A PETITION has been started to save Halesowen's multi-storey car park after the council closed off its top floors.

Dudley Council cordoned off the top levels of the Pool Road car park earlier this year, claiming it made the move while it does a survey to assess the "capacity needs" for parking in the town centre.

But shoppers and businesses are unhappy and say they are struggling to find spaces and loss of the car park would "kill Halesowen" and lead to the closure of the town hall.

Dudley Council said it has no plans to close the car park and is simply carrying out a survey on parking in the town. 

The car park is opposite the town's leisure centre and is popular with users.

People have also complained that the car park's lifts have been out of action for weeks.

The petition, started by Andrew Potter on change.org, states: "Halesowen residents and visitors are struggling to park since the top floors of Pool Road Car Park closed in March for a ‘survey’.

"If it remains shut Halesowen Town Hall, the only theatre in town, will probably shut down too and all the businesses at that end of town will certainly suffer.

"We believe that Dudley Council intend to entirely close the car park by stealth, and cause the Town Hall theatre to close too.

"They say this is not the case.

"Dudley Council have already closed Netherton Art Centre, and they have approved a supermarket development in Sedgley with a huge loss of municipal parking spaces, which will probably kill the 350 seater Dormston Mill Theatre.

"Don’t let them destroy Pool Road carpark and don’t let them destroy Halesowen’s only theatre venue."

Jayne Mills commented saying: "The car park is very much needed not only for the town hall but also for the people, the swimming pool and local businesses.

"How can they expect people to attend events at the town hall if there's nowhere to park."

Vicki Young said: "The lifts haven't worked for weeks. It's awful. It will kill Halesowen if there is not suitable parking."

The council had planned to demolish the multi-storey car park and build a new state-of-the-art college campus in its place, as part of a bid for £20million levelling-up funding from the Government, but the bid failed.

Councillor Damian Corfield, Dudley Council's cabinet member for highways and environment, said: “There are no plans to close Pool Road car park.

"We are currently carrying out a survey to look at the use of parking spaces at Pool Road car park and the wider town centre.

"It will help us ensure that there continues to be ample, safe car parking for everyone visiting Halesowen.

“While the higher levels are closed the bottom two remain open and there is also plenty of alternative car parking in Andrew Road, Birmingham Street and High Street.

“We are aware that one of the two lifts was out of order which has been raised as an urgent repair and will be sorted as quickly as possible.

"We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”