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£70k Plus Parking Windfall For Council In Two Weeks

The city council’s extended hours parking scheme gathers in 2779 more tickets

Written by . Published on November 28th 2011.


£70k Plus Parking Windfall For Council In Two Weeks

THE extension to city centre on-street parking hours in the evening and on Sundays pocketed at least £70k in its first two weeks.

If none of the tickets were to be paid within the two weeks and the full fine levied then the amount of dosh the council would rake in would be £151,625.

There were 2,779 extra parking tickets issued between 24 October and 6 November 2011 than over the same period last year. In total 5,200 tickets were issued.

On double or single yellow lines 1002 tickets were issued as against 495 in 2010.

In pay and display bays 4198 tickets were issued as against 1,926 in 2010.

Fines on the two sites are £70 (£35 if paid in a fortnight) and £50 (£25 if paid in a fortnight) respectively.

If all the tickets were paid within the two weeks then the amount of dosh the council would rake in would be £74,545.

If none of the tickets were paid within the two weeks and the full fine levied then the amount of dosh the council would rake in would be £151,625.

There is of course some inevitable avoidance, legitimate or otherwise, of some of these fines so an accurate figure probably lies somewhere in between. Indeed, around 340 people have successfully appealed from the total figure of 5,200. 

Cllr Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council's executive member for the environment, said of the charges: "We have advertised the changes in the press and on street signs, while the issue has been regularly debated in the local media over the last few months. As always, we will take a fair and reasonable approach to those motorists who feel they shouldn't have received parking tickets."

Bless.

Of course the high fines figure should tail off as people who use the city centre become used to the charges or simply give up coming in and go to the free parking at the Trafford Centre.

The Confidential campaign against the extended parking included a petition which gained more than 6,000 signatories. This was ignored more or less completely by the city council.  

One thing we could never understand was the rationale used to justify the scheme, namely the need to ease congestion.

In a climate of cuts the sudden decision to impose Sunday and later evening charges seemed like a knee-jerk reaction designed to grab extra cash without any consideration of the businesses and traders who make Manchester city centre attractive.

Apparently we were wrong. It was all about easing the congestion that many Mancunians fail to see or don't think is anywhere near bad enough to justify the charges.

A minimum of £70k of extra cash in two weeks is a lovely little 'easer; a cracking council Christmas boost, at a time when there's little likelihood of any congestion being eased but lots of opportunity for catching motorists out. 

Nice work if you can get it.

To be fair, the added income is ring-fenced for transport and infrastructure schemes. Money raised is being used for not just easing congestion but for the Gay Village pedestrianisation scheme, the free metroshuttle service and 'smart' parking meters that respond to the digital world so that people will be able to remotely feed the meter if they take longer than they thought.'

By the way the council would like us to point out that since introducing the scheme other cities have joined in charging for Sunday parking such as Birmingham and Nottingham.

So along with the first stored programme computer, the splitting of the atom, the development of the Free Trade Movement, the Suffragettes and the First Law of Thermodynamics, Manchester has another ‘first’.

You can follow Jonathan Schofield on Twitter here @JonathSchofield

The pictures below were captured in a five minute walk from King Street to Bridge Street on Sunday 13 November at 3.45pm. They include a Confidential reader Nicky, who we bumped into whincing in shock.

Car Parking 019

Car Parking 014

Car Parking 013

Car Parking 017


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86 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Stephen DouglasNovember 28th 2011.

It more than covers the entire cost of the Canal Street Pedestrianisation Scheme, which is the real reason the charges were brought in (as admitted by more than one councillor)

As for advertising it, they only advertised it on the side of the machine where you pay, not on the side facing the road. So if you were used to not having to pay on Sundays, you wouldn't have thought to go and look at the machine - you would have already needed to know about the changes in order to see the signs telling you about them!

Jonathan SchofieldNovember 28th 2011.

Stephen we've asked about this found this out which is also included in the article. The money is being used for the village pedestrianisation scheme but is just one of the things that the fund is spent on. The bulk of the revenue raised is being spent on the very well used free metroshuttle service. It will also be used to pay for new smarter parking meters so that people will be able to remotely meter feed if they take longer than they thought.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Stephen DouglasNovember 28th 2011.

Can't they (in theory) already remotely meter feed, using the phone line (when it works)?

Stephen DouglasNovember 28th 2011.

And I've no problem with it funding Metroshuttle, although it would be nice if it ran at least as late as the parking charges do.

AnonymousNovember 28th 2011.

I think the 2 hour extension and lack of signage are disgusting, but it is the retailers I feel sorry for. People like myself who would pop into town after work for a bite to eat or do to the gym are now doing these things elsewhere. Subsequently retailers will close early and may leave the town. £70k doesn't seem like much compared to millions the council will lose due to their shortsightedness.

Ed HughesNovember 28th 2011.

I was about to post a comment on the previous thread where we discussing this. I was walking into town from Castlefield on Sunday, and as I passed Bridgewater Street (opposite Ellis Brigham, behind The Ox) I saw 5 cars parked on single yellows, all with tickets. I overheard one bemused driver saying "I've parked here on Sundays for years - why am I suddenly getting a ticket...?"

From what I can see, the MCC have either removed or not replaced the parking signs which outline when you can and can't park on these yellow lines and it is brutally clear that they haven't done anywhere near enough to advertise these changes. Putting stickers on the pay points isn't good enough, especially in instances where there aren't any pay points in the first place...

