Wigan's 'worst car park' to get a facelift

The potholed car park off Rodney Street
The potholed car park off Rodney Street

Improvements have been pledged to a Wigan car park after a visitor to the town branded it the worst she had ever seen.

Samantha Graham said she couldn’t believe her eyes at the size and depths of the “craters” dotted around the parking area created on the site of the old Wigan town hall on Rodney Street.

And because of the heavy rain we have recently been having there is no way of telling how deep they are - and some are very deep!

The 50-year-old from Bolton said that when people were paying good money to leave their vehicles there - she paid £1.70 for two hours - there was a duty of care either from the landlord or company policing the site.

The supply teacher, who brings a friend to Wigan for orthopaedic treatment, said: “There is a sign from Euro Car Parks which says that they are not liable for damage and vehicles and their property are left at the owner’s risk. That’s as may be but surely there should at least be a warning about the damage these potholes could inflict.

“I’ve parked there twice now - I’ll go elsewhere in future - and it’s flat enough if you go near the entrance, but it gets worse the further you go in.

“There was a chap stranded in one of these holes the first time I went. He only managed to get out after a lot of striving.

“There is another bit where a big chunk of concrete sticks up which could inflict some serious damage on a vehicle’s undercarriage.

“I’ve never seen a paid-for car park in a worst shape than this. It doesn’t do Wigan’s image any good.”

ECP at first said that it wasn’t responsible for the land’s upkeep, that was the landlord.

It was established that the land is owned by one of a number of companies in the British Virgin Islands, one of which is called West End Paradise Limited.

Its British representative was said to be a Preston law firm so a call was made by the Observer to that business.

A couple of hours later a man who said he was from Euro Car Parks rang to say he had been instructed by the law firm on behalf of the land owner to inform us that the matter was in hand.

He added: “The holes are to be filled. They are just waiting for the arrival of some planings for this to happen.

“Clearly this is only a temporary measure but some remedial work has been recommended. It is in the interests of all parties to do this. I can’t say a great deal more than that.”

The man was unable to say if proper asphalting of the land would eventually take place.

Wigan’s town hall stood on that land for decades but, after the council moved to the current former mining college building on Library Street, its old base was sold off and fell into disrepair.

A number of plans were submitted to modify or replace the building but they came to nothing and eventually all but the listed facade was demolished for safety reasons. Eventually too this had to come down because it was too dangerous.

More plans to turn the site into offices, leisure facilities and homes came and went until permission was given to turn the land into a car park.