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Council Suggests New Parking Measures - Or Do They?

Charging until 8pm stays in plan with extra hour stay as bait

Written by . Published on August 31st 2011.

Council Suggests New Parking Measures - Or Do They?

WE'VE just received the following press release from the city council, regarding proposed changes to parking measures.

As you'll no doubt remember, we were against the original proposals, which would raise the charging period from 8am-6pm Monday to Saturday to 8am-8pm Monday to Sunday.

"We think it's pretty much the same poor proposition, with a small and insignificant change to how long you can stay in a bay."

We collected 6,300 signatures from people and businesses who agreed with us. We told the council this and they said they would go away and come back with new proposals.

This is what they came back with.

"Manchester City Council is proposing to revise changes to city centre parking to enable motorists to park for longer in the evening.

The City Council launched a consultation into city centre parking earlier in the year, including changing operational hours to 8am-8pm from Monday to Sunday. Currently, the hours are 8am-6pm from Monday to Saturday.

Under the new proposals, these hours will be in place but motorists will be able to park in all bays across the city centre for at least two hours.

At the moment, parking bays in some parts of the city centre – including the Northern Quarter – have a one-hour time limit.

The new proposed scheme will mean that motorists who pay for two hours will be able to park anywhere in the city centre at 6pm and stay as long as they want after parking becomes free at 8pm.

This means they won’t need to return to their cars to move them, causing congestion by driving around to find another parking spot.

The new proposals are designed to help encourage motorists to visit the city centre in the evening.

The proposed changes will be advertised from Thursday, September 1, and any objections can be made before September 23 by visiting http://www.manchester.gov.uk/citycentreparking . If approved, the changes are expected to be in place by the end of October.

Councillor Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council’s executive member for the environment, said: "We’ve listened to the concerns raised by Manchester residents and businesses during the last consultation and we’ve taken some of these on board.

"These new proposals will encourage people to come in during the evening to visit the city centre’s restaurants and theatres, as well as making sure congestion is kept to a minimum."

So there you go.

Unfortunately, we don't think it's enough. In fact, we think it's pretty much the same poor proposition, with a small and insignificant change to how long you can stay in a bay.

We still think charging should end at 6pm between Monday and Saturday and be free on Sunday.

And we don't think the argument of congestion is a compelling one. 

So here's what we're going to do. 

Our petition can force a full council meeting on the issue. You need 4,000 signatures under the city council's own petition pledge.

So we're going to submit it, force the meeting and push the objections of our readers even harder.

But we want to know what you think. Are the revised proposals good enough, or do we take it to the next stage?

Over to you...

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

IzzyAugust 31st 2011.

Pathetic. It's only the very centre zone where parking is limited to one hour, the further out you go, the longer you can park. The three-hour zone includes Deansgate station, Princess Street, Piccadilly and Castlefield - what most would still regard as the city centre.

PaulaAugust 31st 2011.

Surely people will be more encouraged to go the Trafford Centre to shop where parking is free. How much are the council going to charge for the 2 hours of parking? My local NCP on Chrurch Street, and the Arndale NCP is £3.90 for up to two hours, surely they will have to be more competivly priced than that?

Calum McGAugust 31st 2011.

Paula, I have to agree. If I didn't live in the CC already, I'd certainly consider driving to the TC more often. I used to live out of town and late-night shopping with free street parking was an attraction.

BaggyAugust 31st 2011.

Whatever. Its still cheaper than a return bus fare to Didsbury.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Calum McGSeptember 1st 2011.

Is that directed at me?

Jill JillianAugust 31st 2011.

Don't forget the Arndale and The Trafford Centre are owned by the same people now

AnonymousAugust 31st 2011.

On street parking used to be 2 hours, it was changed to 1 very quietly. What they're now saying is 'ok we will allow you to pay us double that to stay double the time'. Whatever way you look at it, they win! How is that a hood deal? D'oh!!

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 31st 2011.

GOOD IDEA, even :-)

HulmePixAugust 31st 2011.

I agree with Baggy. If you want to park in the cc then you've got to get used to paying a premium especially nowadays. You can always catch a bus, cycle or walk! A petition to keep Corporation Street vehicle-free, or a city centre with considerably less traffic would be a far better campaign to start. And yes, I am a car driver.

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

What about people who live in the city centre and park on the streets outside our properties?

