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Devon Bingo Fans Complain About Early Car-Park Closure

  • 07 Feb 13
  • Written by Deena Chance

altResidents of a Devon town are up in arms about the recent decision by the local council to close the local car-park early. Torbay Council has announced that Torquay’s central multi-storey car-park in Temperance Street, which has space or 650 vehicles, will be closed after 7pm in order to save money. However, members and management of the local Gala Bingo hall, which is situated underneath the parking facility, are extremely unhappy about the move.

The club’s manager, Gary Lynn, told local press that lack of evening parking “would have a serious impact” on his business. He added that alternate spaces located in Lower Union Lane are always packed out, so are not an option, and that despite the council saying there are only 35 cars parked there at maximum from 7.30pm, the club’s management have counted a minimum of 75 in recent days.

Mr. Lynn says that his branch of Gala Bingo attracts between 200 and 600 visitors each evening, resulting in the need for 300-400 parking spaces. In his opinion, the council’s decision to shut the Temperance Street car-park at 7pm will not only affect the club’s profits, but will seriously impact its customers, many of whom have already forked out for annual parking permits.

A petition by those affected has so far resulted in more than 400 locals adding their names in protest. Yet, Torbay Council says they cannot justify the cost of keeping the building open after 10pm, when they’ve only counted 7-30 vehicles using it each evening, and have pointed out that there is free on-street parking from 6pm onwards.

When asked for their views on the petition, a spokesperson for the Council said that whilst they are aware of the concerns, the number of people who’ve signed it is hugely disproportionate to the numbers using the car-park after 7pm. In an attempt to find a compromise, the Council are currently putting the early closure plans on hold whilst they investigate the possibility of installing gates, which would allow the two bottom levels to remain open until 10pm. If this arrangement proves viable, Gala Bingo would be expected to provide financial support in order to make it a reality.

Do any of our readers live in the Torquay/Torbay area, and therefore currently affected by these plans? If so, what are your opinions on the matter? If you live somewhere else in the UK, do you have a problem finding parking at your local bingo hall and, if so, what do you think can/should be done about it?


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