Businesses 'may not survive' if car park closes

Traders on a busy Birmingham road fear they may close down if a local car park closes. Credit: ITV News Central

Traders on a busy stretch of road in Birmingham say their businesses may not survive if a car park serving the area closes.

Stratford Road in Sparkbrook was made a 'red route' in 2005.

It means no car parking or even stopping on the street is permitted.

Parking on a red route can result in a Penalty Charge Notice of £130.

The council had agreed that nearby Alfred Road Car Park would stay in place for customers and traders to use. But now it's set to be demolished to make way for housing.

The council claim the car park is "underused" but traders say it is vital for customers - some travel from as far as Luton, Glasgow and London just to visit the area's many sari shops, restaurants and grocery stores.

Abdullah Vanat is a Stratford Road store owner and also the chairman of the Stratford Road Association.

He said he and other business owners felt 'betrayed' by Birmingham City Council.

"Our main concern is where our customers are going to park if this car park is going to go."

Mr Vanat said he feared businesses in the area could lose up to 50 per cent of their trade when it shuts.

He added business owners in the area had agreed to the introduction of the red route on the understanding the car park would be retained.

A Birmingham City 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 spokesperson added the car park had become "underused".

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