AnonymousAugust 31st 2011.

You will probably find that somewhere in the distant past MCC made a deal with NCP about future revenues in exchange for NCP funding the CCTV system in Manchester ,now its time to pay the piper they're in the crap and dragging us with them

7 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 31st 2011.

Do a freedom of information request, and you'll find the answer is yes.

AnonymousAugust 31st 2011.

sounds like a job for a journalist,Mr Binns

AnonymousAugust 31st 2011.

how would you word a request like that to get to the truth

Jill JillianAugust 31st 2011.

couldn't Mancon do it

Simon BinnsAugust 31st 2011.

I don;t even think it;s an FOIable secret...we've written about the council's partnership with NCP several times and the revenue the council makes from that partnership is always in their accounts.

Jill JillianAugust 31st 2011.

couldn't Mancon do it

AnonymousAugust 31st 2011.

But what if they have done a deal which guaranteed NCP that Sunday and late parking restrictions would be brought in

Chris-afortunadoAugust 31st 2011.

Seriously? That's their masterplan?

That wasn't even worth the press release.

AnonymousAugust 31st 2011.

This is another uninventive so called concession by people obsessed with making more money. They bank on the fact that people will still drive in (because public transport is expensive, dirty, dangerous and doesn't run out of hours), so they milk the driver for everything they can.
They've been trying to extend the hours now for over 5 years, and the cuts have give them the excuse to push it through.

Jo StollAugust 31st 2011.

what a farce

Jill JillianAugust 31st 2011.

How would you word a FOI request and who do you send it to

2 Responses: Reply To This...
CBSeptember 1st 2011.

you don't need an FOI. Just ask for the info or check last years accounts.

Jill JillianSeptember 2nd 2011.

last years accounts won't show anything as we are talking about future revenue ,we need to know what dirty deals have been done between NCP and MCC

AnonymousAugust 31st 2011.

so it's to ease congestion but then it was postponed after the riots - doesn't that acknowledge that it will hit retail? is there a load of congestion between 6 and 8 pm that i missed - or is it it only going to be on deansgate where they got rid of traffic capacity anyway? all those super busy side streets, glad the 7pm jams will be kept off them.
as a rich person i think this scheme is great as it keeps poor people out of town - keep voting labour, hurray for high marginal (stealth) tax rates : )

AnonymousAugust 31st 2011.

Where's the petition? We've got 10 signatures here.

AnonymousAugust 31st 2011.

Where is the petition?

CobbydalerAugust 31st 2011.

It's the existing petition that's been closed that they will submit...

IzzyAugust 31st 2011.

Did they hold a meeting when you previously submitted the petition? If not, why not?

AnonymousAugust 31st 2011.

i wish people would stop mentioning the TC all the time. The city centre is NOT just about shopping!

James SpencerAugust 31st 2011.

Jill there is a form on MCC's website for FOI's

James SpencerAugust 31st 2011.

Actually the new proposals are interesting for City Centre Residents and for the early evening economy. Shops close at 5 on Sunday so their is little reason for charging after 6pm on the Council's grounds of congestion.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Colin SwinneySeptember 1st 2011.

Very good point

AnonymousAugust 31st 2011.

How can charging after 6pm increase interest in visiting the CC...I park up for an evening for free to enjoy a restaurant before going to the theatre or cinema. Now restaurants, theatres, cinema's will suffer as people stay away. It isn't safe to use public transport & takes an hour to get to Wythenshawe.

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

I agree completely, I work in a city centre venue, and most shows start at 7/7.30. the beauty of charges finishing at 6pm is that people have the option of free parking if they come in after the daytime trade has closed. Finishing at 8pm is actually exploiting the timings most people come into the city centre for evening activity - the justifications mcc are trying to make are completely ludicrous!!

AnonymousSeptember 1st 2011.

Ironic that MCC use congestion as an excuse for their attempts to fiddle around with parking charges when they're quite happy to close off half of the city centre roads ON THE SAME DAY because of Mardi Gras on one side and Jenson Button driving a car on the other!

Colin SwinneySeptember 1st 2011.

Take it to the next stage. Their new proposal is blatant evidence for trying to increase revenue and nothing to do with congestion!!!

funboi123September 1st 2011.

