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The Petition: City Centre Parking

Say no to this unreasonable threat to a fragile city centre

Published on July 18th 2011.

The Petition: City Centre Parking

I agree that Manchester City Council is wrong to increase on-street parking charges and hours in the city centre, and that this will damage local trade and the reputation of the city and encourage visitors to stay away.


WE’RE getting calls every day now from traders and residents in the city centre asking us to start a petition against the extension of on-street parking charges to 8pm everyday including, for the first time, Sunday.

We’ve been fair in giving people their say on this, but it’s our editorial policy that the measures will increase the strain on a city centre at a delicate stage of development.

We let the locals have their say here.

We let the City Council have their say here.

We’ve explained and commented on the measures here and satirised them here.

So now comes the petition. We have until September to get the measures reversed and to make the Council respond to local democracy.

The Council states the reasons for the charging extension are to ease congestion and traffic flows and to free up more quickly parking bays on Sundays and in the early evenings.

Manchester Confidential and, it would appear, most of our readers concerned about the city centre, simply do not see the day to day evidence for this.

There are other ways of easing traffic flow and we simply don't agree Manchester city centre is congested. The picture above was taken at 9.04am one Tuesday morning recently at the Peter Street, Deansgate junction.

We find the Council's logic confusing, counter-intuitive, perverse and damaging.

How can Leeds be reducing charging hours for on-street parking and Manchester be lifting them?

Has the Council not heard of all the out-of-town shopping centres, including the mighty Trafford Centre, with all their free parking?

Have they not seen the official figures in the Quarterly Economic Outlook published by the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities? This showed that the number of people coming to the city centre fell by 15.5% in April and 11.6% in May. Given this, why on earth would the city authorities want to jeopardise things further.  

Let's get this policy reversed. Let's give the city centre all the chances we can.

The Petition will close on Monday 8 August.

Click here to sign our petition

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

unhappy mancJuly 18th 2011.

if the new charges in the evening and sunday were really about reducing congestion (and discouraging staff from parking for free on their own city streets...) surely it would be an idea to offer a free timed ticket for a limit of say 3hrs (which would allow social diners and discourage staff) Although i have no issue with staff parking, in my opinion it's their right (a 1hr time limit as it stands is ridiculous too). But it wasn't an idea, so it leaves us to conclude that it is about earning more money from a majority who are already strapped for cash and struggling!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
boutros boutros ghaliJuly 18th 2011.

Their 'right'?

Steven AshleyJuly 18th 2011.

It has nowt to do with congestion. It has all to do with squeezing more cash out of the stricken motorist. If they want to do something positive about congestion then let them remove the plethora of costly yellow lines that they've painted the city with This will stop people driving around for hours trying to find a parking spot.

AnonymousJuly 18th 2011.

I love my Sunday trips to the various eateries in the city centre - free parking was one of the attractions. What with the credit crunch it was nice to be able to go out and have a drink and some food and not have to worry about the added charge of parking. Thanks Manchester Council - thats something else you've managed to ruin for the humble hard worker!! No more Sunday trips for me now! Where, I suppose, I will save money by not eating out anymore, local restaurants will no doubt see a drop in customers as I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way. More restaurants will be closed, more jobs lost, noone will have a reason to visit - Manchester will become a ghost town.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Paul HadfieldJuly 20th 2011.

You are spot on I agree with you, we also like to go to town and have a meal and shop, easy parking on sunday makes it very pleasant at the moment.

MaggieJuly 18th 2011.

Manchester city centre will be destroyed by this increase in parking charges - look at the damage that has been done to Altrincham town centre because of excessive charges.
When free parking was done away with in Swinton town centre, the damage was immeadiate - Salford City Council very quickly realised their error and where sensible enough to re-instate the free parking in the centre.
Reconsider MCC, before it's too late and you destroy the phoenix that rose out of the ashes of the 'Manchester bombing'. Our regenerated city centre is too good to lose!!

3 Responses: Reply To This...
BJuly 18th 2011.

I'm sorry but comparing Manchester City Centre to Swinton, Altrincham and Salford is ridiculous! You wouldn't compare London with Dagenham or Croydon town centre.

SJuly 18th 2011.

To B: well compare it with Leeds then. The point maggie is making is other authorities are accepted reduced car parking charges in the hope that it will stimulate a greater turnover of parking and more visitors to district centres, and for one of your examples it know it is working!

