Cars found trapped in Edinburgh’s ‘robot car park’ 15 years on

Morrison Street multi storey car park being dismantled - with cars still parked inside. Pic: ieya404
Morrison Street multi storey car park being dismantled - with cars still parked inside. Pic: ieya404
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EIGHT vehicles imprisoned in a disused robotic car park for more than a decade are set to be preserved by demolition crews after work to redevelop the building got underway.

The £5million Autosafe “SkyPark,” located on Morrison Street, was Britain’s ‘most technologically advanced car park’ when it opened in 2001, but its tenure was short lived after the company that operated it went into receivership in 2003.

It was rumoured at the time that administrators had simply arrived one day to lock the doors, leaving dozens of cars trapped inside.

And now, new pictures snapped by Reddit user ieya404 from a building opposite the site show a ‘time capsule’ containing vehicles which look to be models from the late nineties.


READ MORE: Edinburgh robot car park to become offices

The company responsible for a project to turn the building into a new £30m purpose-built office block, Hermes Real Estate, confirmed the vehicles had been in the building for almost 15 years after no drivers came forward to claim them.

Some of the models in the car park haven't been manufactured since 1994. Pic: ieya404

Some of the models in the car park haven't been manufactured since 1994. Pic: ieya404

But it’s hoped the cars - which are thought to include models such as the Austin Maestro and Fiat Uno - will be given a reprieve from the scrapheap after demolition experts GCM services revealed “every effort would be made to save them”.

Howeve, a mystery remains over their owners and why they were left in the car park.

At the time of its construction, the 600-space building was seen as the future of multi-storey parking, taking its design from similar facilities in Beijing, Sydney and Tokyo.

Motorists would drive in and be directed to one of four brightly-coloured bays at the entrance of the building.

Sensors then scanned the cars to gauge their dimensions and ensured they were unoccupied before automatically transporting them to the nearest space via lifts, turntables and “robot shuttles”.

When drivers returned they inserted their parking ticket into a pay machine which automatically signalled for the car to be retrieved.

The vehicle was then presented and ready to drive away within three minutes at an exit onto the West Approach Road.

The facility lay empty for over a decade before work to turn the site into a new 122,000 sq ft, purpose built office development by Glasgow-based BAM properties on behalf of Hermes Real Estate got underway last year.

Part of the development will include a smaller underground car park.