DUDLEY Council's environment chief has promised to help resolve parking problems in Amblecote which some traders say have been killing business.

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for the environmental services, said she plans to make a 24-space public car park off King William Street into a two-hour only parking area.

Traders have been complaining that members of staff at certain local firms have been hogging the free spaces all day long - leaving customers visiting other businesses with nowhere to park.

Lee Smart, director at Geoff Hill Gas and Electrical Superstore in Amblecote which has been trading for more than 50 years, said business bosses have been losing money and fearing their companies could go under.

But he said he was pleased to hear cllr Shakespeare has promised to prohibit all-day parking on the small free public car park.

He said: "It's exactly what we wanted - we applaud the idea and that cllr Shakespeare's doing something for us. This has been going on for five years. This will help to sustain business."

Another car park, also in King William Street, which has 44 free spaces, will continue to offer all-day parking though as cllr Shakespeare said she doesn't want to disperse that many extra cars onto nearby streets.

She said: "We have to be considerate not only of businesses but also residents. I wouldn't want that volume of cars to be dispersed to local residential areas."

Cllr Shakespeare said signs would be going up over the coming weeks on the car park to notify motorists of the change in terms which she said would be policed by enforcement patrols.

Traders have also welcomed a u-turn on a plan to cut down two landmark long-standing trees on one of the car parks to create a couple of extra spaces.

Cllr Shakespeare said: "We were going to remove those to give additional spaces but I've had feedback that people don't want the trees removed so they're staying."