PARKING problems on Barrow Island could soon be a thing of the past as the shipyard prepares to open a new 750 space car park.

BAE Systems Submarines will open the hotly anticipated 750 space temporary car park for staff on Monday.

It will be the first move in a car parking strategy that aims to meet the company’s on and off-site parking requirements for the next 20 years.

The car park is on a site known as the Waterfront, next to the Resolution logistics building on Barrow Island.

The five-acre site is owned by Cumbria County Council, and planning permission was agreed by Barrow Council. A shuttle bus will be available to and from the new car park.

The new parking provision has been put in place following years of complaints from residents competing to park outside their own home with shipyard workers.

The Waterfront will be used as an alternative car park while development and expansion works are undertaken at two existing off-site car parks, one on Buccleuch Dock Road, the other at Cornmill Crossing.

The first of these to be transformed will be the Buccleuch Dock Road site, which will close on Monday for approximately 10 months while a two-storey car park is built. It will provide 850 spaces when it reopens in approximately September 2020 – a net gain of 380 spaces over the current status.

Paul Campbell, the company’s head of site services said: “This has been a long time coming; a huge amount of hard work. In collaboration with Barrow Council and Cumbria County Council we’ve arrived at a solution that gives us sufficient parking capacity to meet the changing demands of the business.”

Taken together, the two improved car parks will boost the shipyard’s car parking capacity by more than 600 spaces by 2021, meeting the anticipated car parking demand for the next 20 years.

Barrow Island residents cautiously welcomed the drive for more parking spaces.

A shopworker said: “If the regular motorists use the new car park it will be great, but give it a month and we’ll see what happens.

“There is a car that parks around here that’s had three tickets in the last week and he just sticks them in his pocket and comes back again, but what’s a £25 fine to someone on that sort of money?"

One resident said: “The more parking there is the better really.

"I’ve seen it myself people try to jump in so quick to places.”

Another resident said: “The people around Egerton Court should be able to park their own cars. The other day someone from the court had to find another space off the street to park up.”

However, another shopworker said: “It’s not a God given right to park outside your house. Sometimes I can't park on my own street, it’s part of life.”

Steve Solsby, assistant director of Barrow Council, said: “The expanding workforce at BAE Systems is to be welcomed, but we have seen parking challenges as a result.

“We felt it was important to work together with the company and with the landowners, Cumbria County Council, to ensure BAE Systems’ investment programme benefits the surrounding communities in the long term.”

Vicky Evans, deputy headteacher at Barrow Island Community Primary School, said: “Opposite our main entrance, teachers with permits can’t always get a space.

“Our biggest issue is when the workers come out of the car park and come whizzing up the road, they need to remember that there could be children there who finish at 12 or may be returning from a trip.”

Barrow Island Councillor Allison Johnston said: “Obviously it’s good news for Barrow Island.

“We do have traffic wardens that do regular patrols but hopefully this will help to alleviate parking.”