Parking charges up at Queensgate
A SHOPPING centre boss has defended a parking price hike of up to 36 per cent.
Two hours’ stay at the three Queensgate car parks will now set shoppers back £1.50 - a rise of 40p.
Other tariffs will also rise by 40p, with parking for up to three hours now costing £2 instead of £1.60,
But the Peterborough centre’s director Roger Hutchings claimed they remained the most competitive in the region. He said there had only been one increase in seven years and people would now be able to benefit from free parking on Thursday evenings.
He said: “None of us like to pay more and no one is going to say it’s wonderful, but it’s balancing that with the cost of operating the car park. Shoppers are our lifeblood and they are important to us.
“But business rates are £5,000 a week for the car park and utility costs are significant, at well as managing staff and equipment. I fully recognise that any increase in prices will not be welcomed in these times, and we considered the decision carefully, but we have to strike a balance.
“We are still the most competitively priced city shopping centre for parking in the region.”
Compared to other city shopping centres, Mr Hutchings said Queensgate was still significantly cheaper. Up to two hours at the Grand Arcade in Cambridge costs £4 on Saturdays.
He added: “At the end of 2008, a brand new parking system was installed, enabling shoppers to pay for their parking by credit or debit card. The new system provides more flexibility, reduces queues and speeds up exit times. Additionally, we are planning maintenance in the car parks and continue to maintain our toilets, which won a five star award in the Loo of the Year awards.
“We believe our car parks continue to offer Peterborough visitors the cheapest city prices in the region, therefore we are still offering shoppers good value.”
The cost of parking on Sunday will stay the same at £1.
However, Rachael Henry (42) of Field Drive, Hampton, said: “It’s not going to encourage people to come here. Everyone’s on a budget now. Having said that, it’s cheaper than Belfast, where I’m from.”
NeW cHARGe: Roger Hutchings, director of Queensgate shopping centre where car park charges have just risen