Newmarket: More than £200k is earmarked to improve Guineas car park

Guneas Car Park in Newmarket.

Guneas Car Park in Newmarket. - Credit: Archant

MORE than £200,000 is recommended to be spent on improving a car park in Newmarket where there has been ongoing problems of anti-social behaviour.

The cabinet of Forest Heath District Council has been asked to approve the allocation of funding for the Guineas car park, which is currently a short-stay facility.

The officers’ report recommends £211,000 is spent on improvements, including on securing the car park outside of operational hours and CCTV coverage. This money would come from Waitrose Section 106 funding.

Councillor Stephen Edwards, cabinet member for resources, governance and performance at Forest Heath District Council, said the anti-social behaviour had included graffiti and people urinating in the car park, adding there had also been drug-taking there in the past.

He said: “It needs to be upgraded and obviously people need to feel happy about using it.”

The officers’ report said in December the Newmarket car parks were pre-assessed by the ParkMark scheme and some of the more negative feedback was in relation to the Guineas car park.

The report said: “The stairwells, which are the primary means for pedestrians to navigate the site, were found to be particularly unacceptable with evidence of urination, graffiti, vandalism and poor lighting.

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“Elsewhere the site was assessed as having a poor public perception with entry access and confusing navigation of the site also being significant factors contributing to customer dissatisfaction.”

Improvements would include: a raising arm barrier to control late-night access to level two; sliding gates to control vehicle entry at level two and exit at level three and also to prevent out-of-hours pedestrian access; and roller shutters to prevent vehicle entry to level one.

Securing the car park after operational hours would allow the council to offer Premier Inn use of a section of the car park, bringing in income of more than £220,000 over the next 10 years. Also, introducing LED lighting would provide total running cost savings of £124,000 over 10 years, the report said.

It is also proposed that the underused top deck should become long stay, which would create a better balance between short-stay and long-stay parking provision in the town.