By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 07 September 2012 Updated: 10/09 14:35
CAR PARKING charges in two town centre spots have been scrapped after the scheme made just ten per cent of the money it was expected to.
Councillors took the decision to reinstate free parking at the Town Hall and Trescott Road, close to the Trafford Retail Park, at weekends after making just £1,917 in 2011/12.
The year before, £2,988 was gained from the scheme and in 2009/10 a total of £1,753 despite a £3,000 consultation predicting Redditch Borough Council would receive £22,000 a year.
Leader Bill Hartnett said the scheme was ‘loss making’ which meant the shortfall had to be made up from the borough’s balances.
“Although car parks are a solid form of income generally speaking, it was not the case in Redditch. The scheme is not making financial sense, that’s why it’s going to be withdrawn.”
Coun Greg Chance added it was ‘eminently sensible’ to give people free parking and save money in the process.
“The council paid several thousand pounds to a consultant who told them they’d get £22,000 of ticket sales from these two car parks.
“I don’t know who’s daftest, the people who wrote the consultation or the people who believed it. We need to end what I think is madness and a daft scheme.”
But Coun Michael Braley said, while he did not dispute it was right to get rid of the scheme, he felt not having the exact costings meant the decision was harder to reach.
“It seems the cost isn’t identified so how do you then know whether the small amount of money you actually receive is more or less than you need to pay for this.
“All that is required of enforcement officers is as they come in to the town they have a look around the car park and as they come out again they do something similar.
“I find it bizarre we can’t have the figures and make a rational decision based on facts rather than, I don’t like to say political prejudice, but something close to it.”
Wychavon District Council, the authority which currently enforces parking charges, has expressed an interest in buying two of the three machines at £900 each. An exact date for the reintroduction of free parking has not yet been specified.
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