THOUSANDS have signed a petition urging the council to re-think plans to close two car parks in Heswall.

The proposal was among those put forward in a Royal Haskoning DHV report commissioned by Wirral Council to help develop its parking strategy for the borough.

The local authority has now finished the second stage of getting public feedback on its plans which could see £15.4m a year generated. These could include introducing new restrictions, measures to tackle bad parking, and fluctuating prices for car parks at peak times.

The proposals could also see a number of underused car parks close to increase usage at others.

In Heswall, car parks at Mount Avenue and Rocky Lane could be closed with people directed towards Pye Road. Closed car parks could then be used for future development.

The town's three councillors - Andrew Hodson, Kathy Hodson and Graham Davies - headed a campaign to ensure Mount Avenue and Rocky Lane are removed from the list of car parks earmarked for closure.

Wirral Globe: Heswall councillors Andrew Hodson, Kathy Hodson and Graham Davies in Heswall Hall carparkHeswall councillors Andrew Hodson, Kathy Hodson and Graham Davies in Heswall Hall carpark (Image: Cllr Andrew Hodson)

They have liaised with Heswall Hall community trust and local shop keepers as well as holding a street surgery to create a petition which has now passed 7,000 signatures opposing the closures.

The petition will be presented at the next full council on December 4.

Councillor Andrew Hodson told the Globe: "There is a strong feeling against these closures and this was displayed by the people who came to us at our street surgery to sign the petition.

"Heswall Hall is serviced by the car park to the rear of the hall and it will affect their users greatly if closed especially elderly people who use it especially in the evenings.

"The night time economy of Heswall would also be affected as well as day time shopping as a lot of people use the car parks to shop.

"Councillor Davies has carried out his own count over many weeks of the use of the car park and it shows a different picture to the councils consultative figures which he can prove are totally incorrect and do not reflect how busy the car parks actually are."

People are worried that if the car park closed, it would disenfranchise the town’s elderly population, force people to cross the busy Telegraph Road, and stop people coming into the town. 

The Heswall Society, a community group, said they had only been made aware of the proposal to close the car park recently and have since set up petitions that are together expected to have at least 5,000 signatures. Chair Dr Steve Anderson said: “We weren’t aware of it and now we have become aware, all hell has broken loose.”

Heswall Hall is a community centre that hosts a wide variety of events  from arts societies, keep fit classes, bridge clubs, live music, comedy and cinema shows.

Sarah Douglas who manages the hall said the impact of closing would be "very very huge," adding: "For our regular users, we have about 30 regular users from the Heswall Society to bridge clubs.

"We have a huge amount of business coming from them but our night time events, I can’t see how they could be supported without a car park."

"At night time, you would have to come across the road and across the bus station. It’s not feasible, I can’t stress it strongly enough."

A council spokesperson said recently: "A suggestion to rationalise under-used public car parks in a number of locations was one of a wide range of ideas and potential improvements identified within the independent report that accompanied the recent consultation on a new parking strategy for the whole borough.

"The findings of this consultation will be reported to a meeting of the Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee in December 2023."