We have a winner! Judges name Norwich’s £7m Rose Lane car park the country’s best new car park
- Credit: Steve Adams
It's an award which would make Alan Partridge proud - Norwich can now boast it has the best new car park in the country.
The £7m Rose Lane car park was this afternoon named as the country's best new car park in the British Parking Awards.
The 595-space Rose Lane car park took the title at a ceremony in London ahead of four other shortlisted finalists: Waitrose Car Park in Solihull, a multi-storey at the University of Leeds, Feethams Car Park in Darlington and the B4 Car Park in Birmingham.
The Norwich City Council-owned car park, with its perforated steel facade, had been put forward by Huber, the company which designed and built the five-storey structure in Mountergate.
Bert Bremner, the city council's cabinet member with responsibility for transport, said: 'I am delighted that Rose Lane has been recognised as Best New Car Park at the British Parking Awards.
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'It was a pleasure to work with our project partners NPS Group and Huber to deliver this excellent new facility to the city.'
Officially opened in May 2016 and project managed by NPS Norwich, the car park, open 24 hours a day, includes 36 disabled parking bays, racks inside and out for bicycles, new public toilets and recently installed electric charging points.
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But council bosses admit the £7m structure has yet to generate the income it had hoped for.
The council had estimated that, between opening in May last year and the end of this January, it would bring in about £430,000. But actual income was £100,000 down on that figure - at £330,000.
A spokeswoman said; 'We always knew it would take time for more people to use the new Rose Lane car park and month on month we're seeing a steady increase in people parking there. We will continue to raise awareness of the car park and maximise its usage.'
This is the second time a city car park has scooped the award. St Andrews Car Park was named best new car park in the 2006 British Parking Rewards.
But the £9.3m car park, which opened in 2005, was then hit by a string of problems. Four years after it opened, cracks were discovered and props put in place.
Norwich City Council was then locked in talks for a number of years over a compensation settlement from the insurers of the company which built it.
The £1.1m of repairs finally started in 2015, with the space for shoppers at the multi-storey car park cut by as much as a third during months of work.
It reopened with 1,084 spaces last year.