Man Con, I still think your going to be laughed out of the council meeting shouting about our (yes, I signed it) 6,300 signatures, when you had 160,000 unique hits last month. (quoted from your Editorial post here www.manchesterconfidential.co.uk/…/Victory-Confidential-Readers-Petition-Overturns-Parking-Plans… on August 18th)

Now if I were on the other side of the table at that meeting, I would be asking you why 153,700 people who visited your site in August weren't arsed about signing it.

Don't get me wrong, I am on side here and frequently avail of 6pm parking on street, but maybe you need to re-open the petition and get a couple more signatures. Like 100,000 more?

1 Response: Reply To This...
B CSeptember 19th 2011.

Unique hits don't equate to unique readers and 6300 signatures is actually quite impressive in its own right.

AnonymousSeptember 1st 2011.

Hmm .. my apartment with a parking space will go up in price! What a treat - let's just keep the rich in the city centre, fine by me!

jacSeptember 1st 2011.

Free parking after 6pm is what supports manchesters lively early evening buzz. I enjoy a 6pm snack before a gig or theare visit, these proposals including the new extended bay parking are cynical, ill considered and expoitative. I will have to be more descriminating about my visits to Manchester theatres, ill look at The Lowry Theatre instead where i can park for free for the price of a cup of tea. My weekend shopping visits to the city will be curtailed, i dont want to lug my shopping onto crowded trams or more often replacement buses. I want an incentive to come into the city and that incentive is free sunday parking. I want to spend my hard earned money in the shops in Manchester. Sunday shopping is a huge sucess and retailers need this level of trade- MCC what are you thinking? Were being encouraged to show our love for Manchester MCC practice what you preach!

Jim SymcoxSeptember 1st 2011.

In my opinion the council has decided it's going to get more money from the motorist. They've decided how they're going to do it and they're going to do it, regardless! However, that shouldn't mean that we allow our ELECTED members to get away with this shoddy behaviour.

I take Funboi's point but again that shouldn't stop us from making the point that they're just taxing city centre visitors and making it difficult for people who work in the city centre too.

AnonymousSeptember 1st 2011.

I`ve just sent this email to the council. think it covers all the bases. so wheres this new petition for me to sign?

Dear Sir/ Madam

I`m sure there will be new petition against these proposals but I felt the need to give you my personal view on the carparking changes.

As far as I can see you haven`t actually changed anything within the proposal significantly and you are attempting to pull the wool over peoples eyes by dangling the “ two hour stay” in their eyes.
Correct me if i`m wrong but people are still going to have to pay for 2 additional hours after 6pm regardless of whether or not they have to move their car after an hour to another bay.
Where is the improvement in the scheme exactly?

Parking is currently free after 6pm and it is this free parking that encourages people to visit the centre to spend their hard earned cash with evening shopping and dining in the many central restaurants.
Regardless of whether you can stay in a parking bay for 2 hours or 1, people are still having to pay for something that was once free. The idea that this isn`t going to have a detrimental effect on city centre businesses is ludicrous.

Why exactly would anyone choose to drive into the city centre and pay for the privilege when they can do their late night shopping at the Trafford centre and park for free or visit places such as chorlton or didsbury where there are plentiful quality bars and restaurants and can once again park for free.

You`re proposals are basically going to drive people away from the centre.

The councils argument that this proposal will “ease congestion” is also a fallacy. I`ve been driving into the centre for the past eleven years at all times of the day and can say comprehensively that I have never found there to be any congestion even at so called “ rush hour “ periods. The only time I ever find there to be traffic problems is when there are roadworks being carried out or ( in the councils wisdom) the traffic light sequences are changed.
I`m sure this changing of the traffic lights is a council ploy to create congestion in order to give credence to the council`s proposals. Much as the traffic situation got worse on the ring road for the couple of months preceding the congestion charge referendum, despite the fact that no real issues existed before this time.

I, like many other Manchester residents, can see through the council’s lies and see your proposals for what they are. An opportunistic attempt to squeeze every last penny out the hard working consumer without care or concern for the city centre businesses you will be harming.

Please see sense and stop trying to destroy our centre

Simon BinnsSeptember 1st 2011.

We have set up a new e-petition through the council's own portal, to run from Sept 1-Sept 23.

More details to follow.

1 Response: Reply To This...
CJSSeptember 6th 2011.

great. Bring it on. Is the petition now up ?

Lisa KenyonSeptember 1st 2011.

