Canterbury City Council will begin the construction of its £9.1 million multi-storey car park on Monday, March 4.
The 380-space structure in Station Road West will take a year to build and is intended to meet additional demand for spaces at the city’s West train station.
During the planning phase, the car park provoked opposition from critics who fear it will worsen congestion and pollution in the St Dunstan’s area.
While the work takes place, drivers will be able to use the temporary car park at the end of Station Road West and the council has said it will try to minimise any disruption.
Cllr Ben Fitter-Harding, the Conservative council’s property and regeneration chairman, said: “Our investment in this car park will provide parking capacity for this area of Canterbury for decades to come and help smaller, independent traders in St Dunstan’s.
“It is also much-needed new infrastructure to support an expanding city, with thousands of new homes and an increase in high-speed rail services both in the pipeline, and helps us deliver our vision for an improved integrated transport hub at Canterbury West.”
With a city council election taking place on May 2, city Lib Dems have vowed to scrap the car park if they win control of the council from the Conservatives.
Their manifesto pledge states: “We will work with Network Rail to create an integrated transport hub and we’ll make sustainable transport a priority.
“We will create more space for buses, bikes and taxis, and still provide the extra parking Canterbury needs for commuters and shoppers.”