MEMBERS of a Torquay club have reacted angrily to the news that a prime town centre multi-storey car park is to close after 7pm.
Torbay Council has confirmed that the 650 space Temperance Street car park is being closed as a money saver.
Gary Lynn, manager of Gala Bingo underneath the concrete car park, said: "This would have a serious impact on our business. We can't use the Lower Union Lane spaces because they are packed out. They said that at 7.30pm there were a maximum of 35 cars. For the last few days the minimum we have counted is 75.
"We could have anywhere between 200 and 600 people attending an evening session and there could be 300 to 400 cars in there. We provide a social and leisure activity which is a huge part of the community. This action will affect not only our business but our customers. Many customers and residents of Torbay have also purchased annual passes for the car park.
"We have over 400 signatures and addresses strongly protesting these changes." A Torbay Council spokesperson said the latest figures show an average of 30 vehicles a night using it, sometimes as low as seven. They can no longer justify the cost of keeping the building open until 10pm when there is free on street free parking after 6pm.
"We are aware of the concerns but unfortunately the numbers represented on their petition do not appear to reflect the usage in the car park after 7pm. We have agreed to put the early closure on hold while we look into the possibility of installing gates to keep the bottom two levels open until 10pm. This, however, would be dependent on the financial support from Gala Bingo." Permit holders could get a pro rata refund.