City Centre DwellerJuly 20th 2011.

Dear - Leeds is tiny comparing to Greater Manchester, therefore it's not something we should compare with Manchester City Centre. It's a provincial town and cannot apply simillar policies to the ones introduced in Manchester.

Veronica BroomeJuly 18th 2011.

no one will be supporting the arts, shows etc in the city centre as the tickets are London prices already and having to pay for parking on top will just put people off buying the tickets.

AnonymousJuly 18th 2011.

Surely if congestion is the issue, 6.30 is late enough? Then people visiting theatres, restaurants, concert halls etc won't be affected. Public transport is all very well if you don't mind your last train home being soon after 11.00 !

NiciJuly 18th 2011.

This very same thing happened in Liverpool a few years ago, but the extended charges were scrapped following a public outcry. Keep up the pressure peeps, let your voices be heard!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Chris-afortunadoJuly 18th 2011.

If it's really about congestion, go ahead and paint double yellow lines across the whole city and do away with on-street parking altogether. That way at least we'll know it's not an excuse to rinse more people out of their cash. Ultimately, you're about to shaft everyone.

Anna EdwardsJuly 18th 2011.

This is 100% a money making scheme. If it was about easing congestion in the city centre then why extend it as far out as Hulme and Castlefield? They have already made all the parking at my flat pay and display reducing the possibilities for me and for visitors. The one good thing was that visitors could stay on a Sat eve and not have to worry about moving the car on the Sunday. Now it seems all options are being taken away making it very difficult to live in this area never mind visit the centre.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Margaret LittlewoodJuly 19th 2011.

I quite agree,it's impossible to have visitors if you live in the city centre as there is nowhere for them to park.

CityCoJuly 18th 2011.

Just to clarify the QEO figures (as they're CityCo's in origin). The figures show year-on-year footfall and are based on stats collected at a number of points around the city. On March 1st, the figures precipitously dropped at one location, which has had a knock-on on the total figures. What seems to be happening is that pedestrian flow around the city changed as a result of the closure of the Cross Street bridge (closed on Feb 28th).

In actuality, there does seem to have been a small drop year-on-year in real footfall across the city from late Feb onwards. There was also a period from early March--late April when many city stores were down on turnover year-on-year. Nothing we're seeing at the moment suggests this is continuing. One store manager told me on Thursday that Manchester was trading second only to central London in their chain, and that seems broadly to be the picture (at least for the major stores--harder to track the smaller chains and independents).

So, sorry guys, nice piece of evidence, but out of context.

1 Response: Reply To This...
the Whalley RangerJuly 18th 2011.

was that the store manager of Habitat?

tblzebraJuly 18th 2011.

Can we see the numbers signing the petition somewhere?

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Jonathan SchofieldJuly 18th 2011.

Within two hours or so we had 1300 signatories. We're working on a count mechanism.

tblzebraJuly 18th 2011.

Thanks JS

City Centre DwellerJuly 18th 2011.

Manchester Confidential has been claiming to be impartial in this discussion. In reality it only promotes the interests of its advertisers. Where can I sign a petition in favour of the introduced changes?

Dlb5t@Hotmail.ComJuly 18th 2011.

As irregular social visitors to the City Centre. mainly at weekend evenings and Sundays for dining, bars and shows etc. this change will serve to further discourage my wife and I from visiting in future. This will be to the detriment of those businesses and venues we visit and to the benefit of those in the surrounding towns which offer low cost or unrestricted free parking.

Unfortunately, the last train to where we live is at the riducuilous time of 9.40 p.m. so we nearly always travel by car.

If it's not about raising more money, why can't the Council come up with a scheme similar to the Lowry / centre which we also visit for the same purposes. We pay to park but the cost is refunded when we spend in the bars and restaurants in the mall.

Disenchanted from Hyde

Jonathan SchofieldJuly 18th 2011.

Nice reply Cityco. Sometimes giving out figures seems a waste of time if they always need to re-interpreted. That aside, here's a question. Does Cityco think that the extension of on-street car parking charges is a good thing for the city centre?

3 Responses: Reply To This...
CityCoJuly 18th 2011.

We didn't give the figures out for the purpose to which they were put...(ie appearing in that report)...

