Often Partisan

Parking Problems at BCFC – have your say.

The Birmingham Mail reported on Monday that fans of Birmingham City may have issues parking their cars close to the ground from the start of next season as Birmingham City Council are looking to implement a parking permit scheme in certain streets around the ground.

A map of the area affected is available at this link.

The first thing to note in this story is that BCC are currently consulting residents about the idea – with feedback requested before November 16. You can read more about how to give your views on this scheme here. No decision has been made on the scheme yet.

I have emailed David Boston, the customer service manager at BCFC to find out what the club’s take on this was; to find out if they had been consulted and if they were going to raise objections. He advised me of the following:

Clearly, the Club will formally object to the implementation of this scheme and we will be making strong representations regarding this proposal to BCC in due course (as we have been invited to).

I have to be honest – when I go to the ground I generally walk in from Digbeth/the City Centre and as I do not drive the scheme doesn’t affect me as greatly as it does others. However, that being said I find the proposals made by the council to be ludicrous.

There are representations made in the article by the Birmingham Mail that the scheme should work in the same way as it does over the expressway at the other club from the city; however the truth is it won’t because the public transport connections to BCFC are vastly inferior. BCFC only has one nearby station (rather than two), with a very limited timetable as opposed to a fairly strong one. BCFC doesn’t have the bus connections either that are available in B6.

If this scheme affects you I strongly urge you to email the council via the link above or to the following person as per the club:

We have been instructed by BCC that any complaints or enquires from our supporters can be directed to Anne Shaw, Acting Assistant Director Transportation and Connectivity, Birmingham City Council, PO Box 16719, Birmingham B2 2GA or via email to transport.projects@birmingham.gov.uk.

As and when more information becomes available I will update on OP.

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64 Responses to “Parking Problems at BCFC – have your say.”

  • Dave Mann says:

    Unless your physically unable to walk or stand for long periods which is why i understand totally why people need to park near the ground and its those that will be hit …. We park 10/15 minute walk away and never it traffic either going or leaving which is a lot better than parking close to the ground and sitting in traffic for half hour … Basically it won’t effect me and my family but those that do need to park close for physical reasons are the ones I feel sorry for , sad really but the locals aren’t happy are they by the sound of it , I work for a council so it might take years anyway noting them as I do . Kro

    • almajir says:

      Dave – if there is no parking within 15 minutes of the ground then everyone will be parking near you, so it will affect you…

    • Des says:

      Yes over the years Ive identified best place to park so as not to get stuck in traffic so congestion never a big problem for me, living in harborne public transport to Stans not really an alternative!
      I can drive in fifteen mins if allow enough time before the game.
      Think this will happen but not quickly!

      KRO

  • David Oldham says:

    I am very concerned reference the new parking scheme around st andrews. I have been going to st andrews for 40 years and in the main supporters park correctly and respect the residents. Not once in the 40 years as anyone complained to me or my family members in that time. On average the parking would be for 3 hours one a fortnight. For 8 months a year. This scheme would have a profound effect on supporters that drive. There is only one direct bus to st andrews the 97. The closest train station is adderley park. Which is a good 20 minute walk. Logistically how can this work.
    Regards
    David

    • almajir says:

      David – have you emailed this to the council?

      • David Oldham says:

        Have you a link and i will

        • Steve says:

          There are several buses that go to the ground not just the 97. 17, 58, 59, 60 all go up there as well as I think the 13. And all stop at the McDonald’s at the bottom and by toy’s r us at the Top! That said I do think the scheme is a bad idea. Several supporters will be affected by this change and it’s not like it makes a massive difference to the residents 3 times a month for a couple of hours…

          • Andy says:

            The 17, 58, 59, 60 and all diverted on matchdays and if you are coming from the city centre you often have no option but to walk up the steep hill. Fine if you are fit and healthy, but if you have any mobility problems you are screwed.

            There is also the station at Bordesley however, the service is terrible, there are no lifts, and then you have to run the gauntlet of Coventry Road and the middle ring road.

            If they want to introduce parking restrictions then the best thing they could do would be to postpone the plans until the new Digbeth branch of the Midlands Metro has been extended to run to the ground.