If the Council *really* wanted to tackle the issue of congestion, they would - alongside these new parking regulations - have run an advertising campaign based on encouraging drivers to use public transport and thus avoid risking parking fines/expensive Pay and Displays. They didn't because they still want people driving in and getting caught out and fined/stung for exorbitant NCP fees.

"Something rotten..." etc

funboi123November 28th 2011.

"One thing we could never understand was the rationale used to justify the scheme, namely the need to ease congestion" -

The councils rationale to ease congestion is crazy. I recently wrote to the councils Highway Services, to complain at the fact they have now extended the kerb outside the light shop at the MEN. This now leads to absolute chaos every evening when leaving the city as what was previously two lanes of traffic, are now sqeezed into one.

The response I got from Mamad Razavi, Assistant Engineer from Manchester Councils Highway Services, was that this narrowing of Great Ducie Street, was in fact "to promote the reduction of traffic travelling to and from Deansgate, encouraging them to turn onto the inner ring road to reach their destination"

Yes, thats correct, the council admitting, they want to reduce traffic, and keep people away from the city centre, by making the roads smaller, so theres more traffic, and you'll get more angry and just never bother driving in or through the city centre.

It just makes no sense.

For those who dont believe me, or are also sick of sitting in twice as much traffic now every evening heading out Bury New Road, email them yourself and ask. Or please join me in complaining about this attempt to reduce traffic, by actually creating more traffic here: http://tinyurl.com/5vspyyw

4 Responses: Reply To This...
tblzebraNovember 28th 2011.

I completely agree, although I'd presumed they'd done it to add a coach pull-in for the M.E.N. Arena. It seems dangerous to me - all of a sudden the pavement juts out into the inside lane, with no warning whatsoever.

For those who have no idea what we're talking about, it's the A56 Victoria Street outside Litecraft (in the Beaumont Building).

Simon AlexanderNovember 28th 2011.

I've noticed that and while I can almost see the sense if its just to stop people travelling down Deansgate isn't it on the wrong side of the road and shouldn't it be outside what used to be the brewery? Also has anyone seen how congested the ring road is these days? I came onto it of Princess Parkway just before 3.30 today and got straight into a traffic jam. Turned left so now running along the back of where Granade was and again its a traffic jam, With the roadworks further down it just becomes a farce.

AnonymousDecember 1st 2011.

I can't think of any other situation where the belief is pursued that making something worse will eventually lead to it being better. True, if you have a gangrenous leg you could just let it get worse until it drops off (which isn't a bad analogy, come to think of it), but I'm pretty sure that you are then just moving the problem elsewhere. The gangrene, like the traffic, will spread. Probably to your groin, and you'll be sad when that's gone.

My analogy has collapsed, but the first sentence still stands.

CobbydalerJanuary 29th 2012.

They're doing it all along Deansgate now...

Jo BeggsNovember 28th 2011.

For me the most frustrating thing about the new rules is not the cost (although the rise in charges is a bit of a shock) but the two hour limit in most of the city centre. If you're parking to go to, say, dinner and a gig, you can't do that before 6pm or you'll run over time. This is almost certainly going to have an impact on city centre businesses.

Jill JillianNovember 28th 2011.

why have we still got congestion then, the Mancunian Way towards Regent Road is worse than ever.

Marlainy PopNovember 28th 2011.

This whole issue makes my blood boil! I got a parking ticket several months back and decided to use the train to get into Manchester.

Great you might think...actually, not so great. The cost for a return ticket for my husband, 2 kids and myself was £17.10. I presumed at 11.30am on Saturday was off peak and would be much cheaper for a family.

After we bought the ticket we were informed that we may not get on the train as it was overcrowded??? We did get on because I made it my mission however many of the other people on the platform didn't get on. Not only that we were squeezed on, with nowhere to sit for the full duration of the journey packed in with football supporters chanting, swearing and drinking booze at 11.30am. Oh, and not to forget the train was filthy and grubby.

What an experience, overpriced, overcrowded and bloody awful. At least in my fuel efficient family car I can be assured of a comfortable, clean, affordable and safe journey.

Listen up councillors! We know your game. You've enforced punitive measures for drivers (most of which at weekends are families) We are then told that if we don't like it we should use public transport which is expensive and grubby + the price of a ticket is going up again in the next few weeks.

Is it completely wrong of us to expect a fair system that works? Go local, as the alternative is no longer an option for me and my family, its just not worth the hassle.

I bet the theme tune playing in the council offices is kerching, kerching!

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 29th 2011.

You could have paid to park in an NCP car park. Yeah they are expensive but your not going to get fined and they are cheper than the £17.10 train fare and you would have avoided that nightmare of a train journey. Agree with virtually everyone else on here, the parking amendements are a joke. No one benefits.

AnonymousNovember 28th 2011.

I feel very sorry for the many small independant city centre business' that will loose Sunday trade. It's a very short sighted decision made by the council on our behalf. There seemed to be no public consultation and was clearly pushed through as quickly as possible.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Jean Verity-DoyleNovember 30th 2011.

they did put out a brief on car parking on confidential and although there was a vote for NO they were already putting it out. so the issue was futile to argu with!!

Jean Verity-DoyleNovember 30th 2011.

I always try to park at the victoria one and have noticed that they have charges now of £5.00 which used to be for 12 hrs now still £5.00 and hrs reduced to 5/6 so if you park ur car at 7pm go for meal a couple of drinks( juice tho) you have to be at your car for 12midnight. I parked my car at 4pm cinema 6/7pm couple of drinks 8/9pm back to car 9:30 time left on ticket 3+ hrs
What has happend is it all privitised now as council should not be profiting from
motorist/ Councel tax payers.

write to your MP re leagalities.should we see clear Signage displayed or could it be entrapment which is illegal.
just a thought !!!

could we make it illegal

AnonymousNovember 28th 2011.

