NOW is not the time to be making more changes to parking in Shirley, according to traders, following plans to introduce payment meters along the high street.
While shopowners say they are against their customers having to display a ticket to park for the first hour for free, the council’s head of transport Councillor Ted Richards said the move will actually benefit shoppers.
At the moment drivers can park along the street for one hour for free but, if implemented, the new system will allow visitors to pay for a second hour.
Jim Ferry, chairman of the Shirley Town Centre Partnership, said the majority of traders were not in favour of more changes being made to the parking arrangements in the town.
In a letter to the council, written on behalf of the traders, Mr Ferry said: “There have been many recent changes to car parking (including the introduction of a three hour free and display in some existing car parks which was implemented due to the parking problems caused by the major construction work and associated disruption on the Stratford Road/Haslucks Green Rd junction) and this has already caused confusion to shoppers.
“We would request that this proposed system, which does not appear to offer any meaningful benefits (and yet would cost the council considerably to implement) be considered after Parkgate is open - especially as we have always been assured that there will be enough parking within the Parkgate development itself.”
Mr Ferry said traders felt their customers would only become more confused by yet more changes to parking in the area and would not want the hassle of collecting a ticket for a short visit.
He said around 20 per cent of traders, including hair dressers and food outlets, were in favour of customers being able to park for longer.
Councillor Richards said the proposals are to ‘ensure parking management flows across the borough.’
“At the moment shoppers can only park along the service road for an hour. For an extra 50p, they can have an extra hour.
“This will also make it easier for our [parking enforcement] officers to enforce the new system, as it takes them around two and a half hours to cover the length of the service road.”