Motorists are being given an early Christmas gift from the Mayor of Liverpool who has announced the city centre’s newest car park will operate for free in its first week.
Victoria Street Car Park opens at 12 noon on Monday, 18 December and users will not be charged until Boxing Day (Tuesday, 26 December).
Following a £6.5m conversion from a ground level operation to a four floor multi-storey, the new car park provides 333 car spaces including 15 motorcycle spaces and 28 cycle spaces.
Adjoining the car park is a three storey retail and leisure build, complete with a rooftop terrace, which has capacity for outdoor seating on a widened pavement area. These units are currently being marketed to let.
The scheme, funded by Liverpool City Council, has been designed to reduce congestion and pollution caused by the former 121 space car park which did not publicise spaces and caused motorists to circle the site waiting for an available spot.
Clad in coursed stone with large glazed openings, the new car park will also lead to a new tree planting programme around the Victoria Street area.
Mayor Joe Anderson, who drove the first electric car into the new car park, said: “Victoria Street plays a vital role in our city centre for shoppers, diners and visitors and this high quality car park will provide a huge boost for surrounding businesses such as the Metquarter and for guests staying at numerous nearby hotels.
“As we’re gearing up for Christmas I thought users would welcome a free week to give a little help with their shopping spend and give them the choice of supporting those less well off than themselves.
“The voluntary contribution option will remain after charges are introduced and the income from the car park will be re-invested into supporting council funded services.”
In spring 2018 Victoria Street will undergo a major highways improvement scheme, quickly followed by the creation of a new city centre Bus Hub in nearby Old Haymarket.
These schemes are part of the £45m city centre connectivity programme which will include a redesign of major streets such as Lime Street and The Strand.
Councillor Ann O’Byrne, Deputy Mayor of Liverpool, said: “Victoria Street car park is a much needed eco-friendly addition to our transport facilities as it provides cyclists and electric vehicles more options when travelling into the city centre.
“Crucially this new car park, which has been tastefully built to complement the surrounding architecture, also hails the beginnings of a much wider transformation to city centre traffic management over the next two years.”
Built by contractors Willmott Dixon, Victoria Street car park can be accessed from Crosshall Street with the exit on Sir Thomas Street.
Anthony Dillon, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the North West said: “We are delighted to have handed over our latest project for Liverpool City Council. As ever our focus has been on making sure that local people and businesses also benefit with at least 40 per cent of our budget spent within the city.”
Alternative city centre parking is available by following Car Park Signage directions.