There is plenty of congestion in Longsight where shoppers etc blatantly park during nominally prohibited periods thereby impeding the flow of traffic including those of us on the bus. One very rarely sees a traffic warden in Longsight however. Maybe for some reason the shopkeepers and the councillors there have more clout than those in the city centre. (I seem to recall similar congestion along the Curry Mile when I used to travel through it to/from work). Odd how some areas seem to have enjoyed priviliged treatment...

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 29th 2011.

One must get to Longsight soon, one hadn't realise it had become a shopper's paradise...

Frank FloodNovember 28th 2011.

This is one of the reasons why myself and my family of five adults will not shop in Manchester we all go to the Trafford Centre.Also the enviornment is considerably friendlier than the City centre .

user1770November 28th 2011.

Echoing all of what's been said, we live on the small streets near the Ox (as mentioned by Ed Hughes) and there never were any signs for the single yellows, I asked a warden when we moved in and was told 0800-1800 Mon-Sat. There are still no signs as I had a good search for some when I saw the line of ticketed cars, so there is absolutely no way at all of knowing that the single yellows have changed at all. How can that be acceptable, surely a sign is a legal requirement?
Just taken a look out of the window and the street has four cars in it - usually by now it would be parked end to end, heaving with shoppers and especially people heading to the restaurants here.
What a tragedy for our city.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 28th 2011.

I got a ticket years ago for parking on a single yellow outside Ellis Brigham for 6 minutes. I appealed the ticket as I didn't see a sign and always thought you could park for 20 mins on a single line.
The reply I got was that the whole city centre is a controlled parking zone which basically means that when you enter you pass a sign and it's your responsibility to look up the local rules. I explained that I live in the city centre and I don't pass any signs, but I was then told that I must have at some point in my life - I actually hadn't because I got the train in and then used my girlfriends car, but they still wouldn't rescind the charge.

Simon BoothNovember 28th 2011.

Hey ho, Hey ho - it's off to the Tragic Centre we go. Bet they must be laughing their little socks off.

Witness the short sighted parking 'strategy' in Altrincham to see just how you can really ruin a town centre in a few years.

If these Councillors could organise a drinks session at Strangeways I would be most surprised.

AnonymousNovember 28th 2011.

Does anyone with any legal knowlege know if the Council is acting within the law here? Obviously, the Council can legally change parking restrictions whenever it wants; but it in this case it is scandalously obvious that it intentionally failed to advertise the change properly in order to catch people out. Can the Council really get away with conspiring against its own Council Tax payers like this?

I appealed after getting a ticket for parking in the same space I've been using for free for five years. Obviously, after five years, I didn't tend to check the ticket machine every time I parked just in case the restrictions had changed. The Council's reply stated that I should have known about the change because it had published an advertisement in the Manchester Evening News. The Manchester Evening News?!!! A newspaper whose circulation has declined so rapidly it withdrew from ABC circulation figures two years ago. That's how I was supposed to know about the change?

What happened to WE LOVE MANCHESTER? The Council's as bad as the cretins who looted Market Street. I'd have more respect for Cllr Leese if he smashed my car window and stole the radio than for tricking me into paying a 25 quid fine, if the Council is really that short of cash.

Also, I assume the new restrictions don't apply to the lord mayor. I've seen his N10 number plate Volvo parked on single yellow lines before 8pm twice since the new restrictions came in while he was dining at swanky restaurants. Now that´s nice work if you can get it.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 28th 2011.

Oldham Council recently announced that they were letting people park for free on Saturdays and they publicised it much more widely than MCC did with these parking changes. MCC knew exactly what they were doing.

Perhaps somebody should submit an FOI request to find the comparable spend for communications around the parking changes, their swimming pools campaign and the fostering one; I bet the parking one had less spent on it.

Jack FarrowNovember 28th 2011.

It is just a new congestion charge. Stop people from driving in and parking up for free and dont lose any money because those that do have to drive in anyway will cover the lost revenue now by paying for an extra 3 hours a day. This council are making the roads narrower everywhere in the hope that people wont drive in, this scheme is part of that stopping people to drive in to Manchester project. It wont suprise me if soon when they have completley made a mess of the flow of traffic into the city centre, that they try to introduce the congestion charge again. What they dont realise is that for many surrounding areas of Manchester, the public transport system is a disgrace and only those privaleged enough to be on the Metro Link will have reasonable access to the city centre. In the long run you will see businesses closing and I fear that Manchester will lose that busy shopping atmosphere and become a ghost town like many other towns and cities in the UK now. And which joker is it that thinks we should all go the the Trafford Centre instead? Are you serious? It's busy enough as it is! Why do people keep voting for these clowns?

AnonymousNovember 28th 2011.

I sent this as my challenge to the ticket I'd received. I'd genuinely forgotten that new regulations had come in.

"Reason for challenge:

No visible notification was given that a change in permitted parking hours had taken place
Good practice and courtesy would suggest that prior to issuing a £70 fine, there should have been a prominent sign to alert residents that a significant amendment had taken place
My observation that almost every car on the street had been issued with a parking ticket would indicate a failure on the part of Manchester City Council to properly implement these changes
I would sincerely hope that this was an oversight on the council’s part rather than any underhand attempt to ‘catch people out’ for financial gain

I look forward to your reassurance…"

Their response was:

I am satisfied that the level of advertising/signage is sufficient to alert motorists to the
changes.

