24th Oct, 2019

Free parking in Shirley could be cut under council reviews

Sarah Mason 30th Jan, 2019

PARKING charges in Shirley centre could rise as Solihull Council looks to increase income amid spending cuts.

Under budget proposals, current charges are set to be reviewed with the local authority hoping to raise an extra £150,000 a year from 2020 to 2021.

At present, motorists get three hours free parking at council-run car parks across Shirley including Church Road and Red Lion Square, behind Iceland and Aldi on the Stratford Road.

And almost 1,500 people have signed a petition calling for this to continue.

Coun Tim Hodgson, Green, Shirley West, fears Shirley is set to follow parking regulations introduced in Knowle, where the free period was cut to just 30 minutes.

The petition states: “As savings proposal in its 2019 budget, Conservative-run Solihull Council intends to reduce free car parking in Shirley shoppers car parks from the current three hours to just 30 minutes, to match new charges introduced in Knowle last year.

“This is despite a commitment made through a motion to the Full Council meeting in February 2012 to provide free parking at these car parks for three hours, the same as in the private Parkgate shoppers car park.

“Reducing the free parking limit to 30 minutes would be a blow to Shirley’s small businesses and will not raise the revenue the Council predict.

“It will displace cars to other car parks and residential roads. The new charges in Knowle have failed to deliver the expected savings and have put off visitors from coming into the village.”

Solihull Council said parking charges in Shirley were discussed by the economic development and managed growth scrutiny board and the stronger communities and neighbourhood services scrutiny committee.

The matter will also be discussed by the resources and delivering value scrutiny board on February 6, it added.

A spokesperson said: “A decision around future parking charges in Shirley will be made at full cabinet.”

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