          • almajir says:

            Andy nails it with this for me:

            If they want to introduce parking restrictions then the best thing they could do would be to postpone the plans until the new Digbeth branch of the Midlands Metro has been extended to run to the ground.

            Improve the infrastructure – ie the Metro or even running more trains to Bordesley – and less people will use cars, it’s as simple as that. This scheme to me smacks of being a money-spinner more than anything else.

          • Mortonsblue says:

            Steve, do you work for the council or Centro?

          • Steve says:

            Mortonsblue no mate don’t work for either… Just thought I’d let everyone know.

        • almajir says:

          Dave

          There is an email address, a postal address and a link in the article. Not sure how much clearer I can make it.

          • Steve says:

            The buses don’t get diverted til about 2:45. I use public transport to get there, even when I get the bus at 2:30 by Bull ring tavern the buses go up the Coventry road. They get diverted for a little while afterwards but then you just walk down to by the old Clements and get it under the bridge takes about 5 minutes to walk and if you’re in the main bulk of the crowd there’s almost no issue with the traffic etc.

          • Andy says:

            I have often waited over an hour for a bus to pass after a game has finished, and although the busses are only officially diverted shortly before the game I have been on buses where the driver has taken it upon himself to divert via Golden Hillock Rd much earlier than that.

            I’m fit and healthy it doesn’t make much difference to me as I will often just walk the 4 miles home as it’s the fastest way, but there of plenty of fans for which that isn’t an option, if you are unsure on your feet or have young children then do you really think that dodging the traffic on the middleway and walking to the Clements is a realistic option?

            Yes there are lots of cars parked around on matchdays, but as other have said generally they are considerately parked and don’t block driveways or park on yellow lines.

            If they need to prevent parking in a few pinch points then put some yellow lines down, most of the houses in the area have allocated off street parking or front yards that can be turned into drives.

            This is simply an anti-football fan initiative designed to garner local votes by making us unwelcome, as others have mentioned what is the possible purpose of a residents parking scheme on Landor Street, Garrison Street and other roads in the area with mainly industrial units on.

        • chris says:

          it’s in the article above

  • DoctorD says:

    Dave Oldham – a 20-minute walk is not beyond the bounds of possibility. I’m not talking about you personally but the lack of exercise is one reason for the UK’s obesity crisis. Go back 50 years and I bet hardly anyone drove to St Andrews. They probably didn’t even have cars. There are shed loads of multi-stories around Digbeth to park in anyway.

    • Mortonsblue says:

      We used to go with my Dad and had to park in Jenkins Street because all the roads around the ground were full of cars which was in the 60’s.

  • Steve says:

    But it’s ok for the locals to park outside wedding venues and block the roads and for them to park all over the shop around the mosques!!

    This will give people an excuse not to attend so a partition should be set up asap.

    Don’t tell me the local councilor lives around the ground too!!

    People have parked around the ground for years so why now?? We are being hounded out of our club.

    • DoctorD says:

      Steve

      But it’s ok for the locals to park outside wedding venues and block the roads and for them to park all over the shop around the mosques!!
      >>>Two wrongs don’t make a round

      This will give people an excuse not to attend so a partition should be set up asap.
      >>>You honestly think a true Blue wouldn’t go because they couldn’t park right next to the ground?

      Don’t tell me the local councilor lives around the ground too!!
      >>>>Don’t know.

      People have parked around the ground for years so why now?? We are being hounded out of our club.
      >>>As the councillor says: residents are getting blocked in and can’t get out on matchdays.

  • BluesBlues says:

    The proposed scheme proposed and backed by our council is total waste of money and not practical.

    Why have roads that have no houses been included

    Why have roads that have houses only on one side or very few been included.

    Are the residents going to be happy that any visitors or street parking within these areas will have to have a permit which they have to pay for.

    The football ground has been there for tens of years and people who moved in that area were aware of this.

    This is the same council that allowed new housing to be developed around the ground nighties.

    Our council is a total disgrace and has never backed BCFC in the same way that may councils up a down the country have. You only have to look at how Manchester have made sure there football clubs are looked after. The rewards are hundreds of thousand pounds in revenue for the city from all of the visitors.

