reduced charges for all-day parking at the surface car park in Blanket Row.
The trial of the new charges, which means the maximum fee for all-day parking is £2.50, was introduced as a result of feedback to the council from local businesses.
Councillor Martin Mancey, portfolio holder for environment and transport, said: "We have listened to the views of local businesses and have reduced the parking charges in Blanket Row and will monitor the success over a period of time.
"These charges are aimed at commuters and those planning a full day of shopping."
The council has also defended its handling of recent roadworks across the city, including repairs in Park Street and County Road North.
Councillor Brady said: "The work was essential. You can't repair roads without creating traffic problems."