WIRRAL Council is being urged to scrap its plans for parking charges after more than 16,000 signed petitions against the scheme.
Subject to public consultation, they include imposing pay-and-display at country parks and New Brighton Fort Perch Rock.
More than 50 streets have been earmarked for charging (see full list at the end of this article).
So far, 16,353 people have signed the petitions.
The ruling Labour group says it needs to raise extra cash to top-up threadbare budgets following Government cuts.
But Tories warn the move will destroy the borough's outlying shopping areas by driving custom elsewhere.
Because of the number of names on the petitions, Conservative Group Leader Jeff Green is calling for an extraordinary meeting of the council to discuss the proposal.
He told the Globe today: "There are now over 16,353 people who have signed petitions against these proposals.
"I believe it is now time for Councillor Phil Davies and his Labour colleagues to listen to those people and withdraw all these schemes in their entirety.
"The Conservative Group therefore, have today, demanded a special council be held as we believe any further consultation to be a waste of Taxpayers’ money and Council Officer time."
He continued: "Many Wirral residents have contacted me over these proposals; numerous traders, operating on a knife edge, who are convinced that parking charges in Town Centres and at the Country Parks will sound the death knell for their businesses.
"Grandparents, who act as unpaid carers, think it’s desperately unfair that their grandchildren won’t be able to enjoy the places that they took their children.
"For example, Larry Kirwan, who visits Arrowe Park at least twice a week with his grandchildren has told me that the children love foot golf, chip and putt and playing on the swings but they simply won’t be able to go as often if they have to pay for parking.
"He believes, like I do, public parks should be free for everyone to access.
"I am now calling on the Leader of the Council to withdraw these anti-business, anti-employment, anti-resident, ill-thought out proposals immediately."
The council plans to raise extra cash by:
- Increasing fees by 50p per hour in existing car parks.
- Charging for on-street parking in West Wirral.
- Introducing pay and display at Fort Perch Rock in New Brighton.
- Bringing in a new £4 a day parking charge for Wirral's country parks.
- Imposing charges at nine other locations across the borough.
Country Parks affected are:
- Arrowe Country Park
- Pensby and Thingwall
There are plans to start charging for parking where it is currently free in the following locations.
- South Parade
- Banks Road
- The Crescent
- Grange Road
The report said charges in this area will raise around £60,000 a year.
- Market Street
- Station Road
- Albert Road
- Charles Road car park
- Carr Lane car park
- Telegraph Road
- Pye Road
- The Mount
- May Road
- Milner Road
- Rocky Lane South car park
- Seaview Road
- Liscard Village
- Wallasey Road
- Mill Lane
- Liscard Road
- Manor Road car park
- Allport Lane
- Bromborough Village Road
- High Street
- Allport Lane car park
- Income: £30,000.
- Bromborough Road
- Church Road car park
- Thingwall Road
- Manor Road
- Roslin Road car park
- Rake Lane
- Arrowe Park Road
- Hoylake Road
- Oakenholt Road
- Pasture Road
- Chadwick Street
- Barnston Lane
- Upton Road
- Holt Avenue car park
- Garden Lane car park
The Labour group's transport chief Cllr Stuart Whittingham said: "The council has been absolutely clear that Wirral has to reduce its spending or raise its income by £45m next year and by £130m before 2020.
"These small increases in charging will go some way towards mitigating the impact of these cuts.
"We are consulting with residents on the proposals to change car parking tariffs.
"We are following the legal process by publicising traffic regulation orders in local newspapers, giving residents the opportunity to give us their views.
"All feedback we receive will be taken into account before any decisions are made.
"Any issues with proposals for car parking in New Brighton will also be reviewed as part of this process."
The consultation ends this Friday and there is still time to sign the petitions, below.
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