CAMPAIGNERS seeking a solution to the parking problem at Bromsgrove's Artrix theatre have been told it could cost thousands of pounds - "well beyond" their budget.

The Advertiser reported last autumn that the Heart of Worcestershire College, which owns the Slideslow Drive car park, had made the decision to start charging Artrix users.

The move prompted widespread anger, particularly as payment could only be made by a phone app, which many felt compromised elderly users unfamiliar with such systems.

Now, campaign group Bromsgrove Arts Alive has told the Advertiser that a recent meeting with college chiefs achieved little - but that it will continue to seek an answer.

The Advertiser understands that a petition calling for HoW College to consider providing a cashless pay-on-foot machine for their car park next to Artrix has been handed in to the college.

Representatives from Bromsgrove Arts Alive say they met with the college vice-principal and chair of governors to present the petition, signed by 1,468 people.

In response, the college is alleged to have offered the opportunity for the community to purchase a machine to enable car park users to pay on foot.

This would cost £4,500 plus an annual maintenance charge of around £2,000, BAA says.

A spokesperson for BAA said: "A number of daytime visitors to Artrix, particularly those without smartphones and ready access to the internet, have said they would welcome this means of paying as an alternative to having to phone, use the app or register online.

"Despite the obvious community benefit of an on-site payment machine, the costs quoted by the college are well beyond the budget of Bromsgrove Arts organisations.

"It is proving difficult to find a way forward with this, but Bromsgrove Arts Alive continues to seek a viable solution.’

The charges, up to £5, are until 7pm each day and can only be paid for by a phone app. People who do not comply will face a fine of £100.

Last year, a college spokesperson said that the implementation of a pay-by-phone only method had been put into place due to 'considerable cost pressures' and that a 'pay and display' facility was, consequently, not an option it was 'able to pursue'.

When contacted by the Advertiser about the latest developments, the college said it did not wish to comment.