Bigger car parking spaces prove huge hit with shoppers
A little extra space for people parking their cars has proved a big hit with Birkenhead shoppers – with more people than ever using the Pyramids Shopping Centre car park.
The centre’s Salisbury Street multi-storey recently had the opposite of a nip and tuck, with parking spaces being made up to 50% bigger. But even though that obviously reduced the overall number of spaces at the popular car park, it led to more people using it than before.
“We’d had a few reports of people having problems manoeuvring into and out of marked bays, as they were two metres wide,” said Derek Millar, Centre Director of Pyramids Shopping Centre. “With today’s modern family cars becoming ever bigger, we recognised a need to make the situation easier for our customers and so towards the end of last year we invested more than £100,000 to make these changes.
“Even though we reduced our overall capacity by 170 spaces, we’ve actually seen an increase in the number of people using the car park,” he said. “Because of the previous layout, we would often see people parking only in alternate bays – so as not to risk a bump and damaging either their own or someone else’s car. Now that people have the space to comfortably park and get in and out of their vehicles, we’re seeing more people choosing to park here.”
Derek said that the improvements to the Salisbury Street car parks had been undertaken over a period of seven weeks just before the Christmas shopping season began.
“We expanded the bays to three metres – almost 10 feet wide – to accommodate today’s larger vehicles and to also improve the experience of our shoppers,” he said. “In the past few weeks we’ve seen more and more shoppers parking here, and everyone we speak to is full of compliments about the changes.”
The car park reduced its overall capacity as part of this redevelopment but can still accommodate 525 vehicles.
“We conducted in-depth research before making the changes, and found that we had an over-provision with many empty spaces that people simply would not try to squeeze their car into,” Derek said. “Obviously research only tells you so much and the proof is in the pudding, but the response has been absolutely amazing. Far from being an issue, the loss of these few spaces has meant that we can now comfortably provide parking for all of our customers and is helping to attract people to the centre.”
The car park now has sufficient wide-bay space to accommodate 525 vehicles. Of those, there are 50 family spaces, and 28 dedicated disabled bays.