No changes to be made to Bromsgrove parking charges

By Beth Sharp Thursday 19 December 2013 Updated: 23/12 17:10

BROMSGROVE residents will not see any changes to the town's car parking in the near future, it has been decided.

The district council's Parking Review December 2013 was discussed at Monday's (December 16) Overview and Scrutiny meeting.

Members decided to take no further action at this time as they deemed the negative impact of a price slash would outweigh any benefits. They decided to review it again at a later date.

The review examined the town's on and off-road parking and compared it with other districts. It also looked at the impact of future developments.

The council offers two payment methods in its 11 charging car parks - pay on foot or pay and display.

While pay and display ticket sales in Bromsgrove had risen from 11,000 to 35,000-a-month since the council's last price drop three-years-ago, there had also been a decrease in income of between £250,000 and £500,000.

The total income from parking, last year, was just over £1million, which made up a large portion of the council's budget, meaning reduced tickets could affect the authority's spending power. That, members said, could mean finding funding from elsewhere, such as a council tax increase.

Coun Chris Bloore suggested the committee investigated the possiblilty of cutting evening and Sunday parking costs, but his motion was rejected.

Mary Rowland, secretary for Bromsgrove Forum of Older People, said: "It was a very disappointing decision.

"It seems sad they can't consider any other option other than to continuing doing nothing."

Coun Michael Webb, responsible for environmental services, said it was not the right time to review parking.

"The report showed parking rates in the town are comparable to equivalent places and while times continue to be hard, Bromsgrove’s traders are weathering the storm better than many."

He pointed out the vacancy rates of town centre shops were far better than the West Midlands' and national averages.

"When you add to this that car parks at Hanover Street, Market Street, Stourbridge Road and Recreation Road may all shortly undergo varying degrees of redevelopment, it becomes increasingly clear now is not the time to make changes."

He concluded by saying he understood the concerns over costs, but said prices had been frozen, pay on foot had eliminated late fines and a fairer enforcement regime had seen parking fines and complaints 'plummet'.

Anyone wanting to have their say on parking should contact their councillor or the parking service on 01386 565009.

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