Queensgate car park names U-turn

MP for Peterborough Stewart Jackson. Photo: Peterborough ET
MP for Peterborough Stewart Jackson. Photo: Peterborough ET
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PEOPLE power is set to triumph after bosses at Peterborough’s Queensgate shopping centre signalled a U-turn over the names of its city centre car parks.

The shopping centre’s decision to stop naming the car parks after four Peterborough dignitaries – Edith Cavell, John Clare, Frank Perkins and Sir Henry Royce – sparked anger with many people voicing their disapproval.

The change of heart comes after Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson, who had threatened to boycott Queensgate as a result, wrote to the centre’s management demanding the decision be reversed.

In a letter to Mr Jackson, the centres’s customer service manager Mark Wass, states: “It has never been our intention to erase historical memories associated with the city.

“Following feedback from our shoppers it has become apparent that there is an overwhelming sense of heritage and community pride attached to our original car park names.

“Preserving the history of Peterborough is always a prime focus for Queensgate and as such, coupled with the importance of shoppers’ views, we will be considering new signage designs to incorporate both the colours and original car park names.”

Mr Jackson said: “I’m pleased that the Queensgate centre realise that this decision was foolish, unnecessary and also unpopular with their own customers.

“It looks like people power has won and that local residents want to celebrate not obliterate the city’s most notable historic figures.

“This is a wise decision and I will be happy to shop at the Queensgate Centre again.”

The car park names, which had been in place since the centre opened in 1982, were changed to four colours – red, yellow, green and blue earlier this year to reflect a £10 million refurbishment.

The change was formalised on October 10 when the newly refurbished Green car park, formerly known as the Clare car park, opened to drivers.

But Mr Jackson previously said he felt the move was symbolic of a move away from Peterborough celebrating its heritage.

“It is a needless procedure to get rid of part of the city’s past – we should be celebrating these people more, not forgetting them. They will get a backlash - people don’t want to see their culture lost. If they are so dismissive of the views of a lot of people they are going to alienate potential customers.”

A spokesperson for the centre was not available to comment.

Related: Queensgate mulls car park name change U-turn, 9 November 2011

THE Queensgate shopping centre car parks are named after four Peterborough dignitaries.

Edith Cavell (1865–1915) was a nurse renowned as a heroine for her work in the First World War.

John Clare (1793-1864) was regarded as the finest working class poet England ever produced and lived in Helpston.

Frank Perkins (1889-1967) created the Perkins Diesel Engine and founded Perkins Engines Company Ltd.

Awalton-born Sir Henry Royce (1863-1933) created the famous Rolls Royce company with Charles Stewart Rolls.