But they cancelled my ticket anyway....Mmmn

1 Response: Reply To This...
Jack FarrowNovember 28th 2011.

I feel for you! I was nearly cuaght out on a Sunday a couple of weeks ago. It was only when I got a few streets away and I saw a vulture giving someone a ticket that I realised, even then I had to ask this vulture if they had started charging on Sundays. They I ran back to my car and luckily no ticket-I WAS suprised! Like you say though, there was no notification at all anywhere, just small print on the meter what you would have no reaon to read over and over again when you are buying a ticket. There should have been big signs informing people and there weren't! It's a disgrace!

Nicky Rybka-GoldsmithNovember 28th 2011.

Totally disgusted with the added parking charges, Manchester City Council have not listened to traders, residents or public concern. In addition business have had to contend with higher taxes on all levels and remarkably our council finds it imperative to make this a priority to fill a finical void but also dent the cities trade by driving them out at the most prominent time of the year towards the trafford centre. As an owner operator of 3 independent business we are expected to absorb over inflated business rates on top of everything else. Listen up Manchester City Council - you are freely proud and often voice the clarity of what the Northern Quarter has established and offers but are willing to see Independents and others suffer. Your tiresome increases will have a massive impact on out community. BE WARNED what wheels you have put in place and these may be irreversible

Simon AlexanderNovember 28th 2011.

if the council want to ease congestion in this city how about they synchronise traffic lights and make roads wider instead of narrowing roads and unsynchronising the lights. This council has no interest in doing anything but gridlocking the roads so as eventually getting to introduce a full congestion charge. Now that there is a Primark in Stockport and also in Selfridges at the Trafford Centre there is no need to go into the city centre shopping as all the major stores have alternative shops. How long will it be before these companies decide to leave town and cost us millions in lost rates all due to our wonderful council.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Andrew FraynNovember 29th 2011.

Just to be clear, I don't agree with the charge, which is clearly damaging to local businesses and the general health of the city centre. But, counterintuitively, it's actually more effective in terms of processing volume of traffic NOT to synchronise lights so that traffic builds, and to use the full capacity of the road as much as possible (my dad used to be a highways manager - not in Manchester).

Paul DownesNovember 28th 2011.

We experienced a similar problem a couple of years ago, Trafford MBA used the streets around our business as an experiment to introduce parking charges for workers and football fans on MUFC home games via permit, voucher or mobile phone pay, the scheme was a disaster and almost closed the business, we are situated in the heart of trafford Park Industrial estate, where once we enjoyed a thriving business during times when most neighbouring businesses were closed it has now become a ghost town as drivers of coaches and cars found other locations, once you force people to break their habits they are lost and it is extremely difficult if not impossible to replace them. Our society is changing rapidly through necessity mostly forced on us by fiscal wizards and legal eagles of the corporates.
The Village Inn now sits tired and lonesome, a victim of one way systems, parking restrictions enforced unjustifiably and changing demographics. Trafford MBA in it's wisdom has tried several ways to reverse the damage without success, and to add insult to injury the business rates ( supposedly based on barrelage and turnover have increased massively, double that of some City center pubs with 200% more turnover ) Sadly our Booth st location is now already showing signs of the same since the introduction of the Sunday restrictions and 8pm extension, only the christmas market saves it for now ! come Jan/Feb what then ?
After lengthy discussions and Q&A's I investigated further the relationship between APCOA the company granted the parking concession for Trafford MBA and several other local councils. I found a mission statement to shareholders from their CEO he announced that in order to raise income and rewards to shareholders APCOA would be working closely with local authorities, hospitals British rail etc to find ways to increase revenue opportunities ! now how can they do that without issuing more fines, they simply do it by offering more rewards to the enforcers and bonus or kickbacks to those renewing the parking concessions and assisting in changes designed purely through revenue motivation.
In truth Private Equity is responsible for many increases to parking charges, utilities costs etc, wherever there is a gauranteed revenue stream the fiscal wizards find a way to control and manipulate it and shift the revenue to offshore tax havens. In the main the parking charges rarely go back into the Local authorities coffers, most of it goes to absurd corporate bonuses and foreign private equity.
APCOA is similar to NCP it started life in USA as Airport Parking Company Of America, has since changed several owners even Germany and now belongs to a French private equity outfit.
If all local authorities and UK utilities became more insular, as a nation we could only benefit from such wealth re invested.
Where once we were a simple shopkeeper we are now forced to study corporate manpulations as they repeatedly find ways to raid our hard earned cash.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Jill JillianNovember 29th 2011.

Paul you should do a Freedom of Information request to MCC and ask them for copies of contracts between themselves and NCP and you'll probably find that they obligated to increase charges for past investment by NCP

Paul DownesNovember 28th 2011.

AFTER EFFECT OF NEW PARKING RESTRICTIONS

The Village Inn, 3rd Ave, Trafford Park, M17 1DQ. villageinntp@aol.com

We are extremely concerned for the future survival of our business !
We have already withdrawn from lease discussions for the Trafford Park Hotel in view of Trafford MBC's traffic management policies.

Our matchday takings are already down by 34% on the first day of the new permit parking. Whilst we applaud the councils initiatives in attempting to address the problems associated with irresponsible parking, it is plain to see from the empty streets on saturday that the £175 fee is extortionate and has only served to drive the traffic nearer to the ground into the newly opened car parks.

Of the few cars that parked in the village there were very few that actually had permits and there were definitely no cars within 300 yards of the village inn displaying permits.
Whilst we appreciate there will be some delays during the transitional period it is obvious that very few people are actually buying the permits and empty streets are already having a devastating effect on our business.