I think we need to closely monitor the impact of the changes should they be implemented--both to see whether they have the positive effect on congestion planned and to see whether they have any negative impact on footfall and spend.

ElektrapunkJuly 19th 2011.

reply to CITYCO's comment "I think we need to closely monitor the impact of the changes should they be implemented"

Don't you mean When they are implemented.

Rarely is a scheme like this withdrawn after finding out after the fact that the stats were wrong from the outset and nothing changed regarding the congestion.

Stats driven, targetted environments are for toolheads because actually doing it right from the start and having a consulation with those severely impacted by it and before the green light is given usually means the plan to make a load of cash couldn't happen. I bet the council sat through a number of stats driven presentations highlighting the reduction in traffic congestion before taking their decision eh ;-) Yeah, thought as much.

Roger BarberisJuly 31st 2011.

Facts. Cityco figures mention movements past only 4 points in entire city centre. All are in pedestrianised areas. GMTU figures (out soon?) show drop in car movements into the city in morning rush hour over recent years Secret NCP Manchester off-street car park figures have dropped over recent years. Cityco cannot express an 'opinion' as it is effectively a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Council and - as you can see - are not permitted to be 'off message'. No retailer will ever tell anyone they are trading negatively (its a suicide note - what happened to the former Kendals GM?). Manchester is probably doing OK in many ways -but no-one will ever tell you the truth in this city. Its too small-minded and cannot bear free and open debate. Legacy of Blue labour I think?

A HallsJuly 18th 2011.

That's the question to Cityco Jonathan. As the city centre management team, what do they feel? Have they signed this petition?

AnonymousJuly 18th 2011.

I have been living in the CC for the last two years (The Chambers - Booth Street) and don´t understand the Council preocupation. The congestion is not all the time after 6, there are many occasions when there are plenty of free parking spaces around my flat. Or is this another undemocratic arbitrary move from the Council?, these measure should be properly reserached and consulted with the public.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Mark GarnerJuly 18th 2011.

That wasn't me by the way!

Manc ReviewJuly 18th 2011.

Can you please also start a petition for the communal bins being inflicted upon Manchester residents? Facebook group at http://ow.ly/5Hiie . We're paying more and more for less and less in this city. It has to stop.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
MelJuly 18th 2011.

What exactly is wrong with the communal bins? Honest question

AnonymousJuly 19th 2011.

Nothing Mel, but given that Mancon and a few of the ranters have descended into a sub-Daily Mail orgy of anger, Manc Review probably thinks he's found some kindred spirits.

HelpfulJuly 18th 2011.

The council has a revenue-sharing deal with NCP for off-street parking. The purpose is to drive cars to the off-street parking and maximise the revenue share. I tried to get the details of the revenue-sharing contract a while back through a FOI request but I was knocked back.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 18th 2011.

Ask a local Councillor from the opposition to put in the FOI - they should be able to force their hand and not be put off.

Woodward and BernsteinJuly 19th 2011.

I think you could be on to a scoop, helpful. The details of the money made by the council are on the Manchester City Council website, so only those with access to the internet can get hold of them.

stevieb64July 18th 2011.

@Helpful - if that's true, then they are operating a cartel, which I thought, if not illegal, was at least completely morally indefensible and possible to challenge. What happened to your FOI request? I suppose it might have gone the same way as any attempts to prevent Tesco's taking over Old Trafford ...

AnonymousJuly 18th 2011.

Might deter the sober city centre night-time visitors without detering the high-quantity drinking ones. That will alter the vibe of the city at night in the opposite direction to that which the council would like.

City Centre DwellerJuly 18th 2011.

What's all the fuss about?! Is the equivalent of one pint so much to pay for some car drivers?! You spent thousands of pounds every year on petrol and maintenance of your car. Surely you can afford to pay £4 to park in front of your favourite restaurant?
If not - don't cry and sell your car. Use your feet or public transport like thousands of others.

6 Responses: Reply To This...
SJuly 18th 2011.

this is a typical response from a city centre dweller! try living out of the city centre and travelling on public transport services that finish at 10pm at night!

Chris-afortunadoJuly 19th 2011.

*The opinions of City Centre Dweller are not neccessarily those shared by city centre dwellers.

ElektrapunkJuly 19th 2011.

If they don't park outside of their fave Restaurant because of the inflated parking fee they will likely come and park round your gaff. Think about it.