    I also noticed that the Vile Mail as per normal completely miss the point and to compare our situation with the council backed four sheds is rediculous.

    We travel in from Solihull use one car and park about 15 minutes from the ground – if there was better public transport IE a St Andrews Train. Station then we would use it.

    KRO

    • jimbo says:

      Coming to a nuisance is not a defence for being a nuisance. You can’t rely on being there first.

      Like wise, the club can make a representation as can the neighbours but if you don’t have a stake in the affected land you’re representation is not likely to be entertained.

      I don’t believe that the club couldn’t rely on prescribed rights either as 1) you’re not parking on their land and 2)you don’t work for and aren’t part of the company who own the land.

      Why doesn’t somebody speak to No5 Chambers who sponsor the club? As barristers they will be able to give the club/supports clubs advice and may do this pro-bono.

      • almajir says:

        I wonder if the club are already doing that ;)

        • Jimbo says:

          I hope they are but I hope were not paying as I don’t think the club have a chance in hell of blocking this. Further, I would think that more and more restrictions will come in to force between the city centre and the club as HS2 progresses.

  • Chadwyck says:

    I imagine that, as well as match-day Blues fans, the local wedding venue organizers (who often block the roads with Hummers & stretch limos, as well as general parking) & their guests, users of the local mosques & even the local car repairers (who seem to leave their crash damaged ‘spares’ on the roads around the bus garage) will also likely have some objections too……..

  • chris says:

    Garrison St is included why? Vast stretch of the road only has back gardens backing onto it and the residents have parking at the front, the rest of the road is industrial.
    then the two parks which have no houses on the park side of the road!!!!
    To me proves the council is being biased when roads like this are in the proposals.
    I’ve filled this form in from the council via the Blues Trust site.
    https://www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/economy/st-andrews-stadium-event-day-parking/consultation/intro/view
    I remember when buses were plenty on the Coventry Road but not anymore as they block it off, but the biuses could leave via green Lane towards the Airport or Solihull, so give us an alternative.
    Bordesley Station is the closest but trains don’t normalyy stop there.
    National rail say you have to tell the guard you want to get off there or hail the train when leaving bordesly, but that put’s me off trying it.
    Look at the National rail website for an evening game and most of the time it shows no trains available, so again Centro and Birmingham council should sort this out.
    Yet more anti Blues bias from the Council compared to Witton enders.
    Why isn’t there a station adjacent to St Andrews?
    This line serves New Street, Solihul & London line, Stratford line, Northfield & Bromsgrove line, plus it could accomodate away fans.
    Why isn’t the Council, National rail and Centro helping to build a station with grants and lottery money?

    • BhamCityJulian says:

      Trains stop at Bordesley on match days and match nights. The trains are pretty busy especially now with Xmas shoppers and thereybanter with the Albion fans too.

  • Glosbigblue says:

    My email to the council below:

    Dear Ms Shaw,

    I write concerning the proposed scheme around St Andrew, home of Birmingham City Football Club.

    I am sure you will be aware that parking near St Andrews is very limited and largely restricted to on street parking. While I fully understand that during match times there may be some local inconvenience I truly believe that your proposed scheme is both expensive for local residents and potentially damaging for the football club.

    To put this in context, the inconvenience probably amounts to around 3 hours per game with, say, 25 games per season – a grand total of 75 hours or 0.86% of the year. For the remaining 99.14% of the year there is no issue. However by charging residents there will be increased costs to them and given the poor transport infrastructure around the stadium massive inconvenience to the club’s customers precipitating a likely reduction in trade.

    I fail to understand how in all reasonableness such a scheme could even be considered; surely the council’s time would be better spent dealing with public transport and traffic management issues (i.e. dealing with the cause rather than the effect of the problem). I await your response with interest,

    Regards,

  • chris says:

    Shame the council is as hot on illegal parking down the Coventry and Stratford roads five days a week, every week not just 23 days a year for five hours or around the two mosques or Green Lane near the hospital and school is chaos at times but never see Police or wardens, but you’ll see Wardens outside St Andrews when the Blues game has started .

