Parking charges back on the table as Wirral Council develops new parking strategy

Parking charges at car parks could be back on the table in Wirral as the council develops a new parking strategy.

The charges were first proposed in October 2020 and faced significant opposition with around 4,000 objections and comments in a consultation done in December 2021.

They were due to be considered at a June 2022 committee but this was delayed after the council received a legal letter over the plans.

It was then resolved the charges as well as a wider parking strategy would be considered by councillors at a later date and on 19 June, councillors at an environment and transport meeting are expected to vote for further public feedback on initial proposals.

This includes the introduction of “smart mobility hubs,” charges for workplace car parks, more controlled parking zones, as well as new tariffs for car parks. A report commissioned by the council said adjusting car park tariffs could raise £1.9m for the council.

The proposals, which are being introduced in three stages, are intended to help the council achieve its climate change targets but could also see £15.4m every year generated by the changes.

In another consultation done in 2022, 60.3% of people disagreed with car parking charges but 45% supported limiting how long you can park on a street. A significant majority felt a parking plan would help improve Wirral’s economy.

In feedback, people raised concerns the new car parking charges would keep people away from town and tourist areas but also make smaller streets busier. However Royal HaskoningDHV, behind the commissioned report, said evidence showed this would not be the case.

The report said: “Before and after surveys often show increased commercial turnover as parking charges encourage more parking turnover and hence more footfall through an area. The result is that demand management encourages more spending, not less.

“Feedback and research have also shown that traders overestimate the amount of income from car users and underestimate the financial impacts of car parking management. This is because more car parking does not automatically mean greater commercial success.”

Fluctuating prices for car parks could also be introduced with charges increasing during peak periods. New smart mobility hubs would see shared bikes, scooters and electric vehicles be introduced as well as car parking spaces with six locations identified in the report.

These are at:

Woodside, Birkenhead

Conway Street/Price Street

Atherton Street


Victoria Central Hospital/Mill Lane

New Brighton Station/Victoria Road

It’s thought these new mobility hubs could bring in £290,000 a year, reduce the time people spend looking for parking spaces, and an 11% reduction in the distance people travel by car.

The introduction of the workplace parking levy, which would charge employers and education organisations for the number of parking spaces they provide for workers could see as much as £4m generated.

The commission report said this “is to encourage commuters to use alternative, less polluting means to get to work or school, rather than travelling in private cars. This could include walking, cycling or the use of public transport.”

It is also proposed public space protection orders could be introduced around schools to stop people parking on the kerb and better enforce current parking rules. Coach parking has also been proposed at Port Sunlight, Woodside, New Brighton, and West Kirby.

After the next round of public consultation, a draft Parking Strategy will be developed. While it is looking to encourage people to use their cars less, the Royal HaskoningDHV report added: “It is recognised that some people have no alternative but to use a car.

“The parking strategy should not be anti-car but must have regard to all road users and will look to best practice and guidance to ensure all road users are appropriately considered.”

Image: New Brighton station could be the location of a new mobility hub. Credit: GOOGLE

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