Marlands Multi-storey Car Park (MSCP) will now be closed overnight (midnight to 5:30am) on a daily basis. These overnight closures will commence from mid-August 2018.
We've taken steps to implement overnight closures of the Marlands MSCP following a similar trial closure of Grosvenor Square MSCP. We're initiating this closure based on feedback we've received from car park users who have informed us of people who sleep rough who are regularly using the car park to sleep overnight. Despite a range of alternative accommodation, people who sleep rough have continued to use this facility and as a consequence, we have received concerns from the car park's users.
Therefore we have taken the decision to close Marlands MSCP overnight to ensure that this facility can be kept safe and clean for the users of the car park. For this trial, metal shutters will be used to close off access to the car park. Our Parking Services team will be working closely with a local security firm and Hampshire Constabulary to implement these closures, first ensuring all people who sleep rough are no longer in the car park. Users will still be able to leave their vehicles in the car park overnight but will not have access until 5:30am. For any cars accidentally locked in overnight, there will be an emergency out-of-hours number available to call, although they will incur a release fee.
New signage explaining the closures will soon be installed in Marlands MSCP, and we will also be informing users, decrementing card holders and local businesses of these changes.
Marlands MSCP has a capacity of 810 spaces and is adjacent to ASDA and Marlands Shopping Centre. For current users who park overnight, there are alternative car parking options located nearby which include West Park MCSP and Civic Centre Forecourt. All of these alternatives can be found on our interactive parking map.
Councillor Jacqui Rayment, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport said: "Following on from our successful trial closure of Grosvenor Square MSCP last year, we've continued listened to feedback from users who have complained of poor facilities and the unsafe environment at Marlands MSCP and, as a result, we've made the decision to implement these overnight closures at Marlands MSCP, as well.
"Like Grosvenor Square MSCP, Marlands MSCP has previously had difficulties with anti-social behaviour, street homelessness and drug use. Although we are sympathetic to people who sleep rough, we want ensure that our Marlands car park users at Marlands, who pay to park there, have a safe and clean environment in which to park their vehicles. There are a whole range of facilities on offer to people who sleep rough in our city, including regular outreach work which encourages homeless individuals to take advantage of the services on offer to them - from accommodation through to help with alcohol or drug addiction."