Eden Project North car park expects to handle 750,000 visitors per year

With official plans for Morecambe’s Eden Project North due to be presented to Lancaster City Council at the end of the month, a potential 10-year deal for visitor parking and transport arrangements has been mooted as part of the process.

Over 750,000 visitors are expected each year and the Eden project must show that a satisfactory parking system can be put in place, to gain planning approval. A parking agreement with Lancaster City Council will also support an offer of government funding to help develop the Morecambe site.

Speaking at Tuesday’s (18 January) cabinet meeting at Morecambe Town Hall, Green Councilor Gina Dowding gave more details of the parking ideas, which at this stage will be known as ‘”agreement in principle”.

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She said: “Eden’s full planning application will go to the next planning committee meeting. For this to be considered, Eden North is also creating a parking strategy. Our cabinet’s decision today is to approve a agreement in principle, to say that the town hall, as the owner of the car parks in the area, is happy to enter into an agreement with Eden, the details of which will be discussed later.

“I have heard concerns about the cost this could cost the council. The intention is that there will be no financial harm to the council as a result and no cost for the changes and how we release some existing car parks from the Lancaster City Council for Eden North. There will also be a dynamic parking system, so we are not designating spaces that are not needed on certain days. This agreement allows Eden North to reassure the planning committee. More details will come back to the cabinet for final approval.”

She added: “Around 400 of the council parking spaces are suggested, depending on how much traffic Eden North is expected to generate. There have been some traffic queries which will be dealt with in detail by the planning committee and with planned traffic.”

Aware of the shift to greener modes of transport and ambitions to reduce emissions, she said: “People may think there is no mitigation (to counter the impact of using However Eden North is all about sustainability and they will be looking to reduce car travel and increase other ways to get to Eden North They are also looking to intercept traffic with Park & ​​Ride on the M6 ​​so this agreement is for the municipality’s parking assets and is not a traffic plan.”

Morecambe Bay Independent Advisor Tricia Health said: “I think it’s important that we move forward. This is an agreement in principle and it’s important for Eden that this progresses at this Stadium.”

Under the agreement, parking spaces for Eden visitors would be split between Morecambe town center and a park and ride on the M6 ​​motorway. The system would be flexible and could respond to changing day-to-day visitor numbers, based on advanced booking information.

In the longer term, it is also hoped that more rail services will be provided by rail operators in Morecambe as visitor numbers increase.

A draft agreement in principle was attached to the reports of this week’s cabinet meeting. He highlighted details to consider, including car park locations, fees, direction signs, car park machine maintenance and different types of potential tickets, such as staff parking tickets. ‘Eden and parking tickets for pre-reserved and non-reserved parking spaces.

Measures will also be taken to encourage visitors to spend time elsewhere in Morecambe.

The proposed 10-year deal would also allow the car parks to be taken back into control by the city council for other uses, such as building and regeneration projects.

Cabinet advisers voted to approve the tentative agreement.

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