EXTENDED opening hours introduced at two Kendal car parks to mitigate the impact of the closure of common land at New Road to vehicles are to be scrapped.

Councillors took the decision after learning that very few drivers had taken advantage of the extra opening hours. Additional staffing costs were also being incurred by South Lakeland District Council following the introduction of security patrols.


The trial period of extended opening hours at the South Lakeland House and Westmorland Shopping Centre car parks will end tomorrow.

On Saturday the opening times at the two car parks will revert to pre-trial hours as follows: South Lakeland House car park (lower levels): Monday to Saturday – 7am to 6.30pm; Sundays and Bank Holidays – 8.30am to 6.30pm; The top (open air) level of South Lakeland House car park will be open 24 hours.

Westmorland Shopping Centre car park: Monday to Saturday – 7am to 7pm; Sundays and Bank Holidays – 9.30am to 5.30pm.

Under the trial South Lakeland House car park had been kept open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide overnight parking options for residents, while the closing time at Westmorland Shopping Centre had been extended to 9pm.

Cabinet members heard that only a handful of drivers each week had been using the overnight parking at South Lakeland House, and very few were taking advantage of the extra two hours at Westmorland Shopping Centre.

It was noted that the top, open-air level of the South Lakeland House car park would continue to be accessible for overnight parking. Councillors heard that there is plenty of capacity to accommodate the numbers of vehicles using the car park for this purpose.

Notices have been put up and leaflets handed out to regular users of both car parks to advise them of the revisions to opening and closing times.

As well as deciding to revert to previous closing times at the two car parks, Cabinet also decided that a number of cheap parking ticket offers introduced as part of the mitigation measures trial would continue.

This includes continuing with the popular £1 ‘early bird’ all-day parking offer at Westmorland Shopping Centre, which was reduced from its previous rate of £2.20 as part of the package of offers. The reduced rate parking tickets will continue until at least March 31.

The council has seen its parking revenue income drop by £1,500 as a result of lowering ticket prices during the trial period.

Cllr Graham Vincent, SLDC portfolio holder for the economy, said: “It is true the council has seen a drop in its parking revenues as a result of reducing the tariffs, but we consider this a price well worth paying to support our residents, businesses and visitors.

“That is why we have decided to extend these deals until the end of March and why we also intend to continue them into the next financial year, subject to council approval in February.’’

* Drivers are also being advised that, from Monday, contractors will be working in South Lakeland House car park on some routine concrete repairs. This will involve the temporary loss of a small number of parking spaces in the areas where they are working. The work is expected to last several weeks, but all levels of the car park will remain in open to vehicles.