‘Wokingham is still very much open for business, we still have lots of parking and there’s lots happening in the town’.
That’s the message from Wokingham Town Council leader Cllr Imogen Shepherd-Dubey, who wants to reassure shoppers and commuters over the closure of the Denmark Street car park from Tuesday next week.
Signs were erected in the Euro Car Park on Friday, August 23, revealing that it is being closed and the public will no longer be able to use it as a right of way.
The Wokingham Borough Council-owned car park next to the library remains open for business, and only recently has its payment machines upgraded to accept credit and debit cards, as well as the new check-in, check-out system.
But it is smaller than the Euro Car Park car park that backs on to a lot of shops in the town centre.
Cllr Shepherd-Dubey said: “This is quite a blow to the town.
“It causes problems for people with mobility issues, a lot of people say the Carnival Pool car park is too far away for them. And it wasn’t built to mitigate the closure of the Denmark Street car park.”
She added that the new Rose Street car park was smaller than the one it replaced in Peach Street, but there were also plenty of car parking around the centre.
“There is car parking, just not necessarily where we want it to be,” she said.
And she felt that the owners of the car parks could be playing the long game, saying that they had not been communicative with the public or the town council.
“They are closing the car park over the bank holiday, which is a bit off-hand,” she said.
“It looks like they saw all the objections submitted [to the planning department over the proposal to turn the car park into 77 flats]. If people stop using the car park, they can then resubmit the application and there will be fewer complaints.”