  • Mortonsblue says:

    Just want some extra revenue, pure and simple, cant see businesses paying £125 per permit, cant see residents paying £16 plus £5.50 for a book of 5 visitor permits, come to think of it friendly resident gets me 5 books of visitor permits for a small premium, problem solved. The whole council argument is full of holes, lets see some photographic evidence of bad parking!
    If they are going to employ TEO’s to police the permit zone, why not do their job properly and just employ TEO’s to ticket illegally parked cars on match days full stop!

  • Mortonsblue says:

    Just sent my email to BCC lets hope the message comes back ‘Mailbox Full’.

  • ChrisG says:

    Surely the council should be responsible for providing alternative parking?, maybe some sort of park & ride scheme like a lot of other grounds do. The only time I use my car to get to matches is for night games due to useless train times getting home.
    Makes you wonder why you pay your car tax though.

  • Lets look at this like adults ,we as blues fans may park in areas they want to restrict up to once or twice a month.
    If these idiots in the council looked at parking problems in general ,they would see the biggest problem from parking in the whole of the west midlands and beyond is the school run which is every morning and every afternoon and not just a football match in the Small Heath area.
    Tomo

  • blue says:

    is it right that local residents will have to pay £15 for a permit to park near their home?

  • chris h says:

    Ridiculous I’m disabled and need to park near the ground, The council even gives me a blue badge which enables me to park on double yellows, if this scheme comes into being then I will have to give my season ticket up.

    • allan says:

      I also cannot walk more than a couple of hundred yards and that with assistance. I park close by in a road without any houses. After over 70 years my and my wife’s days at Stans will be over if this ‘hair brained’ scheme is adopted. I have of course emailed the council with my views.

  • Strettonbluenose says:

    I know someone trying to organise a parking scheme, although it’s not in Birmingham. The local hospital charges to park so people park on the street and residents can’t park outside their houses. To get the scheme off the ground, there are strict guidelines on the percentage of residents that need to respond positively. The residents not only have to pay an annual charge but there is also a set up charge. Although the scheme I’m talking about is a response to problems day in day out, it’s probably going to fail due to apathy and the costs. I’m not suggesting that we don’t protest against the scheme but it may well wither on the vine.

    • Jimbo says:

      I’d expect that BCC have statute power under the Traffic Regulations Act 1984 to enforce these restrictions as and where they like subject to a consultation period (not the same as planning permission though and I don’t think the decision making process is as transparent.)

  • fozzylou says:

    Are the same restrictions going to be in place when hundreds of people park where the hell they like when visiting the local Mosques or god forbid slapping a parking ticket or clamping cars parked on pavements & double yellow lines on the Cov Road.

    The Council should be working hand in hand with local residents & the club to find a solution which works for both parties.

    if this scheme gets implemented the council have a morale obligation for finding an alternative parking solution for at least people with mobility issues.

    • almajir says:

      Please be careful when commenting on things like this – I’d hate for anyone to be able to play the race card with any legitimacy because of ill-founded or ill-thought comments made by BCFC fans.

  • DoctorD says:

    I live outside Birmingham in a place where a parking scheme was introduced. There was a ginormous hoo haa before hand along the lines discussed above. Once it was in place, everything settled down pretty fast.

  • chudlt says:

    We drive in from Kidderminster mainly because trying to get to St. Andrews by public transport is almost impossible. We already park 15 minutes walk from the ground in an area where there is no housing on either side of the road. It is however to be included in the Permit Zone. We are both retired and in the mid winter months with rain, ice and snow it will be difficult to attend matches if we can’t park near the ground.
    Before bringing in a no parking zone alternative parking areas and better public transport links to St. Andrews should be introduced .

  • Bluenosesol says:

    I park in the area behind the Cov Road in the Herbert Road area. I have to drive as I take my mother and sister who are cancer survivors and my pal who is disabled. As things stand parking is a nightmare mainly due to the various function guests who compete for the same parking spaces. The Blues fans are already discriminated against as they are the only people in the area who suffer from targetted offensives by Enforcement Officers during well attended events in the area. This latest decision will make attendance at matches an impossibility for anyone with similar mobility issues. In the 60’s and 70’s there would be around forty bus specials waiting after the game which would be split between To City and FROM City. Today the bus is not an option if you live South East say in Sheldon, Yardley, Sheldon, Chelmsley Wood or Solihull. Buses are all full by the time they reach the Blues Ground. I shall voice my opinion with the Council, however I dont hold out much hope as they have ignored all of my previous communications concerning parking issues and the unfair treatment and application of their discriminatory enforcement policies.
    Many thanks Daniel for raising awareness of the issue and encouraging Bluenoses to stick up for themselves and each other on this matter. KRO.

