A CAR PARK in Rubery village centre which has always been free will only be free for the first hour after the company which operates it announced plans to start charging shoppers and visitors.
Property management company LCP, which manages the car park behind the Co-op on behalf of L&C Investment, will use an Automatic Number Plate Recognition system to monitor the area.
It claimed it planned to introduce a fee of 90p for the second hour and 90p for the third ‘to help reduce anti-social behaviour’.
LCP told the Standard it was not sure if shoppers would be charged after the third hour, because the system ‘had not been installed yet’.
Rubery Councillor Peter Mcdonald said: “This land was adopted some 20 years ago and has been regularly maintained by Worcestershire County Council.
“The council has made it clear it will not allow parking charges to be introduced and L&C Investment is challenging that.
“With more than £100,000 being spent on the regeneration of Rubery to encourage people to shop, the last thing anyone wants is parking charges being introduced.”
LCP claims it has responded to residents in the area who have complained about people using the car park for the wrong reasons.
Rakesh Joshi, asset manager at LCP, said: “Since we acquired the site in August 2017, we’ve been made aware of anti-social behaviour at the rear car park and we’re working towards a solution to stop that.
“And we believe the introduction of the ANPR will accomplish this.
“We have been in discussion with the council and the highways agency regarding the introduction of an ANPR system, which will bring peace of mind to the residents who live in flats and also to people in the local area.
“Shoppers will still be able to benefit from free parking at the front of the New Road shopping parade, which consists of 19 spaces.”