We have now been forced into a situation where for the first time since we acquired the business we have to consider our future elsewhere, due to a forced downturn in business when operational costs are at an all time high. The village inn relies heavily on the football trade for it's survival. The pub trade has suffered a number of setbacks in recent times ( which we have managed to survive ).
We now have to be realistic and accept that the councils actions have forced our customers into the hands of local competitors, and the nature of humans is that they are creatures of habit and by forcing them elsewhere after working so hard for many years to build up the business we are at risk from losing them.

We are also extremely concerned to see so many empty streets and yet the council has only offered five permits for our regular trade. This seems unfair since we usually have between 25 and 30 lorry drivers who manage to find a parking space on night matches, of which there are two this month.

It is our view that in only offering five permits for our regular customers, and setting a high fee for the football fans, forcing the public to pay for a full season when they may only attend a dozen or so matches and also the fact that we are so far away from the stadium, will just drive trade away from our pub on a permanent basis.

If we were in a built up area surrounded by houses and shops with footfall and vehicle traffic then some of the restrictions being enforced by the council would be justified. The fact that we are situated in the heart of one of the largest industrial estates in europe, and around 98% of businesses are closed when Manchester United are at home, and that we are so far ( over a mile ) from the stadium, we feel the measures being taken are unnecessarily excessive.
We are aware of one particular business which was adversely affected on matchdays by illegal parking on street corners, however this is quite some distance from the Village Inn and as Trafford MBC have quoted this as one of the reasons to justify the current restrictions we feel it is unfair to use this against the Village Inn when simple parking restrictions and management would have been sufficient.

For many years the village inn has been cut off from passing trade and footfall due to the introduction by the council of one way systems and road closures for the metrolink. The village inn has adapted and survived but the parking restrictions in their current form may prove to be the final nail in the coffin, as without the football trade this pub simply cannot survive.

Respectfully

The Village Inn is now suffering a decline in evening trade along with declining matchday trade, since the introduction of the permit parking scheme.

Our evening customers are parking away from trafford park due to the confusion surrounding the parking bays, the bays appear to be discouraging large vehicles.

We have lease obligations as well as staff, VAT, business rates, utilities etc and the current downturn in trade ( the first since we aquired the business several years ago ) is putting the business under considerable strain.

We have to find a solution to the problems caused by the empty permit parking bays on matchdays and the confusion for our evening customers as soon as possible before any further decline in trade.

Your co-operation and understanding would be appreciated, and we ask that you treat this with a matter of urgency due to our financial obligations.

Apart from the empty streets all we are witnessing are confused police
patrols at the emptiness of the village and pairs of shiny new scooters with
traffic control employees making notes of areas where cars are parking for free
and not actually enforcing any of the new restrictions ( of the very few cars
parked in the village not many actually have permits ).

We beg the council to open a channel of communication so we may discuss
damage limitation, it is obvious the scheme is at this moment unworkable, if
anything it appears that the village is being used as an excersise for something
the council are planning to introduce for the forthcoming congestion charge
as similar situations occurred in London pre-congestion charge.

A very concerned Business

Paul

IzzyNovember 28th 2011.

Over the last few years I have received countless parking tickets as a result of parking in loading bays after 6pm, on single yellow lines on a Sunday and even on private property where I had authorisation to park - I had three tickets slapped on the windscreen in the space of three days. I challenged each notice on the grounds that there were either no clear signs or no signs at all; every one was overturned. It's worth the effort - and believe you me, it is an effort - but it is one of the fundamental and most widely used reasons for challenging PCN, it's even in the MCC guidelines on how to challenge. One ticket took almost a year to overturn and during that time I incurred two visits from a bailiff. Over 50% of all PCNs when challenged, are overturned. If all those who have been hard done by because of the new charges challenge their PCNs, the Council would be so overwhelmed, they'd probably give in just for an easy life. The paperwork when you challenge a PCN is unbloodybelievable - it runs into 50 or 60 pages, then there's the cost of instructing a bailiff if it gets that far. Total madness and sheer bloody-mindedness on the part of the Council. Funny thing is, as Anon. says above, when the tickets were eventually overturned, the letters from the Council insisted that they were correct and the signs were clear but, 'on this occasion, we have decided to cancel your PCN'. It would be fucking funny if it was not for the colossal waste of public money involved. Anyway, rant over - I'm now off to ready myself for Wednesday's call-to-arms Brothers........:))

1 Response: Reply To This...
Jill JillianNovember 29th 2011.

Wouldn't it be different if the Council had to pay your costs for a sucessful appeal

AnonymousNovember 28th 2011.

If the council wanted to east congestion and encourage people to use the city centre, they'd encourage the building of car-parks on the periphery of the city centre and provide free or very cheap park&ride buses into the centre from those car parks.

No one really wants to shop at the Traffic Centre. It's a soulless, claustrophobic and dishearteningly artificial centre of consumerism but the council shouldn't be complacent. People really don't like paying excessively for parking.

1 Response: Reply To This...
IzzyNovember 28th 2011.

The Trafford Centre is no different to the city centre-based Arndale Centre in its "....soulless, claustrophobic and dishearteningly artificial centre of consumerism". Just saying.

AnonymousNovember 28th 2011.

....oh and the way to encourage people to use public transport is to make it cheap. We wouldn't dream of NOT using the bus when in most of Europe but don't even think of using it in Manchester because it's too expensive.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
IzzyNovember 28th 2011.

