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Sunday parking charges in Wolverhampton rake in £1,140 a week

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

New Sunday parking charges introduced in a city to boost council coffers have raked in an average of just over £1,140 each week, it has emerged.

Drivers in Wolverhampton city centre have faced Sunday parking charges since the start of April.

And in the 10 weeks since they were introduced they have brought in £11,421.

A total of 251 fines have been handed to drivers who flouted the rules- although council bosses have said there was a three week grace period when drivers were issued with warning letters as they got used to the new charges.

Sunday parking charges were introduced as the city council battles to save £123 million over the next five years.

Poll: Would Sunday parking charges put you off shopping in town centres?

But one business leader today said the move was affecting footfall and the council was 'scoring an own goal'.

Sham Sharma, chairman of the Wolverhampton Business Forum, said the average amount being raised each Sunday in the city did not appear to outweigh the impact businesses claim it is having on footfall.

"It seems such a small amount for the council to bring in and it much of it probably goes on the administration of the new charges," he said.

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"I feel it's an unnecessary change in parking charges although I can understand where the local authority is coming from because at a time like this they are going to be trying to get as much as they can.

"Yes these new charges have raised some money but they have probably done more damage to businesses in the city.

"Is there enough retail offer in the city to justify the new charges?"

Mr Sharma said since the new charges were brought in, some businesses had complained of a drop in footfall.

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"Although these charges are understandable, it is like they are scoring an own goal," he added.

Normal parking charges now apply on Sundays, meaning drivers have to pay fees ranging from 60p for an hour to £4 for four hours.

Charges have also been introduced for Bank Holidays, while some car parks that were free to use after 5pm now charge £1.

Tim Clark, Wolverhampton City Council spokesman, said: "Until these, we were the only council in the region not to charge on Sundays.

"The charges brought in are among the cheapest.

"People will appreciate that car parks cost money to maintain and to keep secure and clean."

The parking fines dished out were for £50 but these can be reduced to £25 if paid within a fortnight.

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