Shoppers and visitors to Lincoln have received an early Christmas present following the announcement that a new 1,000 space car park planned for the city will open two months ahead of schedule.
The new Lincoln Central car park, which forms part of City of Lincoln Council’s £30million Transport Hub project, will now open on Friday 17 November, 2017 to coincide with the switch-on of the city’s Christmas lights.
The Transport Hub development includes the new car park, a state-of-the-art bus station, improvements to the railway station forecourt, a new access for vehicles into the railway station car park and pedestrian plaza linking Sincil Street and High Street to the city’s railway station. The development will play a major part in revitalising this area of the city centre and perfectly complement the multi-million transformation currently underway in The Cornhill Quarter.
The Hub project is being built by Willmott Dixon and is backed by £13 million of funding from The Department of Transport and the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
The new car park will provide a safe environment for users with plenty of convenient parking for people working in the city, or keen to visit its mix of national and independent shops or explore Lincoln’s many visitor attractions. It will be EV charging point for electric vehicles and disabled car parking spaces at ground and first floor level along with passenger lifts leading out into the Sincil Street and High Street areas and to the bus and railway stations.
In focusing on having the car park ready earlier than planned, and bringing many more shoppers into the city centre for the light switch-on, Christmas Market and festive shopping period, the scheduled opening date for the new bus station will now be in January, 2018. The current temporary bus station will remain open until the new one is operational.
From 5pm onwards on the day of opening, the car park will be part of the city council’s free parking offer to encourage people to come into the city and enjoy the start of the festive shopping period.
Cllr Ric Metcalfe, Leader of City of Lincoln Council, said: ”It’s fantastic news for Lincoln that we are able to bring forward the opening date of such a significant asset for the city.
“Providing 1,000 extra parking spaces in the city centre on the run up to Christmas will provide a welcome boost for all its shops and businesses which rely so heavily on the income generated over the festive season.
“We will have to wait until the new year for the Hub to be fully open, but it’s essential for city businesses that we prioritise the car park and bring in as many shoppers as possible over the Christmas period. Opening the Hub in a staggered way also minimises any risks that may arise.
“The overall Transport Hub development will play a key part in the city’s continued renaissance and promises to create an attractive and welcoming gateway to the city for residents, visiting shoppers and tourists alike. It will be a catalyst for continued growth in a city which is already seen as a great place to live, study, work and visit.”
David Reid, Operations Manager at Willmott Dixon, said: “We are delighted to be working with the City of Lincoln Council and to be part of this exciting scheme which will play an important part in Lincoln’s regeneration upon completion, which will make a huge difference to the city’s tourism and local community. It is fantastic that we have been able to complete the new car park ahead of schedule too, just in time for the festive season.
“As well as being a key regeneration scheme for Lincoln, the Transport Hub has also been acting as a training ground for a number of local young people who will be able to get hands-on experience of working on a construction site and learn more about the industry. It is an invaluable project and has already had a positive impact on the city.”
The Transport Hub has been developed by City of Lincoln Council in partnership with The Department of Transport, Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Lincolnshire Co-op and Network Rail, working with East Midlands Trains and Lincolnshire County Council.