City Centre DwellerJuly 20th 2011.

That's what they do now Elektrapunk and I'm sick off it.

S - what would you do if your little suburban house was surrounded by hundreds of cars everyday?! What if your driveway was blocked and instead of nice country air you would have to inhale fumes from all these cars? What would you do then? Would you still be happy with that on-street parking? Typical ignorant suburban thinking.

big bad buddaJuly 22nd 2011.

erm most residential streets are surrounded by hundreds of cars everyday. thats where we keep them when we`re not driving into the centre. as for their fumes errrrmm I assume the cars and their fumes were there when you moved into the centre( unless you`ve lived in the centre since before the invention of the automobile) so it shouldn`t come as a surprise to you. if you want fresh country air move to the friggin countryside! It really annoys me when people move into an area then complain about the things that were there prior to them. another example is people who buy/rent a propert near a pub/ bar then complain that its a bit nosiy at night! christ on a pog stick ! it winds me up

SSeptember 14th 2011.

Well put Big Bad Budda!

FAO City Centre Dweller: ignorant surbaban thinking? I live in Chorlton and I design traffic schemes for a living. You decided where to live at the end of the day. I live on a road that is far enough out of the centre of chorlton and away from tram stops to be unnattractive to commuters. I do however have a road that gets hit by parents picking up and dropping off their children for the nursery over the road. I accept this, as the nursery was there before I lived there. i have only ever confronted parents about parking on the pavements, which i feel is wholly unacceptable.

If your driveway is blocked then you call the police and report an obstruction issue, or pay the council to install a h bar marking which will advise people to keep your driveway clear.

SJuly 18th 2011.

Hi, As a transport planner/engineer that has worked in the industry for over a decade, I believe the proposals are absolutely preposterous. As stated on Manchester Confidentials pages, Leeds City Council are reducing their charges, as have neighbouring Trafford where you can park for 10p an hour. Bolton still has free after 3pm too.

It is not just the extension of these hours into the evening and onto sundays that people will be feeling the effects of. The extension of these hours will mean that all loading bays and single yellow lines that are available for vehicles to park in after 6pm will not be available until after 8pm every day. This will massively reduce the available kerbside parking space available in the city centre until later in the evenings and throughout the day on sundays.

When I tweeted Manchester City Council pointing out this fact, they replied with the bog standard we are freeing up short term parking spaces and reducing congestion.

I can categorically say several things, evenings and sundays are off-peak and in my experience as both a professional traffic engineer and a regular driver in the city centre, there is no congestion at these times, I simply wouldn't drive in if there was. Furthermore, the Councils congestion targets or corridors are not affected by the roads they are proposing to make changes too which totally undermines their arguments.

Finally, regarding the short term turnover of spaces, their argument is again flawed by the reasons I outlined earlier, the extension of hours will dramatically reduce the amount of parking available on evenings and sundays at present due to the lack of useability of loading bays and single yellow lines. To provide more spaces the Council would need to white line more bays, install extra pay and display machines and potentially install extra signs and sign posts also. All of which would be constitute upfront costs before the Council gained any revenue. In order to deliver extra bays highway widths would have to be reduced on a permanent basis which could impact on the roads at peak times in terms of loading/unloading and congestion for both standard vehicles and Public Service Vehicles.

This is nothing but a money making scheme, a number of transport professionals across the north west can see this for exactly what it is and yes people are right, the City Centre will suffer. The Trafford Centre has 10,000 free car parking spaces and in all the suburbs there are either free or more favourable parking charges.

What galls me even more is that the Councillors approved the decision one week and the next week the notices were posted. Anyone who works in the industry that knows how long it takes to draw up the drawings and Traffic Regulation Orders (legal orders), write the delegated approval report and consult with key stakeholders for the change in Controlled Parking Zone hours will know they have been working on this for months previously. It is beggars belief that taxpayers money is being spent working up a scheme that hadn't even got approval by the Councils members at the time.

Its about time Manchester stopped being so pig headed and started to do what is right for the businesses and residents that live in this city. This is just another move alongside the bins collections going fortnightly and the closing of libraries.. a move determined to rile the residents of Manchester by hitting them directly, to try and make them blame Tory Central Government for the cuts they have enforced on our Labour Local Government.