This just makes living as a city centre resident who absolutely relies on the after 6pm and free sunday parking for my friends and family to come visit me and park near where I live.... impossible and the minute these changes are imposed I am leaving Manchester and taking mine/friends/families money and business elsewhere. Fed up of this greedy and quite frankly useless Council.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
funboi123September 1st 2011.

*takes down her ILOVEMCR poster*

Are you actually being serious or tongue in cheek? Or just 12 years of age? "I'm leaving...."

Your family must think your pretty shite company if £3.90 is a maker or breaker!!

NiciSeptember 1st 2011.

This is a valid point. Friends and family will have to pay parking charges on top of initial travel expenses to spend an evening at your home. As an 'out of towner' myself, I love nothing more than having my family and friends visit from my home town 35 miles away. If these charges are introduced I will be less inclined to invite them to come and spend their hard earned in the city I've come to love, and instead would be the one leaving town for the weekend to visit them, taking my money with me.

AnonymousSeptember 1st 2011.

Here here Lisa. The Council are greedy, arrogant idiots who do not consider people who rely on after 6pm and free sunday parking. My boyfriend pays £15 on Sat to park near our flat. At this rate our cost of living will be going up by approx £30per week. It makes my blood boil.

AnonymousSeptember 1st 2011.

What do they take us for? It's the same proposal which we successfully petitioned against! I'm starting to think council cuts might actually be a good thing - if made in the right areas (cough, cough, traffic and congestion, cough cough)

1 Response: Reply To This...
funboi123September 1st 2011.

We sucessfully petitioned against nothing. Why does everybody think that?

The council said they were "shelving" the proposals while Manchester fixed all its broken windows, and they tried to use it as an opportunity to look good and caring after the riots.

PaulSeptember 1st 2011.

Not good enough, Sundays in particular should definitely be free. Surely following the riots in town they need to be doing everything they can to encourage people back in to the city. If anything this has just convinced me I will be less likely to come in at all.

I usually come to the cinema at the printworks after 6 and park for free, which normally helps justify the heavy cost of a cinema ticket. If this parking change comes in force I will be going elsewhere, such as the trafford centre, or Parrs Wood.

Do they not realise that people voted no to the congestion charge for a reason, this is just a back handed way of trying to get the money they have missed out on there. People are struggling enough for finances as it is without having to pay their extortionate parking fee's for short stays in Manchester.

It all comes back to their MP's expenses and bailing out failing banks. Absolutely shocking

JustinSeptember 1st 2011.

Didn't Councillor Swannick try this in January 2007 and backed down....

You lot are just like sheep who agree this is good for the city to increase the charging period, get some backbone and look around town at all the boarded up shops bars and come into the city at night, its almost like a ghost town.

Why don’t the council propose FREE parking throughout Nov-Dec after 6pm and Free at weekends and lets see the city revitalised, this would surely be an attraction to compete with the outer city shopping centres in these challenging times.

AnonymousSeptember 1st 2011.

What congestion?!

AnonymousSeptember 1st 2011.

The council needs more money to provide its services and we do need to accept that will lead to more taxes whether we like it or not. It does piss me off that congestion is used as an excuse. It would be better if they just said "we're broke and need the money".

I'd suggest to Simon Binns that instead of looking at council revenue raising his and mancons time might be better spent looking at how the council spends its money. Does it really run its services efficantly as they would be run in the private sector? Does it spend our money on thing we dont need?


PaulaSeptember 1st 2011.

Following the Riots the council put on free parking to encourage people back into the city, to spend money with shops and local business... now they are saying that charging for two hours will encourage people into the city centre??? Contradiction surely! I live in town and have a parking space so it doesnt really have a massive impact on me, but my friends and family who come to visit do take advantage of the free parking, they will probably now just arrange for dinner after 8pm or head out of the city. The council aren't bothered, they will fill the spaces and make money either way...

Liz HartleySeptember 1st 2011.

pathetic - do they not realise that noone will come into the city centre - especially on a Sunday when the Trafford Centre has free parking. As residents its a nightmare - means that anyone coming to visit as to pay the ridiculus NCP rates - oh which surprisingly are also negotiated by Manchester Council.

AnonymousSeptember 1st 2011.

What times can you park on single yellow in Manchester?