  • Bluenosesol says:

    I logged onto the Council website and was amased to observe that the exercise is only looking to restrict people attending football matches and not any other well attended events in the area and they have actually titled their initiative “St Andrew’s Stadium Event Day Controlled Parking Zone Consultation”. So they openly admit to discrimination. Also the fact that the survey is only intended to target residents and not any other people with parking needs. In our local authority Solihull, they are extending several schools in readiness to accommodate a huge increase in rolls over the next 6 years. During consultation, they advised that realistically there is very little that they can do to ease parking issues for residents during school open and closure times. Seems where there is a will (or a bias) there is a way!!

    • chudlt says:

      How will they know if someone is going to the match, shopping or a wedding? Only residents will be able to obtain parking passes. Everyone else will have a problem.

  • Hvala Obafemi says:

    Brings back memories of one of my darkest days as a Blues fan – last match of 2008 against Blackburn which we won but still went down. I got there lateish as was doing 200 mile round trip from Liverpool in the forlorn hope we might escape the drop, carefully parked in unfamiliar territory – the dead end at the end of the road with the The Garrison pub. Made sure not to block anyone in and no yellow lines, so happy days.

    Left match to find big space where my car used to be, so assumed stolen. Some lads pointed out a parking restriction sign no bigger than an A4 sheet of paper – it had been clamped and towed about 5 streets away to a depot in the space of 90 minutes, and release fees were £380. Argued the toss for 15 minutes with the two giants – latterday peaky blinders – who were in control of the depot and would not budge.

    Basically paid the same amount as my season ticket again for a trudge home late – icing on the cake was I also missed a gig in Manchester as well.. Thoroughly rubbish day, but not as bad as Watford in the play-offs!

    Guess the council want a piece of the action.

  • RicardM says:

    At least we know the locality, how is this going to work for any away fans visitng the stadium, where the hell do they park?

  • Tony says:

    No doubt I will get into trouble for this but, if this comes to fruition it would be my intention to ignore the regulations.
    Any one who has driven through Sparkhill/ Sparkbrook can not fail to notice that parking regs are never enforced, the whole footpath are taken up by products stacked high and wide also parking on red lines why is that?. It wouldn’t be tolerated in areas where Asian people are not a majority so why is it tolerated here
    Similar things are going on in Washwood Heath, Handsworth, and other areas. its disgusting I feel as if I should apologize for being born a white Englishman but I never will.
    Even in Small Heath itself wedding guests continually park anywhere they like including double yellows, I have seen many of these councillors and they fit to a tee Boris’s description of corduroy jacketed pseudo intellectuals with no concept of reality.
    As has been said this has been a football ground long before these people arrived they knew the score, maybe they have too many cars.
    In hope Daniel does not view this comment as Racist
    ( which in itself is a meaningless term,) however if he does then so be it.

    • chudlt says:

      Good luck with that I hope you have a wallet big enough to pay the penalty when they tow you away. Also What’s the colour of your skin got to do with parking restrictions.

      • Walker says:

        I know what he is saying. The Asian community do seem to park illegally especially around the mosques. It’s not a racist statement it’s factual.

        I work pretty much next to St. Andrews so I am not making it up

  • Bluenose Blue says:

    I cant understand why Landor Street is included, there are no residents that live here. I park here and have done for the last 27 years and have no choice really but to use my car as i travel in from wolverhampton. Why they are proposing these parking restrictions beggars belief.

  • TrueBlue says:

    Disgusting. I’m a carer and need to park close to the stadium..

  • Bluenosesol says:

    The club need to get engaged here as if this goes ahead with no alternative parking options we have 4 season tickets at risk.

  • ChrisG says:

    I see a lot of comments from fans who have mobility problems & need to park near the ground for obvious reasons, I wonder if BCFC would be prepared to allow these supporters (on proof of disability) to park for free in either the kop or main stand car parks.