No I don't support the scale of the cuts put forward by the Tories presently, but I do understand the need for some cuts. But there are ways and means of making those cuts, as demonstrated successfully by other authorities and Manchester you've just got it so wrong. I'm ashamed to say I live here.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
ElektrapunkJuly 19th 2011.

Excellent comment and couldn't agree more. On a similar theme what the heck are they doing on the road into Manchester at Salford near the Universities? Equally maddening. Is there a council scheme to stop people coming to Manchester in some blinkered initiative to free up more spacce for visiting Olympics ticket holders, perhaps.

AnonymousJuly 22nd 2011.

i totally agree with every point made, manchester is not a bustling shopping area anymore, its ghostly, dirty and lacks pleasantries that would bring shoppers in, and make families feel safe and special. its another way of penalising people who work damn hard for what they have and there is NO pride in
manchester anymore, and the state of businessess (what can i say)? we hear their cries, but the chiefs who control manchester see nothing, hear nothing, do nothing.

AnonymousJuly 22nd 2011.

can i just add that the city centre can get a busy during peak times, as expected from any city centre area, but there is no congestion in manchester that would command punishing the very people who wish to be there

Andrea TimoneyJuly 26th 2011.

The reading of this article was followed by much applause in my house....well said S!!!

the Whalley RangerJuly 18th 2011.

yet again another issue that appears ill-explained but not suspicious

A HallsJuly 19th 2011.

Great idea. I've filled in The Petition and returned it.

ElektrapunkJuly 19th 2011.

I have no doubt whatsoever that this increase is to fund additional shortfall in council spend due to cut backs.
Congestion my backside. If you want to invest in cutting congestion I suggest you get your council backsides over to the M60 where you see a disgraceful situation every day between the M60 link roads to Trafford Centre and Rochdale.

If You increase parking costs you lose lots more trade and visitors to Manchester - End of.

Heard it all beforeJuly 19th 2011.

This Labour Council are not on the side of the working
man/woman. They should all take a "pay-cut" these
Councillors have been raking it in for years. Why should
any of them have the title "Sir?"
This City was built by the efforts of the ordinary men and women Mancunians who worked hard in the Cotton Mills, Warehouses and Dyeing factories.
We their descendants should be able
to enjoy our City. These arraogant Councillors who force
through legilslation for everyone else should get rid of
all the superfluous Job Titles and the outrageous
salaries that go with them. Look to yourselves first!

AnonymousJuly 19th 2011.

make stagecoach reduce fares. they raise them at every opportunity and the drivers are poorly paid so the massive profits are going to make the owners into bigger and bigger multi billionaires. reduce fares then people wont bring cars into our lovely city. cars ruin it.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 19th 2011.

spot on

AnonymousJuly 20th 2011.

Of course. Ask a local council to force a private company to reduce fares and increase wages - that'll work then

David JenningsJuly 20th 2011.

S The town planing professional said it all in his post :

Money making scheme, done in a shoddy way, with little care for the businesses and traders.

Councillors - How many shops need to close, losing you 10, 15, 20K business rates each time, before you lose more than you raise ??

Never mind the knock on costs to the wider community and the personal strife for those who lose jobs.


Given the (relatively) high cost of public transport, this is yet another reason to avoid the town centre....

Peel Holdings must LOVE the council, driving all those motorists to the one-stop hell on earth that is the Trafford Centre - which despite myslef, I tart to see as more and more appealing as yet another deterrent is created to "popping into town"

AnonymousJuly 20th 2011.

The council tried this a few years ago, 2007 to be exact menmedia.co.uk/…/233007_the_end_of_free_parking…, the petition at the time then saw the council say that they had listened and decided to leave things as they were. It appears to be all the same arguments, is this the council doing their bit by 'recycling'?

AnonymousJuly 20th 2011.

I actually support this on two points:
a) The congestion charge didn't kill central london
b) This can only only make cycling a more attractive proposition.

A cyclist.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 20th 2011.

Manchester and London are poles apart, no comparison at all

BJuly 20th 2011.

We could say the same about comparing Manchester to Leeds.

Let's give the plan chance. City Council said that they will monitor it and scrap it if it proves to have a detrimental effect.

Steven AshleyJuly 22nd 2011.

a. Nor has the congestion charge improved the traffic situation in central London. The only difference is that once there was no charge and now there is an escalating charge, plus of course the ever increasing charges to park.

