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End of free parking at Lowry Outlet Mall to cut ‘park and ride’

Commuters and daytrippers to Salford Quays will be affected when The Lowry Outlet Mall ends its former free parking system on 4 April.

The 1,800-space multi-storey, opened in 2001, had offered four hours free to anyone spending a minimum of £5 in its stores.

Up to one hour parking was also free without a purchase.

But bosses want to cut the number of commuters using their car park as an unofficial ‘park and ride’ for MediaCityUK and Salford Quays.

A new tarriff of £1 for the first hour, £2 for two hours, £3 for three hours up to £6 for five hours replaces the old ‘two-tier’ system.

Six to 12 hours moves to £12 and 24 hours is still £16.

A statement on the mall’s website says the changes were made because customers found the parking system “too confusing”.

In August 2012 Trafford-headquartered property and infrastructure giant Peel bought the Lowry Outlet Mall and car park from Cheshire firm Emerson Group for around £70 million.

Peel also own the Manchester Ship Canal, MediaCityUK, the upcoming Port Salford, Scout Moor Wind Farm, Pinewood Studios and 33,000 acres of land in the UK.

The Lowry Outlet Mall has 300,000 sq ft of retail space with 80 stores, cafes and restaurants and a seven-screen Vue cinema.

The car park is open Monday to Sunday, 7am to 1am.

Saford Quays car parks - © Parkopedia

Saford Quays car parks – © Parkopedia

Centre management say they’re keeping pre-paid £6 evening tickets – valid 5pm till 1am – for theatre-goers, diners and football fans visiting Old Trafford.

Cinemagoers get four hours free with a Vue ticket and disabled shoppers get four hours free with a blue badge.

In a statement the mall’s Customer Service Team write: “Being located in the heart of Media City means our car parks also get used as a park and ride, something we’re keen to reduce as we want to ensure spaces for our shoppers.

“We’ve done a full audit of local parking and our new rates are up to 40% less than other local car parks.

“Our Lowry Outlet shoppers remain our number one priority we hope the new tariff makes the parking experience much simpler.”

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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.