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Students have called for a review of car parking prices in Lichfield. Demand for parking in the city has been on the increase with the closure of one site as part of the Friary Outer scheme. And now students claim contractors and workers from the redevelopment using the long stay spaces at South Staffordshire College and Staffordshire University’s Lichfield campus means they are struggling to find a spot and are being forced to fork out to park elsewhere.
Sam Russell
Burntwood IT student Sam Russell told LichfieldLive that he had received a number of complaints in his role as a course representative, and called on Lichfield District Council to find affordable alternatives. “Most educational establishments in Staffordshire have parking or reduced rate parking for students,” he said. “As we are in the centre of Lichfield we get nothing. “Since the start of the redevelopment, builders and contractors have been taking up spaces in the long stay car park meaning less or no spaces for students. “We have had to use alternative car parks such as The Friary, which is a short stay where the price for six hours is £7. “How do they expect students who don’t receive EMA or any support from the Government to pay stupidly high car parking prices?” However, Lichfield District Council have said there are enough alternatives for students, even with the current closure of the Friary site. Leader Mike Wilcox explained: “South Staffordshire College owns a small car park with 48 spaces that can be used by everyone including students, which we run on their behalf. The university agrees the charges and keeps the profits. “Up until last year, this car park was a short-stay facility. In preparation for the redevelopment of Lombard Street Car Park, in 2005 we rented extra space from the university to create a temporary long-stay car park on the site. We recently extended the life of this car park to relieve pressure while Friary Outer is out of action. The university also agreed to convert their small car park into a long-stay facility.
Cllr Mike Wilcox
“Although students are very welcome to use the car parks on the university site, they are not set aside exclusively for students and are offered on a first come first served basis. “While the other car parks close to the university are short-stay, there are three long-stay car parks in easy reach of the Lichfield campus, including the Bus Station, Birmingham Road, and Sandford Street car parks. “We regularly monitor these car parks and know there are always long-stay spaces available in the city that would be no more than ten minutes walk to the university.” Cllr Wilcox also explained that a variety of parking options were essential for the success of the city centre for a wide range of visitors. “We have a mix of long-stay and short-stay car parks which are priced differently,” he added. “The short-stay pricing is cheaper if you stay for a couple of hours, but more expensive if you choose to park there all day. “This is both to make it cheaper for people to pop into the city and also to encourage people who are staying for longer to use a long-stay car park. This keeps the short-stay facilities free for short-term users and boosts footfall to local shops. “We are looking forward to opening our new and improved Friary car park soon, which will have around 400 long-stay car parking spaces for everyone to use. “We also offer season tickets for £40 a month that can be used our long-stay car parks across the city, which would work out at £2 a day, if people park in the city from Monday to Friday.”

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

14 replies on “Students call for review of Lichfield car parking charges”

  1. I agree something has to be done about parking. As the car park is long stay, it means that us doing evening courses that start at 6pm have to pay £2.00 as the car park is free after 6.30pm and the minimum you can put on is £2.00. For half an hour’s worth of parking it is not justified. Maybe there should be a short stay option for circumstances like ours?

  2. Sam/Kelly I do understand your problem – but the council have never accepted there is any parking problem in Lichfield.
    With regard the cost – how do you think they will get the money to put down new paving in the centre of town

  3. “boosts footfall to local shops.”
    This did make me smile – do people prefer to pay so much for parking to come and look at our empty shops?

  4. Parking costs do not just hit students in the pocket but can be a problem to many motorists. If students are to have concessionary rates, then all residents should have concessionary rates too. Most students attending the college in Lichfield have a few choices available to them so they do not incur draconian parking charges. 1) A novel idea for some I know, but they could use public transport. 2) Get up early enough to get a space in the car park offering lowest prices and use the time before lectures to …..er….study. 3) Lift share.
    The charges for parking are not a secret prior to the place at the college being accepted and should be factored in by a prospective student when deciding if they can afford to use this college.
    I have spent many years of my career helping people in dire circumstances, and have little time for someone whose sole problem in life is centred around the need for a free/subsidised parking place.
    Welcome to the real world Sam, this is a valuable exercise you will need in your career, it is called problem solving. This is your problem to solve and should not incur costs to other Council Tax payers.

  5. Sandra it seems like you have a dislike for students. You do not know Sam’s circumstances so you have no right to judge his situation or patronise him. Public transport is just as expensive now as parking. It cost me less to park all day in Birmingham City Centre than it does for two nights of parking.

    Yes, we are all going to face these problems, and yes, it probably won’t get changed but that’s the difference between people, he is trying to change something. If everyone had your approach nothing would be sorted and we may as well not have the right to free speech. He’s not saying he wants anything free and for tax payers to fund this. Stop assuming that all students are taking money from the taxpayer. He’s trying to change something that many people do feel is a problem right now. You can have your opinion but don’t be judgmental.

  6. I am not prepared to enter into protracted argument about this topic, but to set the record straight I have been a student at the College and so am aware of the financial implications that being a student brings,.

  7. I would have thought that particular car park is ripe for redevelopment as an outskirts-of-town retail and leisure development, with city living apartments above the bowling, cinema, KFC and Starbucks…and complete with obligatory underground car park too.

  8. I have a solution . There are 45 ,UNUSED CAR PARKING PLACES ,at the rear of the library ,adjacent to the college.These places are overgrown with weeds ,from having no use. I asked Lichfield district council to phone the county council to allow their contractors from the friary devlopment , to use the spare places.
    lichfield council are the developers ,and clients,and have a duty to lesson impact on their neighbours. They refused ,and denied there was a problem
    SO MUCH FOR THE CONSIDERATE CONSTRUCTION SCHEME.

  9. Theres hardely any shops in Lichfield as it is which makes people more reluctant to come to Lichfield and then you want them to pay for parking to see what……

    Lichfield is a beautiful place but trying to find a parking space is always a nightmare!!

  10. Is Sam in a wheel chair or has a walking divisibility? If I don’t have the change there are many parking places 5min walk from center of town. It wouldn’t be fare to discriminate between motorists based upon there financial circumstances, other wise people claiming benefits would argue the same point when they sign on across the county. That would apply also to workers on a min wage. fork out the £40 a month Sam, get a moped or pushbike cycle the 20miles round trip. Don’t they do free student bus passes in Lichfield? good luck

  11. If you read the article it is Sam who is simply voicing the opinion of his peers. To be honest I agree with David the council are uncooperative.

  12. I opened a shop last year, on St John street and it was doing well until the main long stay car park closed. It was amazing that the business dropped off almost instantaneously. I struggled on until this year, and then the small car park closed that was opposite it. Now my business has collapsed and many others on this side of Lichfield are suffering the same problem. No business is safe. What is happening in this city? Very soon it will look like Rugeley – a ghost town.

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