Have your say: Sandwell parking consultation under way

Close up of a parking meterSandwell Council has launched a consultation on proposed changes to its parking charges. As part of the statutory process, the changes proposed are now subject to a public consultation, giving you the opportunity to have your say.

The aim of the proposed changes in Sandwell is to bring the borough in line with other Black Country boroughs and to allow the council to continue to deliver its parking services.

The council’s current parking charges policy was introduced in November 2016 and has not been reviewed since then. At a cabinet meeting on 20 July cabinet members considered a report to review parking charges for the first time in six years.

The proposed charges would bring Sandwell in line with parking charges across the Black Country that range from 60p to £1.50 per hour. They also take into account changes in behaviour following the pandemic, with a range of season tickets available for nominated days of the week. The increased charges are proposed to be phased in over five years.

Income generated from car parking charges is used to provide and maintain car parks, provide new parking restrictions such as residents’ parking schemes, tackle school gate parking problems and provide related services.

The proposed changes would also support other council policy objectives such as boosting active and sustainable travel, tackling climate change and improving air quality.

The proposals have also been designed to support small businesses, including through a new low cost 30-minute parking charge. Parking will also be free of charge at the following times:

  • Free overnight after 6pm
  • Free on Sundays
  • Free on two Saturdays before Christmas
  • Free every Saturday for season ticket holders as well as leaving short stay on-street charges unchanged in West Bromwich.

It is also proposed that a 50 per cent concession is introduced on season tickets for zero emission electric vehicles.

Other concessions include free parking for blue badge holders and season tickets valid for use on nominated days at Sandwell Valley car park. The new charges will not apply to Sandwell Valley car parks.

Sandwell’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Zahoor Ahmed, said: “Our car park charges haven’t been reviewed since 2016.

“These proposals are intended to bring our charges up to date and ensure we can continue to meet the cost of providing quality car parks and related services. We have sought to balance available parking with demand and support our wider ambitions to encourage active and sustainable travel, tackle climate change and improve air quality.

“We recognise that car parking is an important issue and know that some habits have changed during the pandemic, which is why we want to hear from as many people as possible.”

Full details of the consultation can be found at www.sandwell.gov.uk/parkingchargesconsultation and may be examined in person at: Sandwell Council House, Freeth Street, Oldbury, B69 3DE during normal office hours.

Comments on the proposals, including your name and address, can be submitted via email at parking_tro@sandwell.gov.uk or in writing to Assistant Director, Highway Services, at the above address by Friday 30 September.

Once the consultation results have been collated and analysed, a further report on the outcome of the public consultation will be considered by Councillor Zahoor Ahmed in a public meeting before final recommendations are agreed.

Subject to cabinet member approval, the new parking charges will come into force in early January 2023.