Boxley's takes on local council over parking

An award-winning butcher's has launched a campaign against the introduction of parking charges to its village.

Adrian Jackson and Mark Brookes of Boxley's of Wombourne, near Wolverhampton in the West Midlands, have started a petition calling for an extension of the village's free parking time limits and to voice their opposition against any plans to propose charging. Their initiative follows a recent plea by the Forum of Private Business for local authorities to keep parking fees down.

A number of councils across the country have increased parking charges in recent months in a bid to boost their coffers in the light of central government spending cuts. They have claimed the extra money is needed to plug shortfalls in budgets.

Adrian told MTJ Extra that trade in Wombourne had suffered since the development of a new nearby Sainsbury's and he warned the introduction of parking fees would be the death of independent trade in the small community. He said the village which is free to park in at the moment had witnessed a crackdown on parking irregularities, which was forcing people to shop elsewhere. Up to 17 people are believed to have been handed a 50 fine for parking with their wheels on the white lines of free parking bays in one day.

"People cannot afford to comeand shop if they are going to be hit with a 50 fine for a minor irregularity," said Adrian. "We are also campaigning for an extension of the time limits for free parking in the village.

"Currently they stand at 20 minutes or one hour, depending on the location. We are campaigning to make it two hours, as not a lot of shopping can be done in 20 minutes. We also want to make sure that our local authority knows that we would not tolerate the introduction of parking fees to the village."

The campaign in Wombourne also follows similar moves in Cockermouth in Cumbria, which saw 2,000 signatures calling for a reversal of parking charges. Eastbourne in East Sussex is also reviewing its parking charges which were first introduced in 2009.

l Do you have an issue with parking charges affecting your trade? Then contact Martyn Leek on martyn.leek@wrbm.com or call 01293 846565.