The Alfred Road car park in Sparkbrook is constantly “chock-a-block” with but is now set to be closed to make way for a new housing estate.

In 2005 it was offered as a parking provision when the council introduced a red route along Stratford Road.

It has been confirmed that Birmingham City Council will close the car park when the work starts in 2020.

Local businesses are furious and are saying they won’t survive if the car park is scrapped.

Mr Gohil, who is the secretary of the Stratford Road business association, told how a petition against the council’s plans was signed by more than 400 locals.

With customers’ only parking option set to be scrapped, traders may as well just ‘shut up shop’, says the owner of Gohil Emporium.

He said: “We have people coming from Luton, Glasgow and London just to come to our shops here.

“At peak times the car park is chock-a-block with customers, but soon we’ll lose all that business and we won’t have any left.

“We might as well just pack up.

“Our petition had over 462 signatures because that car park was always part of the red route.

“We asked the council where do the customers park and they said ‘it’s your problem’.

“It is unfair to have to fight for something that was given to us by the council.

“Enough is enough, we need to have an alternative.”

Mr Gohil added that there were talks for all 800 traders to park their cars along Stratford Road in protest of the plans.

Birmingham City Council confirmed the car park is set to close as it is ‘surplus to requirements

A council spokesperson said: “The reallocation of a number of council-owned sites to facilitate the development of much-needed affordable housing across the city was approved by Cabinet in March.

“The sites in question were all declared surplus on the basis that they were underused and full public consultation was carried out at the time, including in relation to the Alfred Road car park, where support was shown for these proposals by residents and traders.

“While approval was granted in 2005 for the Alfred Road site to become a car park to offer parking provision in support of the red route works on Stratford Road, the car park has since become underused and therefore surplus to requirements.

“However, the site will remain in use as a car park until development works are ready to begin, which is expected to be by 2020.

The news comes as we revealed the stark reality for traders working on what is fast-becoming a no-go zone.

Homeless people are a large part of the problem, traders claim.

But shoppers also face blocked pavements – whether with badly parked cars, flytipped bin bags or ‘drugged-up youths’.

Asif Butt, who recently opened a café selling homemade cakes, fresh samosas and coffee, branded the street a “dump” and said shoppers are afraid to visit.

He said: “Women don’t feel safe here. Homeless people now follow people to their car and knock on the windows if you don’t give them money.

“Cars block the pavements, so no one can see the shops.

“Pushchairs and wheelchairs can’t get through and pedestrians often have arguments with the drivers.

“I lived here 40 years before I moved to Lickey Hills, it’s just not welcoming here anymore and businesses have slumped over the years.

“It used to be a posh place, now the area is deprived.”


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