An increase in fines and community backlash for street parking in Birmingham

A rise in illegal parking around Birmingham’s streets has led to an increase in fines and community concerns around safety and accessibility for residents.

silver car parked illegally on a sidewalk

As any Brummie will tell you, finding cheap and convenient on-street parking around Birmingham is increasingly difficult because of annual cost increases and space cuts. Due to a number of factors such as congestion, a dense city centre and highly restricted areas, local residents and visitors are finding it challenging to navigate parking as a driver in the city centre.

Parking is expensive and hard to find

Matthew Johnson, a student at the University of Birmingham, says that his struggles to find parking can add up to a half-hour delay in his commute.

“I have to think twice about leaving the house and getting into the car, as finding on-street parking in Selly Oak adds at least 20-30 minutes onto everyday tasks” he said.

Not only this, but visitors to the city centre now need to pay over £10 for a maximum stay time of 4 hours. This is paired with the rise of parking fines - which may be set to increase after the bankruptcy of Birmingham City Council as the authority tries to regain money. 

These factors, in turn, create the perfect storm for drivers in the city; which has led to a sharp increase in illegal, and - to be honest - terrible, parking around Birmingham. Here are just a few examples:

A van parked across the pavement in Edmund Road, Alum Rock
Credit: Birmingham Mail Online
Credit: Soho Road Police
Credit: BPM Media
Credit: Soho Road Police

I know we say JustPark, but this is taking it too far!

The local community is fighting back

Members of the community have noticed the rise in illegal on-street parking having an effect on their everyday lives. In some more extreme cases, public transport services have been cut due to buses being unable to make their way down highstreets, and local waste management teams have been unable to collect rubbish as there is frequently less than a square inch of curb available. These shrinking facilities will lead to a decrease in the value of houses in the area and perpetuate the stereotype of bad drivers in Brum. Additionally, cars parked on the street have caused structural damage to the local areas, even leading to  broken paving slabs because people park on them.

This has led to locals calling for additional car parks and increased awareness of where cheap, reliable, and legal parking is available in the area. No one wants to return to their vehicle with a £300+ fine. By pre-booking your parking using the JustPark app, you will not only avoid travelling around for over 30 minutes searching for a free space and reduce the amount of traffic in the city, as 30% of urban traffic is caused by drivers searching for parking; but, also you will receive some of the cheapest parking deals in the city. Afterall, the only bullring you should be spending your time in is the shopping centre not the smallbrook queensway.

There can even be damages to driver vehicles

It’s worth noting that not only will you save money on your parking but you will avoid fines and any damages coming to your car. Parking off-street will ensure that your car is kept securely, behind gates. Recently students at the University of Birmingham have quoted a spike in thefts of Ford Fiesta’s around Dawlish and Heeley roads (Sophie Howarth, University of Birmingham Alumni). 

Just around the corner from this, locals in Edgbaston have taken it upon themselves to police the spike in on-street parking, resorting to using condiments to write messages on cars parked unlawfully.

Ire: Angry residents vandalised this car which has the word idiot daubed on it a sauce
Credit: BPM Media

Cars parked like the one seen above have made it near impossible for disabled people in Birmingham to continue with their daily lives. Doug Paulley shared his struggle of navigating safely travelling down the pavement without hitting cars. In a recent article with Birmingham Live, he stated: “Did I scratch any cars? I don't think so. At worst I scuffed one. I didn't intend to scratch cars but if this happened whilst I was trying to get through that is unfortunate but the driver's fault.”

Therefore, not only is it safer for yourself and your vehicle to find secure off-street parking but it helps to keep the community an enjoyable place for everyone.

You can easily find safe and secure parking in Birmingham City Centre on the JustPark app or webpage:

Pre-book parking at the Q-Park Mailbox Car Park

Benefits: These spaces give you some of the cheapest parking in the area, as well as offering direct links to the Mailbox, Alexandra Theatre, and Grand Central & Bull Ring.

Pre-book parking at the China Town Car Park

Benefits: Offering easy and secure parking near the Chinese Quarter, the O2 Academy, and the Gay Village. 

Illustration of a phone and a map.

Parking sorted in seconds.

Journeys are simpler with a dedicated space, just for you.

Illustration of a house with a parking space.