Friday, April 18, 2014
New Ropery Car Park open in time for Easter.
A new car park on the old Ilfracombe bus station site has officially opened in time for Easter.
Yesterday (Thursday), and as soon as final line marking work was completed, a crowd looked on as a ribbon was cut to declare Ropery Car Park open.
Ilfracombe Town Council bought the former bus station site in November for £750,000 after taking out a government loan for £1million.
Conducting the opening, the Mayor Councillor Lynda Courtnadge, said: “For many years Ilfracombe had to endure the ghastly site that had been the bus station.
“We were in the hands of speculative developers whose priority was not what was best for Ilfracombe, and would have built 50 flats in four storey blocks.
“We took out a loan and purchased the site which will serve as a short stay car park until we, the community, decide its long term development.”
The next mayor, Councillor George Squires, became the first to park in the new car park, closely followed by the new Dotto land train, which also started its career on Thursday.
Parking will be free overnight from 6pm to 8am, while revenue taken will go to pay off the loan and any left over re-invested in the town.
The site has been busy since the autumn under extensive demolition works of the old bus station buildings and laying the new surface, under the supervision of the council’s Bus Station Working Group.
Mrs Courtnadge, who is on the group, paid tribute to Paul Crabb, Bert Gear, John Swan, Rod Donovan, Ron Ley and Pete French, who she said had shouldered the burden of the project, as well as council officers Steve Seatherton, Andrea Beacham and Pauline Williams.