AnonymousJuly 22nd 2011.

London has great public transport - enough said

AnonymousJuly 20th 2011.

I am very unhappy about this, (is an understatement!) I work evenings in the city centre and these new charges will now force me to leave my car at home and get a bus home at 2/3am!! I cant afford to get a taxi home on the nights that I work, it would leave me out of pocket and now I will have to endure a bus journey home then walk home on a dark street on my own at a time of night that is high risk! All because the council want to make more money!!- Out of the people that bring this city to life! We are the people working in these restaurants and bars and making our city vibrant and exciting! The bays at the moment only let us park for 1 hour, which is ok when you start at 6pm, however, these new times would give us no option but to leave our cars at home. I understand that we need to discourage people from using their cars but when it forces someone like myself and the other young girls that I work with to travel home in the early hours of the morning on a night bus (which on a monday, tuesday, wednesday in the summer time are scarce -few and far between) is actually putting us in a vulnerable position.
Will they provide alternative arrangements for people like me? Like a permit? More frequent public transport at night-time? Or is our safety not a priority in this city council anymore..

funboi123July 20th 2011.

Still no count on the petition?

1 Response: Reply To This...
Jonathan SchofieldJuly 20th 2011.

It's over 3500 at present.

Strategist?July 21st 2011.

Congratulations. ManCon ran a petition against a previous proposal to extend parking charges and the proposal was eventually defeated. A new petition’s a great idea but I think we need more than a petition to change minds on this one. Things are different now; the context is different, the plan itself is different, and it is at a different stage of implementation.

The plan years ago, as I recall, was for parking charges to run until midnight. As well as impacting on the diners that ManCon so loves it would have impacted tremendously on a whole range of city centre visitors, including relatively low-paid bar, theatre and restaurant staff who would rely on cars to get them home when their shift had finished, often after the last bus.

These staff live throughout Manchester, and slightly beyond. Councillors could easily see the damaging effects on their voters’ work prospects and were encouraged to oppose the plan. This needs to happen again.

The previous proposal was just that: a proposal not a policy. As I understand it the plan was dropped when it came before a larger meeting of councillors. The current plan is different and we are much further along the road [ no pun intended ] ; the plan is now, I think, council policy and this public consultation is presumably a statutory one. There has already been one consultation, though I know that many people were unaware of it. Changing the policy will be much more difficult than previously and needs more than an online petition.

If it’s to be defeated then the lead councillors need to have their mind changed by arguments about damage to the city’s economy and employment and a wide range of councillors need to have their mind changed by arguments that some of their constituents may have to give up their jobs.

There’s also a wider cultural issue. City centre restaurants are vitally important, but the city is a meeting point for other activities: arts, politics, religion, educational courses at Cornerhouse, Instituto Cervantes and Friends Meeting House etc.. Even Manchester Draughts Club meets weekly in The Castle, or used to. Much of the free on-street parking is used by people attending these events. They live in different areas of the city and can’t therefore share transport.
Visiting The Opera House recently I saw an evening parking ‘offer’ for £7, suggesting that parking costs may be reaching £10 for an evening. This may not deter the group of four visiting a theatre or restaurant. In fact many of these visitors already use the car parks, believing them to be safer and more secure. However £7 per night to add to the cost of a flamenco class at Cervantes will be a deterrent.

Such activities may well move out of the city, some more likely to Chorlton than to Harpurhey, with obvious consequences.

MCC wants a positive reputation for the city centre at night and it is a great place to be. Although we do have groups of drunken youngsters they’re only part of the night-time scene, but they are the very people who will not be deterred by parking restrictions and there is a danger that the balance of city centre users at night time will change, and not for the better.

Of course the proposals exist to help the council collect more revenue. When so many in the city are hit by cuts in services it’s a valid option. But it is possible for a policy to have two objectives; raising revenue and improving traffic flow are not necessarily incompatible and we don’t do our case any favours by arguing that they are, nor by arguing that people who eat out are too poor to shoulder any of the current cuts burden.

I can see where ManCon is coming from with the petition, but think a wider strategy is needed for success. Not sure how to do it though. As a starting point it would be good if Manchester residents signing this petition also wrote to their councillors, choosing their arguments strategically. Petition signers who run city-centre events, organisations or businesses could also contact the lead councillors. ManCon could also champion the diversity of night-time uses the city is put to - though maybe not every single one of them.

