The council is turning the city centre upside-down and inside-out and now it wants to increase parking charges which could drive even more visitors away.
Firstly, one of the council’s biggest mistakes was closing the road through Broadgate. This is because it has stopped buses going into the heart of the city centre which has affected passing trade.
Secondly, the council has driven commercial businesses out of the city centre in favour of more and more student accommodation. This has also reduced footfall from traditional office workers.
Now the council is increasing parking charges at times when it will have the most impact which could affect local businesses.
The council should stop forcing major changes in the city centre and focus on rebalancing the local economy to help drive growth.
For example, successful city centres have three times more office space than retail which suggests Coventry has got the balance wrong. What’s more, business parks are going out of fashion due to their isolation as well as changing business models post-pandemic.
This means businesses are now looking to downsize and relocate.
Furthermore, independent research recommends councils provide small amounts of flexible office space in city centres as demand is expected to continue to increase.
However, Coventry has gone in the opposite direction by building a large office block next to the rail station while supporting luxury hotels and apartments in the city centre instead.
It seems the council has failed to recognise what businesses want and the steps needed to help drive growth in the city centre.
We hope the council will look more carefully at city centre redevelopment plans to help attract new commercial businesses.
We are also calling on the council to create new bus stands on Greyfriars Lane and Ironmonger Row so more buses can stop nearer to Broadgate.
Bringing more buses back into the heart of the city centre can help attract more visitors and encourage more people to use public transport.