New £400,000 staff car park could be built at County Hall
- Credit: Steve Adams
A new £400,000 staff pay and display car park could be built at Norfolk County Council's headquarters in an attempt to solve a long-running saga over a shortage of spaces.
But workers will have to pay £5 a day to use the 226-space car park, earmarked to be built along the south-east side of County Hall.
Council bosses have long said action needed to be taken as the car park at the Martineau Lane site is at capacity and, with staff moving there from offices closing elsewhere in the county pressure has increased.
Proposals to bring in blanket parking charges at County Hall were previously abandoned, but a revised package of measures has meant workers cannot park there on two days each week.
Planning permission has been secured from Norwich City Council and, at a meeting of the policy and resources committee on Monday, councillors will be asked to agree to build it.
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The estimated construction cost is £250,000 to £400,000, with officers hoping it will be ready by summer 2017.
Parking would cost £5 a day, to be reviewed each year, which officers say would bring in about £250,000 a year, meaning the cost of construction can be recouped in less than two years.
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Jonathan Dunning, branch secretary of the trade union UNISON, said the new car park was 'generally a good' idea, because public transport links to County Hall were poor.
He said the union's stewards would talk about the issue at a meeting next week, and added: 'We are going to have to discuss whether it is reasonable for the county council to effectively look to staff to contribute to the cost of a new facility on a voluntary basis. Car parking has always been free and always should be free, but there's a debate to be had about new car parking.'
A Norfolk County Council spokesman said: 'The new car park would be available for match day parking as demand dictates – so if the main car park were full, they could open the new car park.'
The money to build the car park would come from the corporate offices capital maintenance budget.
Until last year when Konectbus took over, Norfolk County Council ran park and ride services around the city. Officers regularly urged commuters to use that service, rather than using their cars to drive to work.
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