VIDEO: Heswall protests against parking charges that are 'destroying' the town

Wirral Globe: Local residents and traders protest outside Heswall Library. Local residents and traders protest outside Heswall Library.

HESWALL business owners and members of the local community took to the streets on Friday to protest against the increased parking charges in the town.

Members of Heswall and District Business Association (HDBA) have mounted a legal challenge against the increases which were implemented in April 2013 and saw the cost of parking for one hour shoot up from 30p to £1.05. All day parking rose to £8.

The parking charges apply seven days a week from 8am until 6.30pm, which campaigners say is in contrast to other local towns where free parking is offered every day.

Despite a drop of more than 8,000 ticket sales in 2013/14 compared with the same period in 2012/13, the total net income from Heswall’s 488 car parking spaces has risen from £123,365 to £189,392, according to figures from Wirral Council.

Campaigners say the telling statistic is how long people are now parking, with figures showing the average time spent in Heswall’s car parks has fallen from between three and four hours to just one hour.

Speaking at the peaceful protest today, Karl Mullins – chair of the HDBA – said the charges are “destroying” the town.

He said: “£1.05 is just theft, it should be down to a maximum of 50p.

“It’s destroying our community and it’s affecting all our businesses – it’s destroying the town and businesses are closing as a result.”

Abbas Hussain, HDBA member and owner of Principal Pets on Telegraph Road, said: “Some businesses have reported a downturn of over 25% since the increased charges were introduced.

“If the charges are not urgently decreased we will inevitably lose some local services such as the library and community centre through lack of use.

“If we lose these services and a couple of retailers, a vicious circle could ensure, with fewer people attracted to the town due to lack of services.”

The HDBA believe the increase is in contravention of the 1984 Road Traffic Regulation Act.

Councillor Stuart Whittingham, Wirral’s cabinet member for highways and transportation, said the authority is “acutely aware of businesses’ concerns” and has been talking to those involved to “seek a solution”.

He said: “In 2013, following public consultation on a series of budget options in light of deep cuts to our government grant, the council standardised parking charges across the borough.

“This brought charges in areas like Heswall, West Kirby and Liscard in line with charges already in place in Birkenhead town centre. This also allowed us to reduce some charges, and gave us a fairer system overall.

“We are currently developing a long term car parking strategy for the borough, and a scrutiny review is underway and will take on board all views.

“Car parking income helps to pay for our road maintenance work, repairing potholes and making our roads safer. The income the council receives from car parking charges is reinvested in maintaining the highway network and keeping traffic moving.”

A petition has attracted more than 3,000 signatures and will be presented to Cllr Phil Davies, leader of Wirral Council. It is available to sign in many shops around Heswall.

Comments (22)

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4:38pm Fri 27 Jun 14

bigfoot says...

Why confine it to Heswall,what about West Kirby,Liscard and Birkenhead?
This petition should be rolled out across Wirral.
Why confine it to Heswall,what about West Kirby,Liscard and Birkenhead? This petition should be rolled out across Wirral. bigfoot
  • Score: 17

6:59pm Fri 27 Jun 14

spamfiend says...

Sorry all, but we have had this for years but no-one moaned like this when they hit Birkenhead.

Quote "The parking charges apply seven days a week from 8am until 6.30pm, which campaigners say is in contrast to other local towns where free parking is offered every day."

Again, not in Birkenhead, Liscard or more recently, West Kirby, so welcome to the trade inhibitation we have had to endure (but good luck with your protests)
Sorry all, but we have had this for years but no-one moaned like this when they hit Birkenhead. Quote "The parking charges apply seven days a week from 8am until 6.30pm, which campaigners say is in contrast to other local towns where free parking is offered every day." Again, not in Birkenhead, Liscard or more recently, West Kirby, so welcome to the trade inhibitation we have had to endure (but good luck with your protests) spamfiend
  • Score: 8

8:30pm Fri 27 Jun 14

steady cyclist says...