I honestly think that people in the UK are snobbish about using buses - or people outside of London at least.

Ryan O'hanlonNovember 29th 2011.

People ARE snobbish about using buses in the UK. It's mainly due to the fact that, depending on the time of day / night, half the time you have to put up with an assortment of morons swearing in front of kids, teenage yobs telling each other who they are going to 'bang out', or smelly people. I have been using the buses and the met lately to try and save money on petrol and half the time it's pretty grim. At night it's even better; said people are now pissed. Oh and you have to pay for the pleasure. Whilst in other counties, I've never seen people act like the way they do on our public transport systems.

AnonymousDecember 1st 2011.

I used buses to get into the city centre for work for four years. I have now stopped; thankfully my employer has a car park that I managed to get a space in.

I stopped using the bus because it was unreliable, infrequent, expensive, dirty and uncomfortable. Would I go back to the bus? Yes, if the five points above were solved. But I'm not holding my breath.

AnonymousNovember 28th 2011.

...and why are my posts showing as if my name were anonymous?

1 Response: Reply To This...
EditorialNovember 29th 2011.

You mustn't have ticked the right box.

Hero
Paul HopeNovember 29th 2011.

I had become familiar with Manchester City Councils, parking requirements and I was not aware of the change to the TRO which increased the restricted time for parking on Little Peter Street from 18:00hrs to 20:00hrs. This resulted in a parking ticket being issued on the 4th November 2011.

I telephoned Manchester City Council’s Street Management and Parking and was told that as the change to the TRO was published in The Manchester Evening News and the council’s website I should have been aware of it and that they would not consider cancelling the PCN.

What I am aware of is that a Civil Parking Authority must ensure that the public are informed of new restrictions before starting enforcement and I do not consider that Manchester City Council has fulfilled its obligation to inform the public of changes to the TRO by publication in the Manchester Evening News.

In evidence of my view I cite a Cabinet Office publication `Informing the public in a multi media age’ which looks at delivering efficient and accessible modern methods to meet the requirements of publication of changes TRO’s and to be more responsive and collaborative in the way they engage with the public.

Both central and local government have called for paper-based administrative requirements to be removed and more flexible and effective methods of delivering accessible consumer information through a variety of media channels to be adopted.

The research presented in ‘Informing the public in a multi media age’ report assessed the volume of statutory notices published each year and identified the five subject areas of greatest administrative burden to local authorities and public agencies and they include traffic orders.

The report stipulates that local newspapers may not be the most effective source of information for statutory notices. One study shows that less than two percent of people found out about changes from seeing a notice in the local newspaper.

I have challenged this PCN on the grounds that Manchester City Council did not pay sufficient attention to informing the public about the TRO change.

The statistics published in Manchester Confidential support this challenge and I hope that people who have received parking tickets will challenge them on this basis.

Mark JaggerNovember 29th 2011.

the best way to stimulate retail trade and business in the run up to Christmas?? The best way a local authority can help secure long term business rate take?
If this stupid short sighted scheme is the best we can do, it really does feel like the end of MCC's unique and refreshing attitude to running the city for the last 20 yrs.
Look to Bolton and fellow Labour councils for a future of uniforms, chasing trade away from empty streets 7days a week.Good grief

AnonymousNovember 29th 2011.

They say this has been widely advertised - well I work for the Council and even I didn't know this had started yet. Joke!!

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 2nd 2011.

I don't work for the Council and I don't own a car, but still I knew. Perhaps you're just a bit dozy.

AnonymousNovember 29th 2011.

Most people in the council who make these rules will not be affected as they have permits to park in the NCP and will not even have to experience public transport.
It is a massive shame as Manchester has become a very vibrant city for us to be very proud of all it is is pure greed.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Stephen DouglasNovember 29th 2011.

I remember in the residents parking meeting, hearing the suggestion that we should consider public transport.

Afterwards, I had to get out of the way as Cllr Karney (who chaired the meeting) shot out of the private councillors car park at the town hall in his brand new Jag.

AnonymousNovember 29th 2011.

Its a good way to catch all those people from out of town who have come in at the weekend every year for the Christmas markets - haven't seen anything about the parking charges on all the Christmas market publicity.

Stephen DouglasNovember 29th 2011.

And if they're concerned about parking congestion, why don't they do something about the idiots on Wilmslow Road in Rusholme? The number of buses that get caught in that because they can't squeeze past the car (with the hazard lights thoughtfully left on) and the traffic island is incredible - which then of course blocks everything else, even vehicles that *could* get through themselves.

Paul DownesNovember 29th 2011.

New parking charges.....THE REAL TRUTH !! A good journalist could create a great an extremely topical editorial from the information below, it is happening all too often across the nation, corporate greed is chipping away at the financial foundations, parking companies granted concessions are continuously finding ways to create more revenue for the foreign owners in private equity, in these desperate times of austerity it is seen as a growth industry with huge bonuses to the company, bondholders and shareholders alike.
If local authorities, Universities, British rail and Hospitals applied similar business models and re invested, all would have incredible parking solutions and job spin offs in terms of construction, valet service, professional parking services, property maintenance services, pick up/collection or park and ride coffee to go and newspaper vendors, the result would be social inclusion rather than current feelings of exclusion and alienanation

