One of the city’s largest car parks has been branded a “white elephant” after it emerged it has earned significantly less than promised.
The figures also show the number of cars parking in Olympia car park is continuing to decline.
Just 29% of the car park’s 500 spaces were used in 2019. That compares to 38.5% of spaces filled in 2016.
Figures seen by the Tele reveal the multi-storey has earned only around one third of what it was projected it would earn for the city council over the past four years.
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The council’s projected earnings were £1.8 million between 2016 and 2020. However, records reveal it actually earned the authority just £650,000.
The estimated income for 2019/20 was £432,000. The actual income was £175,000.
The picture is similar for the three previous years with the annual income in all instances around £300,000 less than projected.
The usage of the car park has concerned many people in Dundee since it was first built in 2013.
Now the council’s labour leader Kevin Keenan is asking the authority to look again at the viability of the car park.
Mr Keenan said: “I have ongoing concern about the under-usage of the Olympia car park.
“It has been underused for years and I have frequently brought the matter to the council’s attention.
“I drive past it most days and it is usually pretty empty. The Labour group has said for several years that the car park is a white elephant and it remains so.
“When we are under such budget constraints we can’t afford to have a car park like this sitting practically empty.”
Mr Keenan said he has asked about closing off some floors of the car park or cutting down on lighting.
He said: “However I have been told we need to keep it open because we still have ongoing running costs for things such as security – I want this issue looked at yet again.
“When you’ve driven through the town and see thousands of spaces empty, you wonder why we’ve built so many spaces.”
Richard McCready, West End councillor, said: “It seems ridiculous that we have car parks in Dundee that are more than half empty while we face significant parking issues in other parts of Dundee, particularly in the West End.
“The city council should be doing everything they can to encourage parking in the city’s car parks.”
The council opened the car park next to the £31m Olympia Swimming Pool, in the summer of 2013, but has struggled ever since to fill anything close to its 502 spaces across 13 split levels.
A major reason for the lack of customers is that it is next door to the Gallagher Retail Park, where motorists enjoy free parking for up to two hours.
The council administration is proposing a “lift-share” tariff for the car park in next year’s review of charges, which could see drivers pay £100 for 20 all-day parking sessions.
A spokeswoman for Dundee City Council said: “When Olympia car park was built it was an investment in Dundee’s future to provide parking facilities for the increased number of visitors that will come to the city when the Waterfront developments take full effect.
“In the meantime some new charges at Olympia have been introduced to try to encourage more people to use it, such as the £3 all day offer at weekends.
“Parking tariffs are kept under review with the aim of balancing use and demand.”