In the centre of Heswall, there is a bus station with frequent buses from all parts of the wirral, there are also ample bike parking spaces, along with free parking at the large Tesco for a few hours.
So there is very little reason to drive to walk round a few shops.
In the centre of Heswall, there is a bus station with frequent buses from all parts of the wirral, there are also ample bike parking spaces, along with free parking at the large Tesco for a few hours. So there is very little reason to drive to walk round a few shops. steady cyclist
  • Score: 1

8:50pm Fri 27 Jun 14

cheswall says...

steady cyclist wrote:
In the centre of Heswall, there is a bus station with frequent buses from all parts of the wirral, there are also ample bike parking spaces, along with free parking at the large Tesco for a few hours.
So there is very little reason to drive to walk round a few shops.
Well said steady. As well as the excellent bus service there is legitimate free parking available in several locations in the town (some on Telegraph Road, Milner Road, May Road) as well being able to use the car parks at Tesco, Aldi, and other stores if you shop there. The number of cars paying to park might be down, but that doesn't tell the whole story. Tesco car park in particular is now very busy almost always, so clearly people are just using free parking. The last thing Heswall needs is more cars, on a Saturday afternoon the main roads are very, very busy with traffic often back up the length of Telegraph Road.

We should be encouraging local people to walk or cycle and highlight the bus services to the town, car isn't always the answer
[quote][p][bold]steady cyclist[/bold] wrote: In the centre of Heswall, there is a bus station with frequent buses from all parts of the wirral, there are also ample bike parking spaces, along with free parking at the large Tesco for a few hours. So there is very little reason to drive to walk round a few shops.[/p][/quote]Well said steady. As well as the excellent bus service there is legitimate free parking available in several locations in the town (some on Telegraph Road, Milner Road, May Road) as well being able to use the car parks at Tesco, Aldi, and other stores if you shop there. The number of cars paying to park might be down, but that doesn't tell the whole story. Tesco car park in particular is now very busy almost always, so clearly people are just using free parking. The last thing Heswall needs is more cars, on a Saturday afternoon the main roads are very, very busy with traffic often back up the length of Telegraph Road. We should be encouraging local people to walk or cycle and highlight the bus services to the town, car isn't always the answer cheswall
  • Score: 10

9:22pm Fri 27 Jun 14

polo_rob says...

Although I agree the charges are high for the time you get, I personally think this is one of the few things the coucil got right, standardising charges across the borough. Why should the more affleuent areas of the borough pay the least for some services whilst the worse off pay more? So you pay more in council tax.... thats because you have more money and a house thats got a higher rateable value than other areas! Doesn't make you any more or any less important or any more or less deserving as any other citizen of Wirral. Heswall, West Kirby, Hoylake, all get a **** sight better service from the council and better investment in infastructure than say Seacombe, Beechwood, Liscard.
As Steady has pointed out transport links are already more than adequate in Heswall along with the fact that they have TWO subsidised bus services that are funded by Merseytravel and run 9am-6pm that means that the maximum fare is £1.30 no matter how many stops you travel, whereas anyone in Wallasey, Birkenhead, Seacombe, Beechwood has to pay around £2-3 a trip on commercial services, another case of the haves being more well catered for than the have nots!
Although I agree the charges are high for the time you get, I personally think this is one of the few things the coucil got right, standardising charges across the borough. Why should the more affleuent areas of the borough pay the least for some services whilst the worse off pay more? So you pay more in council tax.... thats because you have more money and a house thats got a higher rateable value than other areas! Doesn't make you any more or any less important or any more or less deserving as any other citizen of Wirral. Heswall, West Kirby, Hoylake, all get a **** sight better service from the council and better investment in infastructure than say Seacombe, Beechwood, Liscard. As Steady has pointed out transport links are already more than adequate in Heswall along with the fact that they have TWO subsidised bus services that are funded by Merseytravel and run 9am-6pm that means that the maximum fare is £1.30 no matter how many stops you travel, whereas anyone in Wallasey, Birkenhead, Seacombe, Beechwood has to pay around £2-3 a trip on commercial services, another case of the haves being more well catered for than the have nots! polo_rob
  • Score: 6

9:23pm Fri 27 Jun 14

David Scott says...

UKIP Wirral policy: "Extend free parking to help local shops and businesses compete with out-of-town developments." There are so many reasons why that makes economic and social sense for Wirral, but the local council gets its money from the national business rates pool regardless.
UKIP Wirral policy: "Extend free parking to help local shops and businesses compete with out-of-town developments." There are so many reasons why that makes economic and social sense for Wirral, but the local council gets its money from the national business rates pool regardless. David Scott
  • Score: -6

11:02pm Fri 27 Jun 14

Hon says...

