A STOURBRIDGE councillor says “there’s not a cat in hell’s chance” of a controversial parking permit scheme going ahead in the town’s Old Quarter given the level of opposition to it.
Dudley Council was this week set to analyse responses to its three-week consultation over plans to introduce a trial scheme in 45 congested side streets to stop visitors and workers clogging them up rather than using the pay and display car parks in town.
The plan to charge residents £95 per car to park has been widely slammed by people living and working in the area - and it now looks unlikely to become a reality as council chiefs stipulated it would need 80 per cent support to go ahead.
Ward councillor Barbara Sykes (Wollaston and Stourbridge Town) said: “The benchmark was always very high. Given the level of opposition there’s not a cat in hell’s chance it will have made 80 per cent.”
Councillor Khurshid Ahmed, Dudley’s cabinet member for transportation, said: “The proposal was in response to calls from residents in the area but we made it clear from the outset it would require 80 per cent support for a scheme to be introduced. We encouraged residents to take part in the consultation which ran from February 10 through to Friday (March 7). We will now be analysing the responses in order to take a decision in the coming weeks.”
Stuart Millward, who runs the House of Magic UK shop in Brook Street, branded the idea “mad” and said it would kill his business - a sentiment echoed by Clifton Street based hairdresser Carol-Ann Perks.
Many residents also criticised the proposal on a Facebook site ‘SAY NO to residential parking permits in Stourbridge Old Quarter!!' - set up by angry resident Sarah Billingham - which attracted more than 250 members.
Cllr Sykes said: “It should never have got to the point of people being so upset. It was only ever a consultation with the community. They didn’t have to do anything to say no.”
She said people who did not respond to the consultation were automatically assumed to be against the plan which she described as “well intended”.
The number of responses has yet to be revealed by the council, which is also collating the results of a similar consultation carried out in the streets around Dudley’s Russells Hall Hospital.