Free parking set to become the norm across Dudley as trial is extended

Cllrs Karen Shakespeare and Patrick Harley have announced the schemes extension

A car parking trial is set to be extended across all council car parks in Dudley as council bosses reveal their intention to make free parking a permanent offer for the borough.

Motorists have been parking for free for two hours on council car parks in Dudley, Brierley Hill, Halesowen and Sedgley since the launch of a pilot in April. Now, local authority bosses are looking to make changes to the trial so that one hour’s free parking is offered on all borough council-owned car parks from October 1st, including those in Stourbridge and Kingswinford.

Ongoing analysis of the two-hour trial has shown that vehicle numbers using the car parks has risen in the areas of the trial, although footfall has not increased significantly. The two hour trial will continue to be analysed until it comes to an end on September 30th.

Council bosses have made it clear this afternoon that they intend to keep free parking as a permanent offer, but are keen to roll out a one hour trial across the whole borough first from October. Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for environmental services, said:

“We have listened to local people and anecdotally they have told us the towns are busier than ever. This is great news for business and something that we want to build on so we are now working up the finances to ensure we can make free parking a permanent offer.

“Although the data does not reflect a huge upturn in the number of people walking through the town, we made a firm commitment to do everything we can to listen to local traders and work in their best interests, which is why we are making it clear free parking will be in place after the trial.

“We are now going to adapt the trial to one hour and include all borough car parks so we can analyse this impact before introducing the best option for the borough.”

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, added: 

“Offering free parking in our towns was a long term promise and I have stood by that and we fully intend to retain free parking after this trial. We have to make sure we listen to local people who visit and work in our town centres in order to help them thrive.

“Hopefully this hour of free parking on all council pay and display car parks, including those in Stourbridge and Kingswinford, will be welcomed by all traders and shoppers to boost our important local town centres.”

People who want to take advantage of the one hour trial simply need to print and display a free parking ticket from the machines already in place. Normal charges will be in place for people parking for longer than one hour and return is prohibited within three hours of leaving. Additional signs publicising the one hour free parking will be displayed following its introduction. For information on current parking tariffs in Dudley Council car parks people can visit


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