SMOG-SPREADING lorries could finally be rid from Worcester city centre, it has emerged.

The city council's Conservative leadership is being urged to turn Perdiswell's soon-to-be-mothballed park and ride site into a huge lorry parking facility.

It would mean the gas guzzling vehicles would be stopped from using the city's Croft Road car park, which is directly opposite the riverside.

For many years the council has wrestled with the issue of trying to make the riverside area more pleasant by looking at alternative solutions for massive lorries that need to stop in Worcester.

In April the charges were slashed from £25 to just £5, making the hunt for a solution even more acute.

Next month Worcestershire County Council is controversially scrapping its Perdiswell park and ride, leaving the huge site empty.

The land is already in the city council's ownership, meaning taxpayers would not have to fork out any rent for it.

It would also leave the option open for a possible park and ride return in future years, if any county council leadership changes strategy over public transport.

The city council could potentially sell the Perdiswell land for multi-millions for property development.

The lorry parking suggestion has come from Worcester's Labour group, and the city's Conservative administration says it is "not ruling anything out".

Only last week Councillor Simon Geraghty, the city council's leader, visited the Perdiswell site as part of an examination into what to do with it.

Councillor Paul Denham, from the Labour group, said: "The park and ride site has a large, safe parking area.

"There are toilets on site, two nearby pubs serving food and buses into the city which run late into the evening.

"Lorries can easily reach here from the motorway without unnecessarily travelling to the city centre.

An additional advantage is that it keeps the site in use so park and ride services could be restored in future."

Councillor Adrian Gregson, Labour group leader, added: "Moving lorry parking out to the Perdiswell park and ride site makes a lot of sense.

"City centre congestion can only get worse and in a few years people might be demanding the return of park and ride.

"We have spent millions on the site at Perdiswell and I wouldn’t want to spend even more building a new replacement site because we missed this opportunity."

There were proposals 15 years ago to turn the lorry parking land in Croft Road into an open green space, but it was abandoned.

Since then the city council has lavished millions on the nearby riverside to turn it into a real tourism asset.

Councillor Geraghty said: "In principle we'd be willing to look at all possible alternative locations for lorry parking.

"So we're ruling nothing out. We are also actively looking at all the possible options for that Perdiswell site to see if it's not a park and ride, what can be done to it."