Hitchin and Letchworth car parks to close early due to anti-social behaviour concerns

PUBLISHED: 11:02 21 March 2019 | UPDATED: 11:02 21 March 2019

Garden Square Car Park in Letchworth. Picture: Google Maps

Garden Square Car Park in Letchworth. Picture: Google Maps

Archant

Two multi-storey car parks in Hitchin and Letchworth are to close early after complaints from residents about anti-social behaviour.

From Monday, Hitchin’s Lairage Car Park in Bedford Road will close at 6.45pm, while Letchworth’s Garden Square Car Park in Rowland Way will shut at 7pm.

A North Herts District Council spokeswoman confirmed that these early closures will be temporary as police, town centre managers and partners discuss all available options.

Councillor Tony Hunter, executive member for community engagement at NHDC, said: “We apologise for any inconvenience the temporary early closures may cause but we have an obligation to ensure that our car parks are safe and not intimidating places.

“We have received numerous complaints from residents and car park users regarding anti-social and dangerous behaviour.

“We are also very concerned about children and young people who use the car parks as places to skateboard and ride their bikes.

“There have been a number of near misses between children and cars and we would ask parents to ensure their children only use designated sites in both Letchworth and Hitchin for riding skateboards.”

The Lairage Car Park is normally open until 9.30pm, while Garden Square Car Park was open until midnight.

North Herts Safer Neighbourhood Team Inspector Richard Lilley said that the car parks will be regularly monitored to find a solution.

“The closure of the car parks is a temporary measure that NHDC has implemented while we work together to assess the extent of the problem and look to find a long term solution,” he said.

“We will continue to regularly monitor these areas and anyone found committing offences or Anti-social behaviour within North Herts will be dealt with appropriately.”

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