Your article says the deadline is September. The way council decisions are made I expect minds need to be changed long before that.

1 Response: Reply To This...
John NuttallJuly 22nd 2011.

" a wide range of councillors need to have their mind changed by arguments that some of their constituents may have to give up their jobs.", no, actually a wide range of councillors need to realise that THEY might lose their jobs when their constituents vote them out for being stupid

Paula Brown shared this on Facebook on July 22nd 2011.
Marlainy PopJuly 25th 2011.

I got a parking ticket on bank holiday monday in an area that on Sundays is free to park. You could say that it was my own stupidity but as there were no clear signs and pretty much every road in and around the area had parked cars then I wrongly assumed it was the same as Sunday parking.

I returned to find my car and all the other cars on the road subject to a parking ticket. I counted over 100 cars with a ticket on my way out of Manchester. What a great fundraising day for the council!

There was a guy looking at the ticket who is a trader in Manchester. He operates the Sausage van at the bottom of Market Street. He said that he was fed up with the restrictions and that it was affecting his business and as such he had written to the council to complain.

For me and my family travelling into Manchester has now become difficult and expensive. There is no flexibility and when you have children, bags of shopping and then people to visit after your shopping trip then public transport simply isn't an option.
It won't effect my life greatly because I will choose to shop elsewhere; locally or the Trafford Centre where you don't have an issue with parking. I just feel concern for the traders because I know already that business has been declining.
I used to visit Manchester every weekend but haven't done so since I got the parking ticket on bank holiday Monday.
I really can't understand why they are implementing such punitive measures because I never really experienced problems with traffic in the city centre at weekend. At peak holiday times like Xmas and through the week in rush hour but not on Saturday morning.
I'm sure they will make a small fortune in parking fees and fines initially but will have to look at a new plan to get people back into the city when they realise people can't afford it.

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

I too thought that parking on bank holidays was free.... Though ever since my car was almost ticketed whilst I was actually in the process of buying a ticket from a machine, I guess it shouldn't really surprise me.

Phil BurkeJuly 25th 2011.

New Proposals for City Centre Parking

We are compiling a joint letter from various business and residential groups to object in the strongest possible terms concerning the current proposals which we fear would damage the commercial viability of the city centre, consequentially inhibit the regeneration of the city and have a negative impact on the viability of residents living in the city.

Without doubt the attraction of the Village, Chinatown, Deansgate and Northern Quarter will all suffer if increased pricing and restriction impact on visitors coming to the city in the late evenings and weekends

Manchester is a regional leisure centre, not a parochial town centre attracting people from a catchment area served by immediate public transport links.

If we strangle motor car based visitors it will damage all commercial outlets and encourage out of town retail and leisure outlets.

Furthermore this could undermine further emigration of families into the city, this is contrary to the public interest. Without doubt “living cities”, with a healthy balanced in city population are inherently safer places to live

We believe this measure has the intention to raise the tax base from the businesses and city centre communities and will encourage an emigration of people and business out from the city

Yours sincerely

Phil Burke
Manchester Pub & Club Network

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Steven AshleyJuly 25th 2011.

Absolutely agree with you Phil

Jim SymcoxJuly 26th 2011.

Phil you're right. I'm a case in point. I 've now stopped going into manchester town centre during the day. Although I only live 3 miles from it. Simply down to the current parking charges. Raising them and making restrictions last longer will ensure I just stop coming into the centre of my own city ever again.

Felicia Chan shared this on Facebook on July 25th 2011.
Yuen Ng shared this on Facebook on July 26th 2011.
John NuttallAugust 1st 2011.

The real way to decrease traffic congestion is to offer a viable alternative by public transport. I came into Manchester city centre twice last week, on the first occassion I arrived at Victoria train station just before my train was due to depart only to find that it was so full that it was literally impossible to board. I then had an hour's wait for the next one.
When I returned a few days later, remembering the last occassion, I arrived twenty minutes early to ensure a seat. I got my seat only to have the train taken out of service just as it was supposed to leave and, in a scene reminiscent of Tokyo underground at rush hour, all the passengers had to cram themselves into the replacement train meaning not only was I late but I had to stand.
All of this delightful experience took place in the most decrepit train station in Western Europe, Victoria, which has been allowed to rot for decades.
The council's claims that their plans to increase parking hours and charges are in order to reduce congestion are believed by no-one.

