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Walsall Council wants free parking cut

Walsall | News | Published:

Bosses at the new Tesco in Walsall are to be asked to reduce their free parking — to help bail out the council.

Bosses at the new Tesco in Walsall are to be asked to reduce their free parking — to help bail out the council.

Town hall chiefs say the offer is tempting shoppers away from the town centre where they recently introduced new charges. Walsall Council wants a two-hour limit imposed at the £65 million store.

At the moment shoppers can park free for three hours.

Shoppers pay £1.40 for two hours at council car parks or £3.80 for four-hour stays.

Tesco has 750 spaces and council leader Mike Bird said he was concerned people were parking at the site off Littleton Street West and just staying at the store.

It has led to fewer visitors paying to use council car parks and he is requesting officers talk to Tesco about a reduced parking limit.

Councillor Bird said: "We are looking to negotiate it down to two hours. People are going there and leaving their cars. There has been a decrease in people using town centre car parks and it is not to do with the charges. We want people to go to shops in the town centre."

Tesco today said it was not aware of any requests about the car park at this stage but would be happy to discuss the matter.

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Free parking was all but eliminated in the town centre following the introduction of on-street parking charges by the council.

A 600-name petition has been launched by businesses and shoppers against the fees after claims it has left some traders hundreds of pounds out of pocket. Parking meters have been installed in 19 streets, with drivers charged 20p for 10 minutes.

Yesterday it emerged almost 1,700 drivers flouting the new laws had been stung with parking tickets in the first month of the new rules, raising £18,000 for council coffers.

Recent figures also show that less than half the parking spaces in Walsall are filled on the busiest weekend trading day.

On average just 46 per cent of short stay spots are being taken on a Saturday.

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