Revealed: The Burslem car park which drivers don't want to use
A TOWN centre car park is set to be sold off by a cash-strapped council – because only two vehicles are parking there at any one time during the week.
The Navigation Road car park, in Burslem, has proved so unpopular with motorists that it only made the city council £2,400 last year.
Now Stoke-on-Trent City Council is being recommended to sell the car park by a panel of city councilors.
It comes six months after a local councillor tried to persuade the council to allow motorists to park there for free.
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Labour councillor Alan Dutton, who represents Burslem, said: "I tried to get it turned into a free car park which would complement the Home Bargains store but it was turned down.
"Nobody uses the car park and that is why the council is now looking at selling it because it is not raising what it costs in Government rates to keep it going.
"Even though there is not enough parking in Burslem the car park has to bring the money in.
"I would love to see free parking after 6pm because the night life in Burslem is buzzing at the moment but it is likely to be sold off instead.
"There is no point keeping the car park because it is just costing taxpayers money and only taxi drivers pull in to use it."
The most popular car parks in Burslem are at Chapel Lane Car Park, St John's Square and at Market Place.
But a council report states: "Navigation Road Car Park is a loss maker currently, enjoying an occupancy level of only 1.68 per cent weekdays and grossing only £2,400."
It is thought that the land could be sold off for a flats development.
But traders believe the site should be used for free parking.
Mike Holdcroft, aged 26, of Trent Vale, who is the creative director at BAD EDIT, in Burslem, said: "I didn't even know this car park was there so that may be the reason why people aren't using it. It is hard to push Burslem as an area and to get people out of Hanley but offering free car parking would be a way to do that. It is a catch-22 situation if they just sell the land because whatever they build there will need car parking spaces anyway."
Mark Cook, aged 47, who is the manager at estate agents' Wakefield Giles, in Burslem, said: "I think Burslem is already horrendous for parking and it makes it difficult for us as a business when people need to come into the branch.
"I can understand why people aren't using the pay and display meters because it becomes more expensive to come into work and the cost comes off your daily earnings.
"I think the city council really needs to focus on Burslem and welcome people into the area and provide for them.
"There is never anybody in the car park so it doesn't make sense keeping it as a pay and display car park just so it is left empty."
The council expected to raise £4.2 million from car parking and ticket enforcement in 2012/13 – but is expecting to miss the target by £339,000. It follows a £345,000 shortfall in 2011/12.