Go-ahead for Solihull parking hikes - but Shirley plans scrapped after protests - The Solihull Observer

Go-ahead for Solihull parking hikes - but Shirley plans scrapped after protests

Solihull Editorial 24th Jul, 2019   0

CHARGES at car parks in Solihull town centre will typically rise by 20p per band from September.

And shoppers in Shirley will continue to get three hours free parking.

The changes in tariffs were approved at the cabinet member for transport and highways meeting on Tuesday (July 22).

In Solihull town centre, the increases will apply at car park facilities at Church Hill/Dominion Court, Monkspath Hall Road, Mell Square, Lode Lane and Marks and Spencer’s.

They are calculated to boost council funds by almost £203,151 a year.

Before the meeting Carl Newman and Paul Tovey, council officers from the transport and highways department, noted the impact of the tariff changes would be closely monitored.

An agenda report identified the key pressure continues to be retail performance of local high streets, and competition from internet and out of town retail developments.

In Shirley, proposals for motorists to park for free for one hour only and then be charged 50p to stay up to two hours and £1 for staying between two to three hours were scrapped by chairman Councillor Ken Hawkins.

The car parks involved are Church Road and Red Lion Square, behind Iceland and Aldi on the Stratford Road.

Coun Hawkins tweeted: “At my Environment and Highways decision session this evening I made a decision to not progress with proposed changes in respect of parking charges in Shirley.

“There will be no changes to the existing tariff.

“We are developing an action plan to bridge the gap following the failed BID application and it would be inappropriate to make any further changes until alternative arrangements have been made and the proposed changes for Shirley will not be introduced this September.”

The plans faced fierce opposition when more than 1,650 people including residents and councillors and signed a petition launched by Shirley West Coun Tim Hodgson calling to keep three hours free at off-street car parks parks in the town.

Coun Hodgson tweeted: “Thanks Ken, this is exactly what we need in Shirley to move tings forward. Cross party working at its best.”

Trevor Eames, Solihull Ratepayers Association secretary, said: “This is great news for local traders at a very difficult time for retailers and will help support the viability of our local shopping centre.

“The last thing Shirley Needed was Increased Parking Charges.

“However Coun Hawkins does have to find alternative savings in his 2019/20 Budget to cover the £81,000 projected revenue lost but this was the right decision – Well done Ken.”


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