Sunday and extended Parking charges will kill some City center businesses

We experienced a similar problem a couple of years ago, Trafford MBC used the streets around our business as an experiment to introduce parking charges for workers and football fans on MUFC home games via permit, voucher or mobile phone pay, the scheme was operated by APCOA, at first over zealous CEO's ( civil enforcement officers which is what they renamed the traffic wardens ) had a free for all issuing tickets out driving customers away it was a disaster and almost closed the business, we are situated in the heart of trafford Park Industrial estate, where once we enjoyed a thriving business during times when most neighbouring businesses were closed it has now become a ghost town as drivers of coaches and cars found other locations, once you force people to break their habits they are lost and it is extremely difficult if not impossible to replace them. Our society is changing rapidly through necessity mostly forced on us by fiscal wizards and legal eagles of the corporates.
The Village Inn now sits tired and lonesome, a victim of one way systems, parking restrictions enforced unjustifiably and changing demographics. It is simply a matter of time when the doors like many UK pubs will remain closed. Trafford MBC in it's wisdom has tried several ways to reverse the damage without success, and to add insult to injury the business rates ( supposedly based on barrelage and turnover have increased massively, double that of some City center pubs with 200% more turnover ) Sadly our City center pub The Crown on Booth St is now already showing signs of the same since the introduction of the Sunday restrictions and 8pm extension, only the christmas market saves it for now ! come Jan/Feb what then ?
After lengthy discussions and Q&A's I investigated further the relationship between APCOA the company granted the parking concession for Trafford MBC and several other local councils. I found a mission statement to shareholders from their CEO, he announced that in order to raise income and rewards to shareholders APCOA would be working closely with local authorities, hospitals British rail etc to find ways to increase revenue opportunities ! now how can they do that without issuing more fines, they simply do it by offering more rewards to the enforcers and bonus or kickbacks to those renewing the parking concessions and assisting in changes designed purely through revenue motivation.
In truth Private Equity is responsible for many increases to parking charges, utilities costs etc, wherever there is a gauranteed revenue stream the fiscal wizards find a way to control and manipulate it and shift the revenue to offshore tax havens. In the main the parking charges rarely go back into the Local authorities coffers, most of it goes to absurd corporate bonuses and foreign private equity.
APCOA is similar to NCP it started life in USA as Airport Parking Company Of America, has since changed several owners even Germany and now belongs to a French private equity outfit.
If all local authorities and UK utilities became more insular, as a nation we could only benefit from such wealth re invested locally.
Where once we were a simple shopkeeper we are now forced to study corporate manipulations as they repeatedly find ways to raid our hard earned cash.
Capitalism without social conscience has only self interest which is typical of all corporates and will eventually self destruct, but at what cost.

Paul DownesNovember 29th 2011.

parking companies granted concessions by local councils are continuously finding ways to create more revenue under the guise of * Traffic management* for the foreign owners in private equity, in these desperate times of austerity it is seen as a growth industry with huge bonuses to the company, bondholders and shareholders alike.

AnonymousNovember 29th 2011.

Maybe the Council need to slow the traffic down as part of their commitment to all the advertising companies who seem to be erecting displays here there and everywere,its seems the Council is neatly in the pockets of JCDecaux and NCP,whats the betting our glorious leaders end up working for them when we finally kick them out

Paul DownesNovember 29th 2011.

be interesting to read their share portfolios

AnonymousNovember 29th 2011.

It seems the main problem is that the Council has allowed ,or encouraged, NCP to build up to much of a monopoly on parking in the city,I notice every time planning permission for major building plan is submitted NCP object ,but low and behold rather have the process dragged out for years ,NCP withdraw their objection and are rewarded with the parking franchise on the property.Some might describe that as legalised blackmail.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Stephen DouglasNovember 29th 2011.

Oddly enough, they don't operate the car parks around the Council "Customer" contact centre at First Street - they're operated by Q-Park.

AnonymousNovember 29th 2011.

a case of "don't shit on your own doorstep" maybe

AnonymousNovember 29th 2011.

I have stopped going into town and shopping or eating at restaurants due to these new parking chargers which in my view have been introduced only to get revenue from unsuspecting citizens. It's all a money making plot which i'm very disappointed about.

Jack FarrowNovember 29th 2011.

Stop voting Labour!

Labour voterNovember 30th 2011.

This is nothing to do with Labour but it is to do with power. Manchester has been effectively a one-party state for twenty five years or more. This has been generally A GOOD THING if bad for local democracy in so far as plans can be made such as the transformation of the city centre, the delivery of 'grandes projects' and so on and a material improvement in inner city areas. But it does lead to a certain arrogance in representation and a decline in responsiveness to direct appeals that seem contrary to council policy. Nobody it appears wants these parking charges and everybody apart from a tiny percentage think they benefit the city centre. The council should therefore back down.

Or simply say we need the money raised through the extra fees paid and presumably these fines to pay for the other city centre improvements. If they were clear about this and stop talking about the ridiculous congestion easing point then they will have more support - including mine.

Just be straight with us. Because for all intents and purposes Manchester has very little congestion.

1 Response: Reply To This...
IzzyNovember 30th 2011.

Correct. Manchester has effectively been a one party state for 20 years. A one party Labour state

Rob DunnNovember 30th 2011.

Since the Congestion charge scheme was rejected by the people of Manchester and Greater Manchester the councils have been going out of their way to make things harder for commuters and shoppers to get into the city centre.
Then when people start turning round and say "its a nightmare getting into town, I wish the council would do something about".
Thats when the councils bring out the congestion charge again. Either that or we really have some thick as sh*t people in charge of these things.

It pains me more that people aren't doing more to ask questions or make their feelings clear to the councils.

Jack FarrowNovember 30th 2011.

