A LARGE Hereford car park is set to close for five months - but Herefordshire Council insists it won't affect the city's parking provision.

The 400-space Garrick Street multi-storey will close on March 11 for 25 weeks.

However, Councillor Graham Powell, cabinet member for infrastructure, is “absolutely confident” that remaining parking facilities, plus the creation of some temporary surface- level parking, will handle the demand.

Based on data collected by council parking inspectors, existing facilities are “well equipped” to deal with the excess.

But the council will also open a 60-space car park in early April near to the multi-storey site to ensure there is still parking available to the north of the city centre.

“I have no concerns that current car parks will be able to accommodate this,” said Coun Powell.

“It would have taken 40 weeks to complete the work part-time – it makes sense to do it now.

“Garrick House will be central to the parking for the Old Livestock Market.”

The refurbishments follow lift repairs last year and include work on the stairwells, strengthening on all levels and water damage prevention.

The council only owns around half of the parking facilities in the city – meaning that while there may be sufficient spaces, much-needed parking charges might end up in the hands private companies and not the council.

• Read Paul Rogers' take on the story in his blog here.