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Limited Free Parking, Free Trams: City Centre

City organisations deliver limited free transport options as part of 'I love Manchester' campaign

Published on August 17th 2011.

Limited Free Parking, Free Trams: City Centre

WE GOT this press release this morning – part of the I love Manchester campaign following the lawless events on 11 August. Our brief thoughts are at the end of the release. 

 It's got to be all about the city centre up to Christmas. The city centre is the heart of Greater Manchester, it defines us to investors, visitors and even to ourselves.

Press release starts

‘People wanting to show their love for Manchester will be able to benefit from free parking and travel in the days ahead. 

‘A range of transport initiatives have been unveiled to help visitors enjoy city centre shopping and attractions and support our businesses. 

‘Drivers will benefit from free parking at a number of NCP car parks during designated times and Manchester City Council is matching the gesture with free on-street parking, again at designated times.

‘For the next three Saturdays – 20 August, 27 August and 3 September – parking will be free in the High Street (Arndale) car park between 6.30pm and 10pm – a saving of up to £6.90. 

‘And for the next three Thursdays – 18 August, 25 August and 1 September – parking will also be free in the Chester Street, Printworks and Salford Exchange car parks between 4pm and 8pm. 

‘Please note the offer is only valid at the above car parks during the specified times and parking before or after those hours will still incur a charge. 

‘Manchester City Council has announced that on-street parking will also be free from 4pm for the next three Thursdays. 

‘The move is designed to support the evening economy as the city bounces back from the Tuesday 9 August disturbances. 

‘It comes as Metrolink have also announced free travel between 10am and 6pm this Sunday, 21 August for up to two adults and two children using a voucher which will be available from the Transport for Greater Manchester website at www.tfgm.com and in Friday’s edition of the Manchester Evening News (we’re working to be included in this as well. JS. Editor). Children must be accompanied by an adult. 

‘As well as Manchester’s usual attractions, this Saturday 20 August and Sunday 21 August sees spectacular free family-friendly entertainment around the city with the Platform 4 event featuring an amazing line-up of performers from across the UK and Europe with dance, street theatre and comedy in Piccadilly Gardens, St Ann’s Square, New Cathedral Street and Exchange Square. There are also evening shows at Castlefield Arena on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 August. (Click here for our story on this celebration.) 

‘With Manchester Pride returning on Saturday 27 August and grand prix hero Jenson Button racing down Deansgate as part of the Vodaphone VIP Live event on Bank Holiday Monday, 29 August it is set to be another memorable few weeks in the city – for all the right reasons. 

‘Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: "The city has embraced the I Love Manchester campaign with enthusiasm and there is no better way of demonstrating that spirit than getting out and enjoying everything the city centre has to offer – whether it’s shopping, culture or nightlife. 

"With so much to look forward to in Manchester in the next few weeks, on top of the city’s usual vibrant mix of shopping and attractions, it’s time to put last week’s events behind us and show the world what Manchester’s really all about.”

‘City centre spokesperson Councillor Pat Karney said: "The last few days have seen a tremendous outpouring of pride in Manchester. With these fantastic transport offers, there are more reasons than ever to celebrate Manchester and enjoy all that it has to offer.” 

‘Glen Barkworth, general manager of Manchester Arndale, said: "The initial idea of doing something that would embrace Manchester City has evolved into three weeks of activity which has now been endorsed by all the relevant parties. This is really exciting to see and I urge all Mancunians to take up these offers of free parking and transport to come and see what Manchester and of course Manchester Arndale is made of.” 

‘Jo Cooper, chief executive officer of NCP, said: "NCP is delighted to offer free parking as part of Manchester working together to help get the city bounce back.   Visitors to the city centre can enjoy free parking at the times and car parks detailed on this release, and we hope customers take the opportunity to support Manchester.” 

‘Maggie Clark, Director of Xtrax, said: "We hope that everyone will join us at this feelgood festival and help us celebrate what Manchester does best and that Platform 4 loves Manchester.” 

Press release ends

Manchester Confidential says...... 

The Metrolink idea is very good – free all shopping hours travel on Sunday 21 August -  and will be even better when people can get vouchers from a number of media as well as the MEN (what decade is this?).

As for the city centre parking, regular readers may have gathered it’s a big thing for us, so we’ll be asking the city and NCP whether they could have gone much further than giving us gratis parking on a few late afternoons. This is a very, very limited parking concession.

Still this is progress of a sort. It's got to be all about the city centre up to Christmas. The city centre is the heart of Greater Manchester, it defines us to investors, visitors and even to ourselves. It has to be supported every way it can. 