    • Bluenosesol says:

      Chris, problem is here that there is a huge fan base at Blues from the over 60’s and with age comes infirmity. There would not be sufficient capacity in the ground car parks to accommodate everyone who had problems walking any distance. It is clear that the council are going to force this issue and we wont be able to park where Bluenoses have been parking for the last 50 years. It is up to us and the club to ensure that alternative parking is made available. There are a couple of sites around the ground that charge £5 to park. You can bet your life this will go up to £10 next year! Plenty of spare common ground in the area, why don’t the council or make it available to provide matchday parking?

  • allan says:

    In reply to ChrisG – In the Kop care park, there are a few spaces set aside for disabled vehicles, but these rarely become available to book for the season. I am not sure about the other car parks.

    In reply to Chris h – I too have a blue badge as I can only walk for a short distance. At present I park by the old bus garage where neither side has any houses. I too would have to consider that after supporting ‘The Blues’ for just over seventy years, and a season ticket holder for twenty years, that if I am unable to park close by then my time as an ‘attending Blue Nose’ maybe at an end.

    Also, if this ‘hair brained’ scheme were to implemented this would not solve anything, as this would result in people parking just outside the forbidden area, where I am sure there is less industry and MORE HOUSES !

  • All over the country the councils are failing in their duties to supply carparks and commercial vehicle parks , with their mad Max urge to stack houses together like sardines in a tin , fight this blues fans ,get these nasty little shites that tend kill any enjoyment football fans have out if necessary ,these people are here for your benefit not the other way round

  • bluearmyfaction says:

    This is what I’ve put. Feel free to copy and amend as appropriate.

    Section 45(3) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act, which gives the Council power to put in resident zones, states that the Council has to consider the interests of owners of adjoining property. This obviously includes Birmingham City Football Club.

    The Council in particular needs to consider:

    (a)the need for maintaining the free movement of traffic;

    (b)the need for maintaining reasonable access to premises; and

    (c)the extent to which off-street parking accommodation, whether in the open or under cover, is available in the neighbourhood or the provision of such parking accommodation is likely to be encouraged there by the designation of parking places under this section.

    As far as I can see from the consultation, the Council has given no evidence that it has considered any of these matters. The published articles rely on anecdotes. Has the Council done any of the following?

    1. Assess the level of traffic on a daily basis
    2. Assess the level of access to property on a daily basis
    3. Assess the differences between a regular day and a Saturday afternoon
    4. Checked the level of off-street parking – which is non-existent
    5. Asked whether anyone will provide off-street parking – the answer would seem to be no; it would not be cost-effective.

    In my submission:

    -the roads included in this zone are not thoroughfares, so there is less requirement for the free movement of traffic;

    -there is no evidence that there is not reasonable access to premises, but putting in a residency requirement WOULD prevent reasonable access to St Andrews;

    -there is no off-street accommodation available at all, so anyone visiting the area by car has no reasonable parking facilities;

    -the public transport to that location is poor. A sparse bus service and one station that only opens on matchdays, which often runs far behind timetable.

    The level of consultation has also been poor. Basically six days’ notice to put in submissions, and restricted to those living in the area, rather than those who use or visit the area on a regular basis. Many who have been doing so for far, far longer than the residents of that area have been living there. And certainly anyone living in that area came to it long, long after Blues started playing there.

    Essentially the Council is promoting a resident parking scheme because people suffer minor disruption for a total of about 75 hours per year. To impose charges and prevent anyone from outside the area visiting a Community Trust Asset by car is disproportionate and unfair.

    And of course crowds at St Andrews now are barely half what they were ten years ago – yet there was no hint of any such residency scheme then.

    It looks sadly like someone at the Council has a vested interest in preventing Blues from doing business.

  • jazzzy786 says:

    How will they know if a person has come to watch the football, visit the shops or a friend in the area. It will be impossible to enforce. I can see businesses in the area being badly affected in the area. Unless you improve the traffic infastructure in the area the proposal will fail badly and the problem moving elsewhere. The council needs to improve the public transport links to the area before they implement this idea.


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