AN online petition has been launched to urge Tesco to reverse its decision to end a goodwill agreement that allowed town hall theatregoers to overstay the two-hour parking limit.

More than 750 people have signed the petition on to date calling on Tesco to continue to support Stourbridge by permitting parking for more than two hours for community events and local groups.

Community campaigner, Andrew Tromans, who launched the petition, said: “The multi-storey car park, which served the former Crown Centre, was demolished to make room for Tesco Extra Stourbridge.

"Since then, people have relied on the Tesco car park for shopping in the store but also for safe local parking when visiting the town hall or Crystal Leisure Centre.

“Tesco do a lot of good in Stourbridge by supporting local charities and community groups. I really hope they will reconsider their decision. It is likely that our town will suffer if Tesco does not budge on this issue.”

An informal arrangement had existed since the superstore and car park opened in 2013 after the old Crown Centre council-owned multi-storey car park was blown up in 2012, with town hall theatregoers permitted to overstay while attending an event. But the agreement recently came to an end, with Tesco bosses saying it was because customers had been finding it difficult to find parking spaces.

Stourbridge councillor Cat Eccles said "There is a real sense of disappointment from people that Tesco have turned their backs on the community. Tesco share the Crown Centre with the town hall and library, and as well as the regular programme of shows, many local societies and groups use the town hall for meetings.

"I've been working with council officers and others to come up with solutions to present to Tesco, and their parking contractor Horizon. Some residents have even said they are happy to pay a little bit extra to stay longer in the car park. We're hoping Tesco will see sense and continue to support Stourbridge town."

Tesco has been contacted for comment.