1 Response: Reply To This...
Jill JillianSeptember 1st 2011.

This is exactly the problem I have met people who think the extra hours have allready in into force ,the damage has allready been done.The council is making the same mistake as the last goverment who brought in steath taxes and invented jobs by legislation,which is all well and good when the sun is shinning but when the bottom falls out of the market there like a ball and chain round your neck.

Linda PeacockSeptember 1st 2011.

I usually come into town to shop , visit the bars and restaurants and go to the cinema in the evening at least once a week. I am not going to do this if I have to pay to park.
I like everyone else already pay lots of road tax, council tax, petrol tax it's just getting too much. Yes I can hear people say why don't you use public transport, but I am a single female and have no desire to travel on the public transport that goes to Eccles on my own at night.
MCC should be doing everything they can to get people to come into town especially if they want to encourage more people to visit the new areas such as Spinningfields which always seems to be lacking people everytime I walk through there.
Hope you are going to get a new petition going as I will definately support it.

AnonymousSeptember 1st 2011.

I don't care. Hope that helps

AnonymousSeptember 1st 2011.

Take it to the next stage.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 5th 2011.

Amen to that!

AnonymousSeptember 1st 2011.

Take it to the next stage, its absolutely pathetic and un-necessary!

Stephen DobieSeptember 2nd 2011.

Removal of the ability to drive to the city centre on a Saturday evening, enjoy the bars and clubs then collect your car at some point on Sunday is obviously a backward step...............we are all well aware there is no such congestion issue on Sunday to justify this measure. To avoid this problem will mean expensive return taxi journey's and inevitably people deciding to stay local and remain out of the city..............

AnonymousSeptember 2nd 2011.

I have a small hotel in the city centre,you can bet your life there's a traffic warden outside it at eight o'clock every Saturday morning slapping tickets on the cars of people who have overslept after a good night on the town,£35.00 for a room turns into £70.00 do you think they come back?

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

Only takes an extra quid to get a ticket that lets you park later than 8am. But hey how about helping your customers solve the problem rather than ranting about it?

Couldn't you offer some kind of service to them whereby your staff would look after their keys and make sure they're paid up for the morning? Really basic valet service that would set you apart from other hotels around you and provide added value to customers instead of shrugged shoulders and sighs.

AnonymousSeptember 2nd 2011.

I said small hotel that charges £35 for a twin who is going to pay for these sevices you want me to provide me,you the council get real !!!

AnonymousSeptember 3rd 2011.

So the council doesn't LOVE MCR after all...shame on them after last weeks support in Exchange Square. They couldn't get more out of us by imposing the proposed congestion charge and this is just another way of doing so.

Martin JohnstonSeptember 14th 2011.


please sign the petition

AnonymousSeptember 14th 2011.

Nice idea Martin, but 6 signatures in days?????

Colin SwinneySeptember 16th 2011.

The Chinese community held a demonstration outside the Town Hall a few weeks ago! Perhaps thats what we need!!!

AnonymousSeptember 19th 2011.

Only 18 sig's?! What the hell?
We have no chance now! Only 4 days left to object...

AnonymousSeptember 19th 2011.

There is something odd about that e-petition site. Several of my friends claimed to have signed it but their signatures haven't appeared.

the Whalley RangerSeptember 19th 2011.

No issues with my mates...are yours paying their council tax on time?

AnonymousSeptember 19th 2011.

Apparently, the Council are manipulating the traffic light signals so as to prevent people signing the petition. Too much fluoride in the water!

AnonymousSeptember 20th 2011.

There are less than 30 signatures on this petition. Where are the 6,000 people that signed up to the original ManCon protest? The one that allegedly went some way towards the Council tweaking the proposals? What's more, I don't see any signatures from the ManCon staff. Looks like this story has run out of steam and the current hot topic is whether a basement car park will become a late-night drinking venue. Oh those fickle folk of Manchester :)

EditorialSeptember 20th 2011.

We're seeing if we can transfer those signatures on to the council petition.

AnonymousSeptember 20th 2011.

Worth a try but data protection may get in the way - the sentiment is the same but it's an entirely different petition. I'd be careful about using names and signatures on a petition that no one has actually signed. I'm just disappointed by all those Mancon readers who ranted so eloquently on this site but have not transferred that anger on to the 'official' petition

AnonymousSeptember 25th 2011.

Only 80 sig's on there at the mo...
Where has everyone gone?! The fight isn't over yet!

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