ScoteeeAugust 1st 2011.

Can I just say that anyone who would like a city centre parking space can rent any number through me from just £80 per month... Ta

Mark JaggerAugust 1st 2011.

Hey Boys, Business Rates income is down, Occupancy is down, Employment in retail and leisure is also down.
Now then, when your Job share/ flexitime/paid sick leave allows, can you give me your best suggestion to up footfall and proffitability in the City Centre over the next few weeks and into the dismal winter please?
Dear sir ''we have all had a really hard think and have come up ith the attatched 'evidence based' report, sorry it took so long Sir but we have been really busy''

Phill WatsonAugust 1st 2011.

Take a lesson from Rochdale, they hiked up charges and now they've had to do free parking on Saturday and free everyday after 3, people got fed up and moved elsewhere.

OneloveAugust 1st 2011.

We go into Manchester most Sunday's and watch a film and buy lunch total cost £20 - £30. Gonna struggle from now on if the parking charges come in as I'll need to park for more than 3 hours and the cost of public transport and the reliability will put us off coming in. Looks like I'll join LoveFilm instead and start enjoying Sunday's at home from now on. Fine idea for making money mancon who actually came up with this grand plan, cos idiots like you shouldn't be representing people who love and want to enjoy our city

2 Responses: Reply To This...
MelAugust 4th 2011.


SmittyAugust 5th 2011.

What a shame to deny yourself a nice day out, when you can park at Boddies on a Sunday for £1 all day. Only a short hop from the Odeon. If that's too far, there's places closer where you can park all day for £2, like the Europarks one just off trinity way. If you're more of a arty person and go to the cornerhouse I think you can park at First St car park for £2. You're lucky to find somewhere free on the street on a Sunday as the bays normally all full by about 11am...

Matt Tuckey shared this on Facebook on August 3rd 2011.
Jeff CAugust 8th 2011.

I pay over £200 a year in road tax, £1.40 a litre in petrol and I've just got my insurance renewal - fk me! That's gone up about 20%! Now these greedy bastards are trying to rob my spare change! I avoid going to town in the day because of the parking as it is, and even after 6pm it's hard work finding a spot. This makes absolutely no sense other than pulling in more money for those c***ts in the council. This is OUR city not the council's. When they handed NCP and Europarks their licence's to print money they could have just as easily imposed limits to what they could charge for parking - but they didn't think about us did they!? When they handed out the other license's to print money to developers building city centre apartments and offices, they could have asserted a need for parking in those new buildings, but they didn't did they? They are taking the absolute piss - again!

Remember the congestion charge to pay for the new tram lines? 87% of us said no (was a proud Manc that day) and now I see tram lines being built, which makes the council a bunch of liars - which isn't surprising since it's full of politicians. Imposing price increases really only deters those on less income, your footballers and millionaires are gonna give a fuck, so all the council are really doing is freeing up parking spaces for their rich mates. Driving around looking for a parking spot causes congestion AND pollution - FACT. If a car is parked it's not IN traffic so by definition it isn't traffic - thus not congesting said traffic - FACT. Don't piss down our legs and tell us it's raining - we get enough rain as it is.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Jonathan FAugust 13th 2011.

@Jeff C - please calm down before you next get behind the wheel, we need safer roads not more impatient/angry/aggressive drivers.

@ManCon - I would like to see more pedestrian areas (eg Spinningfields, The Triangle) in central Manchester, ideally with some traffic free Sundays for the non-pedestrian roads. This would encourage me to go into Manchester more often and spend more time and money there. Please can you amend your 'poll' so that I can express my opinion ?

Vicki GallagherAugust 16th 2011.

Have you noticed the latest Leader's Blog on the MCC website? SRL waxing lyrical about his Sunday sojourn into the city centre and just managing to get a table in a packed restaraunt: www.manchester.gov.uk/blog/leadersblog/post/478…
Should have plenty more bookings available soon...

James KayAugust 17th 2011.

As part of the ILoveMCR campaign, the council have decided to adopt free parking for the next 3 weekends to attract visitors back to the city centre! I thought parking charges and visitor numbers had no direct correlation! You gotta love 'em!

EditorialAugust 17th 2011.

Indeed. The irony is killing us.

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