Parking charge rise in Solihull will make council over £300,000 a year - The Solihull Observer

Parking charge rise in Solihull will make council over £300,000 a year

Solihull Editorial 21st Jun, 2018   0

PARKING charges are set to rise in Solihull town centre and Knowle – with the Council expecting to make an extra £316,000 a year.

From September motorists will be typically charged an extra 20p per band across the borough and the free and display in Knowle car parks will be scrapped.

The changes in tariffs were approved at the cabinet member for transport and highways meeting.

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 are calculated to boost council funds by almost £222,000 a year.

Coun Ted Richards, cabinet member for transport and highways, said: “We haven’t increased parking prices in ten years and we are way out of kilter with what others are charging.”

In Knowle it has been agreed to do away with the two hours free parking and charge visitors 20p to stay up to an hour and 40p for an hour and two hours.

Solihull Council has argued this change, which could boost its annual income by around £94,000, will help ease the pressures on short-stay parking in the village.

Coun Richards said the Knowle charges have been implemented following a consultation with local traders.

In 2015 Solihull Council introduced three hours free and display to Knowle in a bid to clamp down on shoppers and workers clogging up residential streets and to use the shoppers car parks.

However in October last year this was reduced to two hours free in a bid to get more shoppers into the village.

Coun Richards said: “From our consultation we found businesses are suffering from people who park all day.

“We were told some people would do is park and get a ticket to display then return and get another ticket and not move on.”

Carl Newman and Paul Tovey, council officers from the transport and highways department, noted that the estimates for the increases in revenue at both locations were based on existing usage.

Solihull Council noted there was a decline in visitor numbers at its town centre car parks due to fewer people working and visiting the area.

The report presented to councillors last week identifies this slump in use as “the key pressure” on the service.

The £3.4million raised from Solihull’s parking facilities in 2017/18 was around £160,000 less than had been budgeted for, although an underspend and a business rates rebate during the 12 months offset the shortfall and left a positive balance of £44,000.

The report also noted the car parks in Shirley and Knowle continued to perform well in terms of the number of visitors using them.

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