DONCASTER Council is set to spend £100,000 on bringing Mexborough’s multi-storey car park up to a modern standard.
The facility, criticised by shoppers for its poor state, is set for improvements as part of a controversial plan to introduce hourly parking charges for the first time in more than 30 years.
The South Yorkshire Times understands the facelift will include a new lick of paint, better signage, repair work, improvements to drainage and the repairs to the lift.
Mexborough councillor Sue Phillips said she has received an email from Tony Bidmead, the council’s parking and enforcement manager, detailing the investment and a list of proposed improvements.
She said: “We are trying to bring more shoppers into the town and the multi-storey must be brought up to standard. It certainly needs it.
“People complain about litter, water which collects in the stairwell and the fact that the lift seems to have been broken for years.
“We cannot expect people to pay to use the car park without offering them a better standard, otherwise they will simply not use it and we will be left with an empty high street.”
However, she stressed that further improvements must be added.
She said: “I would like to see extra security measures introduced and better lighting.
“If we are putting in machines which hold money then this may unfortunately attract undesirables.
“I will be visiting the car park with the other ward members, David Holland and Tracey Leyland-Jepson, on Friday to have a proper look at it. We will then give the council a list of how we believe it should be improved.”
The Times revealed last month that mayor Peter Davies planned to charge motorists to use the car park in his budget proposal for the coming financial year. The authority hopes to generate incomes of £50,000 in 2013/14 and £210,000 for the years following. The charges are set at 50p for one hour, £1 for two hours and £2 all day.
Mexborough councillors and traders have criticised the move and claimed it will drive shoppers away from the town.
Stallholders are considering raising a petition to try and block the proposal, while Mexborough councillors are hoping to negotiate with the council for the car park to be free for the first two or three hours and then introduce a charge thereafter.
Mr Davies described the car park this week as one of the “most secure in the country” and added it is locked overnight.
There was also a complete upgrade of lighting in 2008, he said.
The budget proposal is due for approval on February 21.