Shame the article is wrong. It's never been 30p in heswall lol. Anyway heswall is more of a eating place for me. I wouldn't go shopping for high priced rubbish that I've seen being sold ! Shame really. People use the internet medium more and more. Plus why dont these businesses offer the parking fee back if they make a purchase in their shop ?. Everyone's happy then ! Seen some do it in liscard.
Shame the article is wrong. It's never been 30p in heswall lol. Anyway heswall is more of a eating place for me. I wouldn't go shopping for high priced rubbish that I've seen being sold ! Shame really. People use the internet medium more and more. Plus why dont these businesses offer the parking fee back if they make a purchase in their shop ?. Everyone's happy then ! Seen some do it in liscard. Hon
  • Score: -1

1:05pm Sat 28 Jun 14

Mike304 says...

I rarely shop anywhere that expects me to pay for parking and no amount of tree-hugging rhetoric will convince me otherwise. Sorry if that offends anyone's sensibilities.

Anyone who pays taxes to this country, local or national, should be able to drive a clean and fuel-efficient personal vehicle to any shopping area, park up for free, do their shopping, drive away and continue with their day without feeling they've been ripped off. End of.
I rarely shop anywhere that expects me to pay for parking and no amount of tree-hugging rhetoric will convince me otherwise. Sorry if that offends anyone's sensibilities. Anyone who pays taxes to this country, local or national, should be able to drive a clean and fuel-efficient personal vehicle to any shopping area, park up for free, do their shopping, drive away and continue with their day without feeling they've been ripped off. End of. Mike304
  • Score: -3

3:31pm Sat 28 Jun 14

johnhardaker says...

Also don't forget the free parking at Aldi for an hour & half & M & S for an hour
also Asda Birkenhead pay a pound spend more than£5.00 & get your money back. I motorists use their loaf there are lots of free places.
You can also park free opposite the town hall in Brighton Street where all council employees & councillors park all day for nowt,
Shop around & give the 2 fingers to the council.
Also don't forget the free parking at Aldi for an hour & half & M & S for an hour also Asda Birkenhead pay a pound spend more than£5.00 & get your money back. I motorists use their loaf there are lots of free places. You can also park free opposite the town hall in Brighton Street where all council employees & councillors park all day for nowt, Shop around & give the 2 fingers to the council. johnhardaker
  • Score: 10

5:27pm Sat 28 Jun 14

Wirral Resident says...

I personally think the Heswall protest is speaking on behalf of all local towns in our Peninsular. How can Birkenhead, West Kirby, Heswall, Liscard or Wallasey compete with the out of town shops like The Croft in Bromborough or Cheshire Oaks where they have large car parks which are free.

I believe the car park charges should be lowered back to 50p so that all people can enjoy their local towns across Wirral.

We are already penalised with huge tunnel fees, now huge car parking charges, high bus fares. Cost of living is crippling most ordinary folk. I detest the leaders of this council who can't seem to think outside the box and come up with innovative ideas to help local businesses and keep our local towns thriving - no they prefer to spend our rates money on stair cases and counsellors extortionate expenses. COME ON COUNCIL and towns of Wirral - we need to stick together and get this council helping us to keep our Peninsular a lovely place to live in where there are jobs. This is contributing to our young to leaving the area for a better life, better job prospects, and better towns to live in because businesses can't grow and therefore, can't employ more people. Thank goodness Heswall does at least have Tesco's who are willing to share their car park which after all was originally a children's hospital belonging to us all.
I personally think the Heswall protest is speaking on behalf of all local towns in our Peninsular. How can Birkenhead, West Kirby, Heswall, Liscard or Wallasey compete with the out of town shops like The Croft in Bromborough or Cheshire Oaks where they have large car parks which are free. I believe the car park charges should be lowered back to 50p so that all people can enjoy their local towns across Wirral. We are already penalised with huge tunnel fees, now huge car parking charges, high bus fares. Cost of living is crippling most ordinary folk. I detest the leaders of this council who can't seem to think outside the box and come up with innovative ideas to help local businesses and keep our local towns thriving - no they prefer to spend our rates money on stair cases and counsellors extortionate expenses. COME ON COUNCIL and towns of Wirral - we need to stick together and get this council helping us to keep our Peninsular a lovely place to live in where there are jobs. This is contributing to our young to leaving the area for a better life, better job prospects, and better towns to live in because businesses can't grow and therefore, can't employ more people. Thank goodness Heswall does at least have Tesco's who are willing to share their car park which after all was originally a children's hospital belonging to us all. Wirral Resident
  • Score: 18

7:33pm Sat 28 Jun 14

Hon says...

