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Parking charges could be cut in Walsall

By Richard Guttridge | Walsall | News | Published:

Car parking charges could be slashed in Walsall in an effort to boost the struggling town centre.

Parking charges could be cut in Walsall

Bosses are to consider reducing charges on council-owned car parks, a new report has revealed.

Council leader Mike Bird said he intended to stick to promises made when the Conservatives took control of the authority, but he admitted he had doubts about the impact the move would have.

Full details of cost reductions would need to be decided by the cabinet, Councillor Bird said.

But he warned he would be reluctant to cut prices to an extent where they were significantly cheaper than private car parks in the town.

A council report said the proposal to lower parking charges would be discussed in July.

It follows pressure from business owners for action to try and boost support for the town centre, where a number of shop units have been left empty.

Marks & Spencer pulled out of Walsall last year after 75 years, delivering a major blow to the town.

Councillor Bird said: "We have listened to traders and they have said if you reduce car parking charges it will increase traffic flow.

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"I'm a sceptic but we made a pledge in the election and we're doing exactly that. We need to do everything we can to resurrect town centre footfall. I hope it works."

He added: "It will be a cabinet decision. We will be looking to see what we can do.

"There are private car parks in the town and there is an agreement all car parking charges should be harmonised. We have got to make sure wo don't make it look more attractive to others as all that does is move footfall from one end to the other."

The latest bid to breathe life into the town centre comes after it was revealed Walsall Council would trial a free Sunday parking scheme.

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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