A 15-year-old mystery of why eight cars were abandoned in an “automatic car park” might finally have been solved.
The Autosafe SkyPark had been undisturbed since 2003, when the company went bust. At one time it used robots to stack cars and was once described as the UK’s “most technologically advanced car park,” according to the BBC.
In 2017 work started to turn the derelict building into an office development by BAM properties, at which point the walls were removed.
Images of the cars inside the half-demolished building were posted to Reddit by user ieya404, who wrote, “I work in an adjacent building—and had no real idea of what it was before.
“As the outer shell of the building got cut off we could see the metal skeleton of the insides, and only as they’ve cut most away were the cars revealed,” he said.
Possibilities as to why the cars were left include people getting locked out when the car park closed down, or perhaps people who had got drunk and simply forgotten to pick them up.
But Ronnie Meredith, who is now a bus driver, worked in the Skypark in 2001 and told the BBC, “When it first opened they did buy so many bangers for testing. We had a few scrap cars. I remember one being a Austin Maestro and we also had a Lada and a long wheel base Volvo.”
“On numerous occasions when it broke down we either had to instruct the computer to retrieve a car from its position or physically go inside with what we called a joystick and manually retrieve a car,” he said.
He added that he finds it funny that people now think the cars were abandoned.
“Even if the place had its doors shut by administrators they would have still legally be entitled to retrieve their own personal vehicle,” he said
“If anyone looked at the windscreens of these cars they would no doubt have noticed that none of them had a tax disc, which was still a legal requirement back then if the car was being used on the road,” said Meredith.