Calls to improve car park at Chester Walk, Cheltenham
HEAVY rainfall repeatedly makes a Cheltenham town centre car park unusable.
Motorists and business bosses have angrily spoken out about the privately-run car park in Chester Walk, off the High Street, which becomes a lake after downpours.
The groundwater is so deep it leaves many of the spaces unusable.
One motorist, who attempted to park his car there this week, even joked: "Where do I get my swimsuit?"
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The car park is run by London-based Euro Car Parks, who acknowledges the car park site "is not to our usual standard."
And Cheltenham Borough Council bosses have agreed to step in to try to spruce up the area.
But motorists say the car park is not good enough, especially as it backs onto the town's Art Gallery & Museum.
They say the site looks "out of place" next to the multi-million pound refurbishment.
The ground floor, which has entrances from Chester Walk, will be home to the reception and the Tourist Information Centre.
A gift shop, education building, café and atrium will also be included in the revamp.
Tom Strutt, 49, who owns tea rooms near St Mary's Church, said the car park was "definitely not up to scratch" for the museum's 2013 reopening.
While Cheltenham nurse Claire Scofield, said Chester Walk was letting the side down.
She said: "It's quite expensive, and they definitely shouldn't be charging when it's flooded."
A student social worker from Cheltenham, who regularly uses the car park, said the car park wasn't worth paying for.
She said: "It has always flooded whenever it rains."
Euro Car Parks describes itself as the "market leader in the car parking industry" with "extensive and industry leading expertise in the provision of car parking services".
But a sign at the Chester Walk car park says it "comes with the disclaimer that those using the car park do so at their own risk, and that liability will be limited where users have failed to have regard for their own safety."
Laura Carter, a spokesman for Cheltenham Borough Council, confirmed Chester Walk's future was being discussed by the CBC's Development Taskforce.
It will be looked at as part of a broader discussion around the regeneration of "our important public spaces."
Euro Car Parks refused to comment.