Fees ain't massive try Manchester, Liverpool Heck parts of Chester are pretty expensive. I agree with above look and shop around. As for the croft if you can find a space at the weekend you be lucky ! I guess charges serve a purpose and I prefer to pay a little and have no more services cut or the chance to actually park ! If it was all free or too cheap there never be any spaces as all taken up by workers or no turnover of spaces.
Fees ain't massive try Manchester, Liverpool Heck parts of Chester are pretty expensive. I agree with above look and shop around. As for the croft if you can find a space at the weekend you be lucky ! I guess charges serve a purpose and I prefer to pay a little and have no more services cut or the chance to actually park ! If it was all free or too cheap there never be any spaces as all taken up by workers or no turnover of spaces. Hon
  • Score: 6

7:53am Sun 29 Jun 14

yesandorno says...

charging has its place ,with out charges there would be no spaces ....if you dont have to pay to parkthen nearly every member of staff of every business will take the car to work , less space for actual customers.
charging has its place ,with out charges there would be no spaces ....if you dont have to pay to parkthen nearly every member of staff of every business will take the car to work , less space for actual customers. yesandorno
  • Score: 8

9:50am Sun 29 Jun 14

Wirralresident5 says...

You will probably find most of the free parking in Heswall, Liscard and west Kirkby is all taken up by shop workers. As a regular shopper in a couple of these places I've seen shop workers run out to move their cars every time a traffic warden walks past. Maybe before protesting these business need to have words with staff, and try and promote the free parking outside there businesses, before blaming the council for lack of parking. Maybe a bit more thought by these owners would create more business for themselves.
You will probably find most of the free parking in Heswall, Liscard and west Kirkby is all taken up by shop workers. As a regular shopper in a couple of these places I've seen shop workers run out to move their cars every time a traffic warden walks past. Maybe before protesting these business need to have words with staff, and try and promote the free parking outside there businesses, before blaming the council for lack of parking. Maybe a bit more thought by these owners would create more business for themselves. Wirralresident5
  • Score: 10

8:23pm Sun 29 Jun 14

tedmac says...

I rarely shop where you have to pay for parking, The council are squeezing every penny they can out of the populace and as a ratepayer I feel their immoral charges are an insult to the people of Wirral regardless of their location.
The Supermarkets offer free parking because it makes business sense, its a shame the blockheads who run the council can't see the advantages seen by
private enterprise
I rarely shop where you have to pay for parking, The council are squeezing every penny they can out of the populace and as a ratepayer I feel their immoral charges are an insult to the people of Wirral regardless of their location. The Supermarkets offer free parking because it makes business sense, its a shame the blockheads who run the council can't see the advantages seen by private enterprise tedmac
  • Score: 4

8:41am Mon 30 Jun 14

WirralAl says...

This council would rather the shops all closed down than provide any help or support.

Parking should be free to enhance the trade for all shops. Councils allow big stores such as Tesco and Asda to build these supermarkets with free parking so they should provide free parking to enable these smaller businesses to stand a chance to survive. The current policy is short sighted and has already damaged the local economy.

Write to the Mayor I am sure he will help (himself)
This council would rather the shops all closed down than provide any help or support. Parking should be free to enhance the trade for all shops. Councils allow big stores such as Tesco and Asda to build these supermarkets with free parking so they should provide free parking to enable these smaller businesses to stand a chance to survive. The current policy is short sighted and has already damaged the local economy. Write to the Mayor I am sure he will help (himself) WirralAl
  • Score: -2

12:32pm Tue 1 Jul 14

Joylake says...

wonder how many protested in their hour lunch break, great idea to protest against but these things never make any difference
wonder how many protested in their hour lunch break, great idea to protest against but these things never make any difference Joylake
  • Score: 0

6:20pm Tue 1 Jul 14

David Scott says...

yesandorno wrote:
charging has its place ,with out charges there would be no spaces ....if you dont have to pay to parkthen nearly every member of staff of every business will take the car to work , less space for actual customers.
No reason why there can't be free parking up to 1 hour, 2 hours or whatever is appropriate for a particular location.
[quote][p][bold]yesandorno[/bold] wrote: charging has its place ,with out charges there would be no spaces ....if you dont have to pay to parkthen nearly every member of staff of every business will take the car to work , less space for actual customers.[/p][/quote]No reason why there can't be free parking up to 1 hour, 2 hours or whatever is appropriate for a particular location. David Scott
  • Score: -2

8:03pm Tue 1 Jul 14

dave301bounty says...

let the charges go up ,then the sight of cars will go down ,and you will get more on their bike and healthier ,cars are destroying the place ,tin extensions .
let the charges go up ,then the sight of cars will go down ,and you will get more on their bike and healthier ,cars are destroying the place ,tin extensions . dave301bounty
  • Score: 0

7:02pm Wed 2 Jul 14

naughtykitties says...

