Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Parking charges 'freeing up spaces'

THE introduction of parking charges in Knowle has seen a faster turnover of spaces as hoped for, a council report says.

Click the headline or link below to read the rest of this story.

But charges – for stays over three hours – had moved some parking onto residential streets and not moved people onto buses as hoped, it says.

Fees were introduced in November in a bid to deter long-stay parking, particularly among workers, and free up spaces at six car parks.

While it said it is “too early” to predict its future, figures about number of tickets was “very positive” the Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council report said.

They show free visits went from 44,068 in November to 50,427 in January with 6,862 paid visits, bringing in £8,987.

The council planned for it to contribute £1,965 to its savings programme over the three months but it brought in £6,567.

The scheme – also introduced in Shirley – is “supporting local businesses by ensuring an appropriate turnover of parking space and also delivering the council’s approved medium term financial savings targets”.

Drivers have to get a ticket for free and paid parking, in operation from 8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday, including public and bank holidays.

Three to four hours is 50p; up to five hours £1; up to six hours £1.50 and up to 10 hours £2.

The report said: “Reaction and complaints from customers in Knowle has also been very limited.” This is because of work by Knowle Society members to help people with the system in its first two weeks, the report said.

But it said: “There is no evidence of the system changing people’s mode of transport, but there is evidence that some vehicles have displaced from the car park to un-restricted nearby residential streets. This is subject to surveys which will determine if further action is required.”

Before it was introduced, the council urged people to “where practical, consider using more sustainable modes of transport, including the improving local bus services, or cycling and walking”.

No penalty tickets were given out in 2013 and 123 were given out in January.

What do you think? Leave your comments below. No registration required. Posts must abide by the terms and conditions. Report comments at

Click here to get stories by email.


  1. Wonder if they got my complaint as they didn't respond to it...

  2. The council will publish what they want whether it's true or not. This is not to help local businesses it is to help Solihull manage it's funding cuts. They could stop tinkering round the edges get rid if councillors teas and a few top earners and job done

  3. 'The council will publish what they want whether it's true or not.' ???
    No they won't - but people like you will continue to insist something is true regardless of objective facts. The scheme is working pretty well it seems - and if it raises some money for the council - good. local councils are under such pressure and I for one don't want more services cut. And no - I don't work for the council - that's not why I'm saying this. Sorting parking is not tinkering round the edges - its a practical thing to do that impacts on the community. Well done to the council for addressing it and The Knowle Society for helping to implement it smoothly. I'm not usually a big fan of the Knowle Society - but they have done a good thing in this case. Would it be too much to ask people to be objective and open to change rather than doom sayers and miseries?

    1. Lies damned lies and statistics. The truth, more people that would have been in the all day free car park are parking elsewhere. The majority of other users of the large all day free car park, are now time restricted to three hours, so yes the turnover of spaces will go up overall. But at what cost? Those who need to park in knowle to bring you the benefit of shops and services are now taxed for doing so. (see message below)

    2. And its only a matter of time before the yellow lines arrive everywhere else.

  4. Since the car parking charges were introduced in Knowle, I have noticed there are now a considerable amount of cars parking in Kixley Lane (which already had a parking problem with children being collected from the school). Also Kenilworth Road, particularly if there is wedding or something going on at the church. Crabmill Close, where again there was already a problem with children being collected from the school. These are only roads that I have noticed but I am sure there are lot more roads around Knowle with the same problem.

    1. Yes, more people are parking on side roads, but please, please don't go for yellow lines etc. They can be more of a problem to the residents than parked cars! Re public transport, I expect you will find that most who come by car are coming from areas that it would be very difficult to get here by public transport, as when they took the job they had planned to come by car. Also unless you have shower arrangements, I for one would not like to spend the rest of the day 'smelling' and I don't think the other people I worked with would. Also the weather in this country does not really make it great to always cycle to work. You try getting to Knowle from Kings Norton and Kings Heath and Chessetts Green and Meriden etc.
      A realist

  5. Crabmill Close is definitely getting its share of people parking for hours to avoid paying for parking during the week and on Saturdays there is a continuous stream of people parking in the Close for a short space of time when there are an abundance of spaces available in the car park - it really is simple to get a ticket - have some consideration for your neighbours!

  6. I have repeatedly mailed the council asking where I can park. As a resident of the high street, our flats were built with an expectation that parking would be available in public car parks overnight. Now, as a result of this new scheme is it not practically possible to park overnight anywhere in Knowle.

    Scenario, return from work at 4pm, park somewhere? Where? All spaces on the green are occupied at this time. Ok, park in the free carpark get a ticket valid until 6pm, and then next morning, fancy a lie in since no work until 10am but have to be up at 7.30am just to put a new ticket in the car before 8am.

    Up to 30 residents used to park overnight, but are now forced to find alternatives further afield. The car parks never were that secure anyway, having had my vehicle vandalised 15 times over the past 10 years. The council have failed to provide parking for those who actually need it, to park. Shoppers can and will go elsewhere if the parking is too restrictive, but some of us have to live here.

    The council's report of higher turnover of spaces represents highly selective reporting. Remember the quote about lies, damned lies and statistics. You can make statistics say whatever you want them to say.

    So. the car park in which previously you could park all day for free would typically be used by workers in Knowle, this is now limited to 3 hours free parking. So yes that is likely to see a higher turnover of spaces. Point to the council, but at what cost? Well the council now gets to tax the workers and those bringing commercial benefit to Knowle for their parking.

    Compare that to the Tesco car park which was 2 hours free, and is now 3 hours free, AND those workers who can afford their parking tax can take up a space all day in a prime spot, for the appropriate fee. Note several spaces now taken up by parking meters, and several non-offical spaces in which people are now too afraid to park in, for fear of a ticket. So logically it is very likely that turnover in the car park where the highest turnover is desirable will have fallen.

    And for residents, it's a complete failure to provide for our genuine needs. So much so one wonders if anyone even considered the needs of residents before proposing this cockamamie scheme.