Thanks to Beetham Tower for the picture: click here for more from their website.

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

HowieAugust 17th 2011.

The un-joined-upedness of this offer is mind boggling. To get offers across the message is "the simpler the better". Look at the success of the offers on this site. They aren't laden with Ts and Cs. Wouldn't it have been better to just say "Transport and Parking are Free" on specified days?

Crazy BureaucratAugust 17th 2011.

This is a very very small gesture and is almost not worth doing - the parking that is. The Metrolink idea is fine.

Jonathan Schofield - editorAugust 17th 2011.

The Petition is with the Council bearing more than 6000 full signatures and addresses. We expect a reply this week.

FurFoxAcheAugust 17th 2011.

So they are saying that the way to increase business in the city centre is to enable people to park and travel in for free? Which just flies in the face of their arguments during the parking debate.

tblzebraAugust 17th 2011.

The free parking seems like a very begrudging 'gesture' to me. Free tram travel is much better, and will hopefully get more people into the city centre this Sunday.

Ben PerryAugust 17th 2011.

Manchester Confidential says...... Sunday 20 August - Do we not check dates anymore? Sunday is the 21st.. Which is it??

Jonathan Schofield - editorAugust 17th 2011.

Ben, that comes from the official press release but we still should have checked. We'll amend accordingly.

CBAugust 17th 2011.

Tiny, little, silly gesture that goes nowhere near far enough.

James SpencerAugust 17th 2011.

Just to remind everyone that Parking is free on the street in the City Centre on the two Sundays and the Bank Holiday. Shopping in Manchester anyway after 6pm on weekdays doesn't add up to much. Pop in to the Arndale and the market is shut (with its bar) and a fair number of the shops too. Street Parking will still be free on Saturday and weekdays from 6pm over these weekends

Most shoppers actually travel by bus and trains. (added together.) Ah but they are not the right short of people for Man Con readers

John NuttallAugust 17th 2011.

Some private companies in the city centre gave their staff time off to help in the clean up after the riots perhaps if they also opened up their car parks for free parking for city centre visitors over the next few weekends that could give the city centre economy a boost. Shouldn't be a difficult or expensive exercise.

AnonymousAugust 17th 2011.

Well since you mention it Mel who is paying for the loss of revenue from the forgone car parking charges on Thursday night. Is it people like me, the Council Tax Payers or more likely a cut elsewhere. I have no objection to Stagecoach and NCP paying for a 'Public Relations Exercise' 'out of their own money' (except of course they will be putting their charges up of course quite soon). Even though I am City Centre resident who pays £1600.00pa for parking, I buy little from the businesses in the City Centre. All most all of them are branches of large companies (How many Tescos do we have now ...10? ..and those who are not. in the Northern Quarter for example, are fast disappearing.)
(PS of course I know the their of Business Rates go to the Council but these are fixed by the Government.)

AnonymousAugust 17th 2011.

It's worth a mention that there are plenty of other car operators in the City Centre or within 200m of the Ring Road who are not NCP In London parking charges are often paid for by the retailers (which Supermarkets do anyway). No purchase no parking. Maybe they should in Manchester City Centre

AnonymousAugust 17th 2011.

Moan, moan, moan. Is "national spit your dummy out" day coming up or something? I also hate the fact that Tesco and the Co-Op send me a couple of quid every month, and when the man isn't at the gate at the gym and I get to park for free, and when you get a free gift with the Beano, and when you get two for one cinema vouchers. For god's sake people, it's something for nothing. Get over yourselves!

Posting anonymously as this site has got too nasty recently.

1 Response: Reply To This...
tblzebraAugust 17th 2011.

Pot, kettle anon...

Simon SmithAugust 18th 2011.

The city centre isn't the heart of Greater Manchester to me. I don't work there and rarely visit it.

My shopping needs are met by my local suburban shops and the internet.

Over the last 30 years Manchester city centre has become increasingly bland and boring like most town and city centres. I'm not surprised that the clienetele who now flock to such dull places are put of by a little bit of consumerist looting by the lower orders.

1 Response: Reply To This...
HowieAugust 18th 2011.

Hmmm. Just because you don't visit the city centre doesn't mean it isn't the heart of Greater Manchester, Simon. This isn't The Truman Show!

the Whalley RangerAugust 21st 2011.

Is it true that Stagecoach no longer run the Metrolink? Is it now the French RATP?

