Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Bid to cut Mell Square parking charges

CUTS to fees at Mell Square multi-storey are to be considered following a fall in profits.

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A leading councillor will consider four options for fees at the Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council-owned facility this week.

In April 2012 drivers were told to pay up front for parking instead of when leaving so savings could be made from cheaper equipment and less staff.

In the previous 12 months the car park brought in £940,070 but this fell to £725,866 in the following 12 months, when the new system was in place.

Now cabinet member for transport and highways Ted Richards will consider new pricing proposals.

Three of the four propose cutting the £2.30 rate for up to two hours while one sets a maximum £4 long-stay charge compared to £8.20 now (see full proposals here).

A council report said: "It has been suggested that officers consider new tariffs that could be better suited to visitors and shoppers within the town centre and not solely focused on generating  additional income.”

Yet urges Mr Richards not accept one option, which extends the £1.20 fee of up to an hour up to two hours.

It said: “This is likely to have a significant negative effect on income and is not recommended.”

Official figures show the council got about £3.6m income in 2013/14 from car parking fees and had about £1.6m costs, giving it £2m profit for other council services.

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