Six car parks in Coventry city centre are to be closed by the city council, with the authority citing lack of use during the coronavirus pandemic.

The city council has said more than three-quarters of car parking spaces in the city have been left empty since coronavirus restrictions began.

That has left a “financially unsustainable over-supply of parking spaces”, with some 874 spaces set to be lost from the following sites earmarked for closure:

i. New Union Street multi-storey car park (240 spaces)
ii. Cheylesmore surface car park (45 spaces)
iii. City Arcade roof top car park (231 spaces)
iv. Leicester Row car park (80 spaces)
v. Moat Street surface car park (153 spaces)
vi. Whitefriars Street surface car park (125 spaces)

Moat Street car park will be permenantly closed in line with plans to redesign the Ring Road junction 7.

New Union Street and Cheylesmore car parks will be closed temporarily with drivers instead signposted to Salt Lane multi-storey car park, which will be reclassified as ‘long stay’ and have charges reduced to align with other long-stay car parks.

The city council has said both are “in a poor condition and in need of significant financial investment”.



Google Street View image of Leicester Row car park in Coventry

City Arcade, Whitefriars Street and Leicester Row car park will also be temporarily closed.

The council has said they will close “at the earliest opportunity” pending a detailed Parking Strategy review, which could lead to “possible disposal, redevelopment, or re-purposing” of the site.

Parking Services Team Manager Paul Bowman said: “Since April 2020, demand for city centre parking has been significantly impacted due to Covid-19, lockdown, and changes in travel behaviours in general.

“Some of these changes are expected to be long-lasting if not permanent, and the way in which parking provision is managed must adapt and evolve with it.

“During the period April to September 2020, car park occupancy levels have been less than 25% of total capacity.

“Consequently, there has regularly been fewer than 900 spaces occupied and more than 75% (or 2,700) empty spaces.

“The current gap between car park supply and demand figures is financially unsustainable without management interventions and actions.”

The closures have been outlined in a report to the cabinet member for city services on October 21.

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