Friday, 24 January 2014

Leopold Street car park to partially close overnight

Leopold Street multi-storey car park in Ramsgate is to partially close overnight in a bid to reduce anti-social behaviour.

At a Cabinet meeting held this week (Tuesday 21 January) members approved the closure of floors 1-4 of the car park from 7.00pm and The closure will also apply to the two stairways, lift and underpass.

The ground floor will remain open providing motorists with 40 unrestricted parking bays and 3 disabled bays, as daytime restrictions will be lifted.

The move follows on-going concerns raised by the public and local businesses about anti-social behaviour in the area. This has included graffiti, vandalism to the machines, signs, drains and doors, noise disturbance and dangerous driving.

To tackle the issues, the council introduced on-site security between May and August, installed cages to the windows and lighting in the stairwell and refurbished the main stairwell and underpass.

A Designated Dispersal Area was also authorised by Kent Police and Thanet District Council in August 2013 and will run until 16 February 2014. This has provided the Police with additional powers to disperse groups congregating in the area and could be extended if the issues continue. Anyone witnessing two or more people who are causing or are likely to cause, anti-social behaviour in the location should call Kent Police on 101.

Cabinet Member for Operational Services, Cllr Alan Poole, said: “The local community has understandably been frustrated by the on-going nuisance caused by a minority of people.

“The council has undertaken a series of measures, which has all come at a cost, to tackle the issues at Leopold Street car park. Despite taking action, anti-social incidents have continued so we’ve needed to take a different approach.

“We’re hopeful that this proposal strikes the right balance, providing motorists with sufficient spaces to park overnight, whilst closing off the areas which have been the main cause for concern.”

The proposals will take effect after 1 April 2014.

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