Village populated by millionares and similar complains about having to pay a few extra quid on the parking or leave their overpriced status symbols at home and use the bus or their legs like the rest of us oiks. Boohoo, my heart bleeds.
Village populated by millionares and similar complains about having to pay a few extra quid on the parking or leave their overpriced status symbols at home and use the bus or their legs like the rest of us oiks. Boohoo, my heart bleeds. naughtykitties
  • Score: 0

9:21pm Wed 2 Jul 14

David Scott says...

naughtykitties wrote:
Village populated by millionares and similar complains about having to pay a few extra quid on the parking or leave their overpriced status symbols at home and use the bus or their legs like the rest of us oiks. Boohoo, my heart bleeds.
It's local businesses that are complaining, and if they can't survive we all lose out.
[quote][p][bold]naughtykitties[/bold] wrote: Village populated by millionares and similar complains about having to pay a few extra quid on the parking or leave their overpriced status symbols at home and use the bus or their legs like the rest of us oiks. Boohoo, my heart bleeds.[/p][/quote]It's local businesses that are complaining, and if they can't survive we all lose out. David Scott
  • Score: 4

5:39pm Thu 3 Jul 14

PatDavies says...

I am totally against these increased charges as well as against parking charges in general. The council have obviously made and extra £50k so they will see this increase as a success, however there have been 8,000 less ticket sales, which equates to 8000 less shoppers which will eventually mean shops closing, leading to less rent and rates to the council. Whereas free or very cheap parking i.e. 50p all day would mean more shoppers and less vacant shops.

I rarely visit Liscard or Birkenhead for the parking charges reason and due to the empty shop, preferring to go to the out of town shops, where I get free parking and can buy everything I need.

I suggest the council introduce these low charges for a year and just see what the effect might be.
I am totally against these increased charges as well as against parking charges in general. The council have obviously made and extra £50k so they will see this increase as a success, however there have been 8,000 less ticket sales, which equates to 8000 less shoppers which will eventually mean shops closing, leading to less rent and rates to the council. Whereas free or very cheap parking i.e. 50p all day would mean more shoppers and less vacant shops. I rarely visit Liscard or Birkenhead for the parking charges reason and due to the empty shop, preferring to go to the out of town shops, where I get free parking and can buy everything I need. I suggest the council introduce these low charges for a year and just see what the effect might be. PatDavies
  • Score: 1

1:43pm Fri 4 Jul 14

cheswall says...

PatDavies wrote:
I am totally against these increased charges as well as against parking charges in general. The council have obviously made and extra £50k so they will see this increase as a success, however there have been 8,000 less ticket sales, which equates to 8000 less shoppers which will eventually mean shops closing, leading to less rent and rates to the council. Whereas free or very cheap parking i.e. 50p all day would mean more shoppers and less vacant shops.

I rarely visit Liscard or Birkenhead for the parking charges reason and due to the empty shop, preferring to go to the out of town shops, where I get free parking and can buy everything I need.

I suggest the council introduce these low charges for a year and just see what the effect might be.
How do you know that 8000 less tickets sales = 8000 less shoppers ? People are using the free parking more (the free spaces are almost always full now). Perhaps more people are walking, cycling or using he excellent public transport to Heswall.

Less cars doesn't have to mean less people. It amuses me that people complain about paying for parking, but are then happy to spend extra money on fuel etc to drive to a retail park
[quote][p][bold]PatDavies[/bold] wrote: I am totally against these increased charges as well as against parking charges in general. The council have obviously made and extra £50k so they will see this increase as a success, however there have been 8,000 less ticket sales, which equates to 8000 less shoppers which will eventually mean shops closing, leading to less rent and rates to the council. Whereas free or very cheap parking i.e. 50p all day would mean more shoppers and less vacant shops. I rarely visit Liscard or Birkenhead for the parking charges reason and due to the empty shop, preferring to go to the out of town shops, where I get free parking and can buy everything I need. I suggest the council introduce these low charges for a year and just see what the effect might be.[/p][/quote]How do you know that 8000 less tickets sales = 8000 less shoppers ? People are using the free parking more (the free spaces are almost always full now). Perhaps more people are walking, cycling or using he excellent public transport to Heswall. Less cars doesn't have to mean less people. It amuses me that people complain about paying for parking, but are then happy to spend extra money on fuel etc to drive to a retail park cheswall
  • Score: 5
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