This was kept extremely quiet in all the business papers, given that this must have been one of the biggest business handovers in the NW in the last, say 10 years?

Mr Binns, is this not business news???

Simon BinnsAugust 21st 2011.

It actually happened while I was on a week's holiday, although I think we covered it in the 250.

Fair play to the MEN; they carried the story.

We're planning an interesting piece on Metrolink though, so stay tuned for that...and the RATP deal will be looked into, when more details emerge.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 22nd 2011.

thanks Simon - as ManCon boosted the petition 'Pro Car', it would be interesting to see whether you also support the 'Pro Public not Private Transport' idea.

Stagecoach et al have had it far too easy in recent times. We 'busfare payers' pay their enormous renumerations!

AnonymousAugust 22nd 2011.

I love it how your IT system still keeps anonymising everybody...

sack IT, haha!

EditorialAugust 22nd 2011.

Anonymous, just write your name in the 'post as' choices below.

AnonymousAugust 22nd 2011.

Choices don't always come up

Simon TurnerAugust 22nd 2011.

Whalley Ranger. Three weeks ago in the Guardian;

AnonymousAugust 22nd 2011.

Seen it - this is possibly the biggest story on public transport in the NW for years!

It emphasises so many things:

- how private companies continue to milk the public for services that should be fairly priced. See SC payout to shareholders

- the ever-diminishing likelihood of ever having an 'oystercard' system with one fair fare payment for a destination travel from A to B.

- and please don't bring in the 'national' argument, whether a service is run by the French or whoever. This only diverts from the issue of value for money PUBLIC, not private transport.

obviously very angryAugust 22nd 2011.

New York Subway Fare - 4h ticket - travel anywhere you like - £1.10

Berlin Day Pass for ALL 10.000ish trams, trains, buses - 24h until 3 in the morning - £4.40

Manchester bus fare Whalley Range to City Centre - 2 mile journey - £2.80

Stop the SOMETHING FOR NOTHING attitude.
Stop Rip off looting Britain!

AnonymousAugust 22nd 2011.

Two individuals at Stagecoach paying themselves as much as the ENTIRE MCC 2011 cuts budget! Funded by the fare payer!

No one cares


Simon BinnsAugust 22nd 2011.

Stagecoach Group has two directors - Brian Souter got a salary package of £844k in 2011 and Martin Griffiths received £836,000.

The firm made £190m profit, which I'm sure they pointed out at every opportunity.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 22nd 2011.

too much - i am with Stringer on this one...

FurFoxAcheAugust 22nd 2011.

But Stagecoach aren't just Manchester, are they?! Plus, it is £3.60 for an all day pass on Stagecoach or £11 for a weekly pass. Hardly expensive.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 22nd 2011.

megarider used to be £5 ten years ago.

inflationary increase of say 3% average over the period (if you believe the national stats): £6.71!!

More More MoreAugust 22nd 2011.

Give the shareholders more!

are you spiritually overweight?August 22nd 2011.

...and what if you need to travel by metrolink, and then by bus or vice versa?

AnonymousAugust 22nd 2011.


still too much, I am with Stringer on this one.


Megarider cost £5 ten years ago, at an annual inflation increase of say 3% (if you believe the Nat stats) that's £6.71 in today's money!

Rip off

2 Responses: Reply To This...
FurFoxAcheAugust 23rd 2011.

Diesel prices in the UK in August 2001 were £0.782 per litre on average. 3% per annum inflation would take it to £1.05 per litre today.

The megarider has increased at a rate approximate to 8.2% per annum.

Fuel has increased by about 6%.

I imagine a number of other factors have contributed to the price increase as well as director's salaries, but its not right to pick on the inflation figure, when the fuel costs have increased above inflation also.

FurFoxAcheAugust 23rd 2011.

That should be 6% per annum

the Whalley RangerAugust 23rd 2011.

Thanks Foxo

Why is everyone lying to us?

- Nat Stats on Inflation
- Jobcentres on UE figures
- Andy Coulson on... well anything really
- Scotland Yard on bribery, eh 'press links'
- Politicians on bribery, eh 'press links'
- NI on bribery/ calling themselves journalists

- Judges on suddenly feeling the urge, without ANY outside influence, to sentence a doughnut thief to 6months or whathaveyou.

At the moment, Cameroon is right: it's a sick UK alright.

the Whalley RangerAugust 23rd 2011.

Don't answer it - that was a rhetorical question...

AnonymousAugust 26th 2011.

Back to the real issue...
Keep it as it is! F00ks sake.

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