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How £930k was spent on John Lewis car park

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: November 08, 2012

By Richard Birch

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AS part of John Lewis's welcome to Exeter, almost £930,000 was spent on refurbishing and rebranding a public car park.

The King William Street multi-storey became the John Lewis car park. Despite the name change, it remains under Exeter City Council's control.

A number of major alterations were made and the city council said the expenditure would mean more revenue, although prices have also risen with one hour's parking now costing £1.80, as opposed to 90p.

The anticipated annual revenue, according to Steve Carnell, the city council's parking and waterways manager, is expected to increase by £500,000 a year from the £440,000 it generated in 2011-12.

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On this basis, the refurbishment will take two to three years to pay for itself, although this does not take into account the additional revenue the car park may have generated without the work following the arrival of John Lewis.

So, how did Exeter City Council spend £927,548 on a car park (which is £27,548 more than the council stated it cost in a press release given out as the car park reopened)?

The Echo has received a full breakdown following a Freedom Of Information request.

The cost of paint for walls and handrails etc was £42,704.38, and the paint used is designed to stop the concrete deteriorating.

The cost of recoating the car park decks with anti-slip surfaces was £308,971.62, while a total of £44,441 is listed as being spent on temporary accommodation.

The stairwell refurbishment cost £16,702.

Work on improving the exit and entrance cost £53,840 while £133,008.70 was spent on the new pay-on-foot system.

Repairing parts of the concrete cost £6,967.35, while £41,778.41 was the cost of electrical work.

A new CCTV system cost £71,282, and the construction of a new cleaners' store cost £3,700.

The refurbishment of the old cleaner's office to create a new operations and mess room cost £24,649.05, and new handrails on F deck and around the exit cost £6,075.

All of that was included in the original budget and these further works were undertaken after the budget was set.

The relocation of the car park's motorbike store to Leighton Terrace cost £1,985, and providing pigeon fencing cost £2,500.

Drop kerbs were needed to meet Disability Act requirements in Leighton Terrace at a cost of £2,268, and the walls were rendered in the car park at a cost of £8,446.38 to improve their appearance.

Back to the budgeted work, and additional drainage was needed to "reduce the previous incidents of ponding" at a cost of £5,580.35, while "white lining work" cost £2,314.97 which created additional disabled parking.

New AA signs cost £300 while other new signage cost £4,100.

The new glass entrance canopy cost £60,017.73, and the cost of Devon County Council installing variable message signs, informing motorists about how many spaces are available, cost £2,500.

A total of £12,832.16 was spent on further works to the entrance to add speed humps to "give level access for disabled users and slow down traffic flow". The entire front area was resurfaced rather than having a "poor-looking patchwork effect".

It was discovered that the existing concrete exit lane was in a "worse condition than expected" as was an "existing paving slab path" which was replaced to provide better Disability Act access to the toilets and the Watt Tyler House fire escape at a £29,379.53 total cost.

Completely new windows were provided in the lift stair tower as the existing frames were deemed to "be beyond repair". The glass throughout the Watt Tyler House stairwell was also replaced with a £25,358.20 total cost.

Then £627.65 was spent on roller shutter door repair, works associated with the installation of new signs cost £3,468.62 and additional handrails cost £6,000.

Finally, £5,750 was spent on cleaning the car park.

The final bill was £927,548.07.

It has 425 spaces, including 14 bays for disabled drivers and a family parking area. The city council funded the refurbishment through borrowing as part of its capital budget.

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  • roverdale  |  November 13 2012, 8:36AM

    Vulcan, Your comments may have been detrimental to the income derived or will be or might be. Newspapers are going down hill fast regarding their sales, they are only surviving on the back of advertising income. Local authorities pay huge amounts to advertise and without them, there would undeniably be an even greater struggle to make the books balance. The internet has taken over.

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  • vulcan  |  November 12 2012, 6:34PM

    Why is it that when I have posted comments criticising this news group for providing months of free publicity for JL, they remove my comments? I once asked if the Editor had shares in the company and my last comment on this article has been removed. So much for freedom of speech

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  • roverdale  |  November 11 2012, 8:49PM

    Who or what is John Lewis?

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  • bobby1  |  November 11 2012, 3:50PM

    seeing as Exeter City Council gets more income from car parking revenue than it does from council tax, then this has to be a good piece of spending in order to hopefully get in more revenue in the future and thus save EVERY council tax payer money as future rises won't need to be so high

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  • Stags Estate Agents  |  November 09 2012, 8:21PM

    The Echo and ECC have been completely taken in by JL, the new Messiah for Exeter.

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  • fannybaws  |  November 09 2012, 6:53PM

    If an extra 90p means you won't shop in Exeter, will anyone notice? if you're that tight over 90p I'm not sure the local economy is going to be affected by your lack of 'shopping'.

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  • Mustafachat  |  November 08 2012, 8:12PM

    Had my one visit to the car park, that's my lot, not enough pay stations. Somewhere else from now on.

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  • deejaytee  |  November 08 2012, 6:14PM

    Parking increased from 0.90p to 1.80 per hour? To park under the John Lewis sign even if not going into the store? Another good reason to avoid entering Exeter to shop.

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  • Pablo111  |  November 08 2012, 12:47PM

    Good. Well done ECC. Investing for the good of Exeter. Hopefully, Richard Birch can now go and do something a bit more worthwhile with his time.

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  • smallboy2010  |  November 08 2012, 12:41PM

    Stuboy - mine was less as it was partly tax payer funded - - I can you let you have the details of where to send the freedom of information request if you want ? - thinking about it you could share it with the E and E to help them out !

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