Retailers in Solihull, West Midlands, are celebrating a hard-fought victory in their campaign to persuade the local council to create new free parking facilities for local stores. Thirty new spaces are to be created at the rear of the Hobs Moat shopping parade following a year-long campaign by retailers after the council sold off land that used to provide free parking. Paul Sura, who runs Paul’s News in Hobs Moat, said: “We noticed an immediate and devastating impact on trade the day the free parking was scrapped.” Trade at Paul’s store dropped by 40% overnight, as shopper numbers dwindled from 1,900 a day to just 450. Paul organised a petition which received 3,000 signatures and gained the support of his local MPs.