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Readers' views on Wirral parking charge increase
MOTORISTS have described increases in car parking charges at shopping centres across Wirral as 'unfair'.
From next month parking charges across the borough will be standardized across the peninsula to fall in line with rates in Birkenhead.
Motorists visiting West Kirby, Heswall and Liscard shops will have to fork out extra cash for local authority car parks.
It means that the first hour of parking in a council-run car park will be £1.05 from April 8.
In many of the car parks, it will be £1.65 to park for up to two hours, up to three will be £2.05, up to four hours the price will £3.40 and up to five will be £4.10. Any period over five hours will be £8.
There are some exceptions to this tariff.
At the long-stay car park in Upper Mount Avenue in Heswall, for example, the first two hours of parking will cost £1.05, and anything longer than that will be charged at an all-day rate of £4.10
In the long-stay car parks in Birkenhead - Woodside Approach, Elgin Way, Hinson St, Duncan St and Quarry Bank Street – it will be £1.05 to park for up to one hour or £4.10 for all day.
At the Price Street car park, at the back of Conway Street railway station, prices will be £1.05 for up to one hour, £1.65 to park for up to two hours, up to three will be £2.05 and £2.90 to park all day.
In addition, in the long-stay, on-street pay and display bays around Birkenhead, the Council is introducing a reduced £2.50 all day parking rate.
People will also be able to purchase an annual permit to park in these spaces at a cost of £570 per year, with an option to pay monthly.
Councillor Harry Smith, Wirral Council cabinet member for streetscene and transport services, said: “We believe it is was unfair to charge such different rates for car parking across Wirral and we therefore took the decision to standardise charges at the current rate for Birkenhead car parks.
“I appreciate that people will see the cost of parking their car in some parts of the borough rise considerably as a result of the change, but we believe having standardised charges across Wirral is the right and fair way to go in the longer term.
He added: “At the same time, I believe reducing the ‘all day’ charges in Birkenhead on-street long stay bays to £2.50 will make these spaces more competitive with private operators in these areas.”
From the end of March, funding for the "Free After 3" parking scheme runs out and the council has decided not to continue with this offer. That means that people parking in Council-run car parks after 3pm will have to pay at the appropriate parking rate.
Full details of the new parking charges and the locations to which they apply can be found on the Wirral Council website - https://www.wirral.gov.uk/my-services/transport-and-streets/parking
SO do you think the price increase fair?
The Globe went out to the Concourse carpark in West Kirby and spoke to motorists.
Adam Sands, 29, from Neston, manager of ZeroFour hairdresser in West Kirby
"This increase in parking charges will be terrible for the town.
"I think the business will suffer, because a lot of my clients come from outside Wirral.
"Some of my clients live out of the area so because the price is going up, people will be forced to find other places to park or in nearby streets or may just go to Liverpool."
Norman Irlam, 77, a retired clerk from Meols
"It means we are going to have to pay a lot more to park at the Concourse just to see a doctor and will make a big difference to us."
Student Ruzbah Riahi, 18, from Hoylake
"It's a bad idea. I use the Concourse car park everyday to use the gym and will stop doing it because of this. I’ll have to park elsewhere."
Mike Heaps, 53, retired and from Oxton
"I don’t think it's fair.
"While it's in line with city centre parking, all parking for leisure facilities seems unjustified.
"On several occasions the parking ticket meters have not been working, which also causes problems. You’re paying for car parks themselves, so why aren’t they maintained?"
Katie Farrington, 32, a customer service advisor from Moreton
"It's disgusting for the price to jump from 30p an hour to £1.05 overnight.
"It will put off a lot people, particularly the elderly, who use the car park when using the swimming baths."
Katie's colleague Lindsey Hobley, 35, from Wallasey
"It's a bit steep and will certainly put a lot of people off using the car park."