Residential streets around Lickey Hills Country Park could become clogged with parked cars if charges are introduced at car parks serving the popular visitor attraction.
This was the fear expressed by councillors at the September meeting of Lickey and Blackwell Parish Council after they heard details of the plans from an officer from Birmingham City Council, which owns the country park and its car parks.
“The big concern for local residents is that people will park on the surrounding roads,” said parish council chairman Nick Forknell.
“On sunny days there are already lots of cars parking on roads such as Twatling Road and parking charges could exacerbate this.”
Matt Hagney, of Birmingham City Council, said: “We are aware there is the potential for displacement.”
But he added that as the surrounding roads were the responsibility of Worcestershire County Council, it would be that council’s decision “when it comes to highways restrictions”.
He believed that people wouldn’t choose to park some distance away from the destination “and then walk for the sake of a couple of quid”.
But county councillor Kit Taylor said: “I can’t see why someone in walking boots is going to be concerned about an extra bit of a walk.”
Birmingham is running a four-week consultation over the proposed charges, starting on September 29, and is explaining to residents and visitors that it is necessary to generate income for the park
“It is for investment in ongoing and future work,” added Mr Hagney.
The proposed charges are £2.20 for one to four hours and £3.30 for four hours and longer, with a charge of just 50p for the first hour. An annual season ticket would be £53. The machines would take coin, card and contactless payments.
“Charges will apply from 8am-6pm, so if the park opens at 7am, there is a free hour for dog walking,” added Mr Hagney.
Coun Forknell asked: “Is this going to happen and you are just consulting to keep people quiet?”
Mr Hagney replied that Birmingham’s full cabinet had approved parking charges, “but it is not automatic”.