MELL Square’s trial of pay-and-display parking will be extended until December while a three month trial is to be introduced at Lode Lane, it has been confirmed.
A council report acknowledged the new arrangements, introduced almost 12 months ago, had been unpopular with some customers and local retailers, while the car park income from April to December was around £170,000 down on the same period in 2011.
But transport officer Paul Tovey said the council and partners such as Solihull BID, would be working to promote local traders in Mell Square through various events.
“We need to get more people to come back to Mell Square car park,” he told last Thursday’s transport and highways meeting.
“We recognise it has had an impact on business.
“We would certainly like to do some work with traders in Mell Square to help promote them.”
Solihull Ratepayers’ Assocation representative Trevor Eames claimed independent traders had seen a 12 per cent reduction in trade since the trial, although Mr Tovey said the figure was more like three.
“People can’t do a leisurely shop when they are worrying about getting a parking ticket,” Mr Eames added.
The committee heard a pay-and-display system at Mell Square and Lode Lane car park would save around £100,000 a year.
Paul Round, Mell Square’s centre manager said he was keen to work with Solihull Council to promote traders but was hopeful a “spirited compromise” could be reached before the end of the twelve months.
“As far as retailers are concerned, not just in Mell Square but in the rest of town, a large proportion of their customers would like to see pay-on-foot reinstated as soon as possible.”