Long awaited parking review considered by Bromsgrove councillors

THE long awaited parking review was considered by Bromsgrove District councillors on Monday, (December 16).

In September 2012, councillors rejected a motion calling for significant price reductions on council owned car parks. The topic was also raised by Charlie Bateman, on behalf of the Bromsgrove Forum for Older People, earlier this year.

The published review was looked at by the authority's overview and scrutiny committee at its latest meeting. It considers parking provision in Bromsgrove district, both on and off street parking, and the possible impacts of future development around the town centre on several car parks.

The review also considered Altrincham, where Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council had slashed parking charges to 10p for one hour, 30p for two and 70p for three.

After the reduction the monthly pay and display tickets had risen from 11,000 per month to an average of 35,500 per month.

However the review said the success of the scheme could not be judged by this measure alone, particularly as Altrincham’s retail offer was felt significantly larger than Bromsgrove's.

It was noted if Bromsgrove adopted the Altrincham model on Recreation Road South car park, based on the same car park usage rates obtained for 2012/13, the income would have been £153,207. This is compared to the actual figure taken, £550,750, representing a 72 per cent reduction.

During discussions, Councillor Chris Scurrell said he had heard no evidence that clearly demonstrated changing the current car park arrangements would improve town centre economy.

However Labour councillor for Sidemoor Chris Bloore said although the older people's forum had been thanked, everything it had said (in calling for a reduction) had been completely ignored.

The relevant portfolio holder, Councillor Michael Webb, told members he hoped the forum would look at the review and now be able to make an informed choice.

A vote was taken, with the majority of members deciding to take no action on the review at this time.

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