Rob Dunn you are absolutely right, the Labour council that control and dictates to Manchester people have done nothing but try to make congestion worse since the congestion proposal was rejected. And Mr Labour Voter, it has everything to do with Labour since it is a Labour council that is doing this. The Conservative transport minister said he wants the end the war on motorists by the way, which Tony Blair and Two-Jags introduced to us all in the first place. Making roads smaller does not help pollution it increases pollution becasue cars are stuck on the roads for longer. What a backwards idea this is to make congestion worse and could have only been dreamed up by a Labour council.

AnonymousDecember 1st 2011.

Can't you see the Council is punishing us for rejecting the congestion charge? Why else would it have an arse over tit way of doing things. And don't forget the trams are coming. By hook or by crook they'll get you on 'em.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 1st 2011.

And what would be wrong with that? Not much if there was a competitive price for a journey.

- Rome Metro ticket £0.90
- New York 3h Metro ticket £1.40
- Berlin 2h combined Metro/tram/bus ticket £1.80

- Manchester pissy tram ticket, travel A to B only, £4.00!

What the hell is wrong with the regulators?

Lisa KenyonDecember 2nd 2011.

Manchester has the potential to be such a great city leading the way but instead our backwards council is slowly destroying it and making it a place where no-one wants to visit, shop or live any more.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 2nd 2011.

You think so!? You been in town these last few weeks, especially weekends. Thronged with people. I'm put off going into town, too many dawdling shoppers, and crowds at the markets.

AnonymousDecember 2nd 2011.

There are some really hilarious, paranoid conspiracy theorists posting on here (Council apparently deliberately causing congestion, changing traffic light sequences and so on).

The right wing loony car lobby really aren't the brightest, are they?

Jill JillianDecember 2nd 2011.

Ask any bus driver in manchester city centre about the traffic lights and then come back and tell us we are paranoid

AnonymousDecember 2nd 2011.

I would imagine he would say that sometimes they are on red, sometimes they are amber and sometimes they are on green.

Honestly, the suggestion that the phasing is deliberately manipulated in order to worsen congestion is ludicrous beyond belief. Grow up.

8 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 2nd 2011.

example ,Newton St ,the lights were longer on green favouring through traffic it was then changed to favour cross traffic result traffic jams .Do some homework before you gob off

AnonymousDecember 2nd 2011.

And what was the result of this change on the cross traffic? What was the result on through traffic further down (or up) stream? What was the aggregate impact on traffic flows across the city as a whole?

I think you should do some thinking before you "gob off". And grow up.

AnonymousDecember 4th 2011.

"congestion"

Jill JillianDecember 4th 2011.

So the man from the Council admits it has been changed ,back of the net

AnonymousDecember 4th 2011.

I do not work for the council, nor was I necessarily validating the 'Newton St' anecdote, merely trying to apply some reasoning to something (if indeed it wasn't entirely fabricated) that is incredibly complex. An individual sitting in a car can't possibly judge aggregate vehicle flows across the city as a whole.

... "back of the net"?? Grow up.

Jill JillianDecember 5th 2011.

My orginal point was that if you ask the people who use the city centre ie bus drivers ,taxi drivers ect ,which I have ,they will tell you its has got much worse ,Portland St ,Grovenor St.I'll give you an easy one ,why is the Mancunian Way gridlocked every day from three o'clock,

AnonymousDecember 5th 2011.

Well, clearly the most obvious and likely explanation is that the Council are maliciously changing the phasing of the traffic lights in order to deliberately make traffic flows worse......... honestly what utter paranoid, cynical, unthinking tripe.

Firstly, 3 pm is when many schools finish. In term time, the roads have always been busy from 3 pm through to 7pm as the school run turns into rush hour.

Secondly, if indeed the traffic has got worse there could be any number of short, medium and long term causes including but not restricted to economic growth, population growth, major works (such as new Metrolink lines, a programme of water or gas main replacement), major construction projects, big events (concerts, conferences etc), road traffic incidents, changed lane priorities and so on.

Personally, as someone who regularly drives into, around or through the city centre, apart from around Chapel St, I haven't noticed any great change. The recession, if anything, has improved journey times - sadly.

AnonymousDecember 9th 2011.

As someone who has worked and driven in Manchester for thirty five years I can't belive how bad it's getting bus lanes,cycle lanes,offset kerbs and islands I feel sorry for anyone visiting the city for the first time,I know the city and I get confused , It seems that whoever are in charge change things just to justify their own existance .If things are getting better why does it take twice as long to get anywhere ,we must have the only ring road with two chicanes in it.

Paul DownesDecember 2nd 2011.

Simple, parking is operated by private equity sector who have to return

bonuses/shares/wages/kickbacks/concessionary fees/bondholders and the big fat cheque for the CEO

It is revenue motivated anything else is a smokescreen

APCOA mission statement to it's share holders is available on internet for reading it reveals there intention to seek out ways to increase revenues by liasing with local authorities !

Paul DownesDecember 2nd 2011.

oops "Their"

AnonymousJanuary 27th 2012.

Can anyone explain the road changes their doing on Deansgate

1 Response: Reply To This...
CobbydalerJanuary 29th 2012.

They are aiming to increase congestion so that people will no longer try to drive down Deansgate. This will augment the effect of increased parking charges, discouraging people coming into the City Centre in their cars. Unfortunately, as public transport is crap, it will just make people shop at the Trafford Centre...

CobbydalerJanuary 29th 2012.

They're trying to stop people using Deansgate & force them on to the ring road. Really joined up thinking when Great Ancoats Street is down to one lane in several places due to roadworks! I'm beginning to think the council are taking bungs from the Trafford Centre!

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