By Tristan Harris 19/07 Updated: 19/07 12:15
THE NUMBER of people using Bromsgrove town centre car parks has dropped by a staggering 62,828 over the last 12 months, according to the latest figures available.
The statistics were discussed on Monday (July 16) at the latest Bromsgrove District Council Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting.
According to the numbers, 1,503,562 drivers used the car parks in Bromsgrove town centre between April 1, 2010, and March 31, 2011, whereas 1,440,734 tickets were brought between April 1, 2011, and March 31, 2012.
Bromsgrove District Council leader, Coun Roger Hollingworth said although he was disappointed, he was not surprised by the four per cent drop in car parking numbers.
"The national news today is that inflation has fallen to a two and a half year low, and locally, car parking is a clear indicator of what traders have told us, that the economy, as well as the weather, is dampening businesses down across the board.
“With a number of exciting developments coming up in the town, however, we anticipate that trade will increase.”
But Coun Peter McDonald said Bromsgrove's car parking charges were too high, fees for blue badge holders needed to be scrapped and the concessionary passes for older people needed to be brought back.
"High parking fees are usually associated with attractions and there is nothing attractive enough in Bromsgrove to justify those fees.
"The cost of parking in Bromsgrove is too high and the regulations that see people prosecuted are too sharp - you only have to park an inch over the line to get a ticket.
"The council has, for far too long, used parking charges as a money-making machine."
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