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Freeing up parking spaces in Cheadle’s car parks

by Iain Roberts on 6 March, 2015

In recent months the Lib Dem team has been working to see how we can free up spaces for shoppers in Cheadle’s car parks.

Cheadle has more car parking than any other district centre in Stockport – over 400 spaces in the car parks plus a range of short-stay near the village centre (e.g. Ashfield Road, Charlotte Street, Oak Road) but traders and shoppers have been complaining that people often can’t find a space to park.

The challenge for us as councillors is that there are different groups who want different things. People who work in the village want to be able to park cheaply all day. Traders and shoppers want more short-stay parking. Residents don’t want even more cars pushed out of the car parks and onto their roads. Finding a solution that works for everyone isn’t easy!

We’ve now gathered the evidence to better understand the problem – a useful exercise as it turns out one of our key assumptions was wrong. We had thought the issue was more people parking all day in the car parks, but the figures suggest 90% of tickets are bought by people parking for 3 hours or less,

Here are the figures:

In total we have 419 spaces in the car parks (plus the ones in Ashfield Road and the unrestricted parking around Brooklyn Crescent etc.).

There are 105 residents permits for people who live on roads like Lime Grove, though as many of those will work elsewhere I’m sure the number parking in the car parks on a week day is far lower.

There are 79 contract permits – some are for businesses in the village centre, but others are not and these could be looked at: do we want to prioritise spaces for shoppers over spaces for business parking?

We looked at 6 months of data from the Massie Street West car park and found that 90% are parking for 3 hours or less and less than 5% are people parking for more than 5 hours. The full figures are:

1 hour: 54.58%
2 hours: 30.13%
3 hours: 5.64%
4 hours: 1.16%
5 hours: 4.76%
6 hours: 0.54%
7 hours: 0.58%
8 hours: 0.78%
9 hours: 0.51%
10 hours: 1.54%

As the charges are stable at 20p an hour, there’s no financial incentive to ‘feed the meter’ and traffic wardens patrol regularly so I’d be surprised if there were significant numbers of people paying for 1-3 hours and staying all day: they’re very easy to catch and fine.

Let us know what you think!

   7 Comments

7 Responses

  1. Les Leckie says:

    The exercise needs to be extended to include the use of streets for parking. A survey would show that many lie vacant thoughout the working, (spending) day. Many are unnecessarily off limits to motorists due to inflexible resident parking schemes.

  2. Bob says:

    I work and have a business in Cheadle centre
    I park further out and walk in, which I would continue to do.
    Residential parking should be freed up for use during the day. Maybe between 10am /4pm for max 30 mins / no return.
    I don’t know anyone who has never parked on a side street in another town centre when visiting it

    • Alan Gent says:

      Well Bob, if you’re one of the people who park on Milton Crescent and walk in, please don’t try and convince us you’re doing us a favour. Last week, cars parked on both sides of Milton right up to the Chadvil junction. This made the road single lane only and there were two near misses that I know of, as a result.
      If we have so many car parking spaces and they aren’t used all day then we should be able to restrict road parking to keep those roads safe. Either that or we need more and better transport links to what is obviously a thriving district centre.

  3. jennifer says:

    I couldn’t agree more.The side street alongside the newsagents is virtually car free all day because of the residents parking scheme. It would be more sensible to allow parking as Bob suggests during the day and leave it free for residents after 6pm when they are likely to want to park near to their homes.

  4. Mike George says:

    Looking at it from the residents’ point of view, they may individually different working hours, or may be retired, so allowing people to park in a space they pay for (probably priced for exclusive use) it might not be workable.

  5. Kevin says:

    As a resident of Bulkeley Road, I have frequently have problems parking anywhere near my house. People that work in nearby shops & offices park here from 08:00 to 18:00 every day. On Sunday, churchgoers park here also.

    Its a bit of a pain and I would think that parking should be free in Cheadle to encourage people to shop here. What’s the point of a 20p parking fee, it probably costs more to operate & police than the revenue it generates (including fines).

  6. Stuart Thompson says:

    More and better transport links would reduce rush hour congestion as well as encouraging people to use public transport to access businesses in central Cheadle. Now that I am retired, I walk, cycle or use public transport to visit Gatley or Stockport. No problem there. When I worked in Manchester, I preferred to use public transport even when I spent the evening at a theatre, concert or social event in the city after work. In those days, Cheadle had three buses per hour until after 11 pm. Nowadays, with fewer than 1 bus per hour after 9 pm, there is little incentive to use public transport for evening events unless the East Didsbury park and ride can be used in conjunction with Metrolink. No wonder that so many people drive in each day when the evening transport situation is so appalling. It is not surprising that appeals to use more environmentally friendly transport fall on deaf ears.

    If only we had a government with the common-sense of our EU neighbours. My son lives on the outskirts of Hamburg in a district that resembles Woodford, an area here that is not known for the frequency of its transport. A few years ago, I stayed in a hotel a few minutes bus ride from my son’s house. He was amused that I was worried about missing the last bus. This was not a problem, because even on a Sunday night, there were 7 buses serving that route between 9 and 10 pm. People there are very proud of their pubic transport. Not only is it cheaper than ours. Unlike most British public transport, its evening users are not just teenagers or people who are recognisably poor – they include many well-dressed middle-aged couples of professional appearance who have clearly enjoyed an excellent evening at a good restaurant. If only someone in Brussels would pass a law about public transport standards and make it mandatory – I would regard as an excellent use of the money I pay in taxes!

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