Update on all day car parking in Wilmslow

parking

Wilmslow has a thriving business sector with greater levels of employment plus a very busy railway station that attracts people from out of the immediate area.

Unfortunately, inconsiderate parking by incoming workers and rail commuters is causing difficulties for other motorists and proving a nuisance in residential areas. The lack of sufficient off-street space for all day parking is evident.

It is obvious to all of us who have been attempting to provide solutions – particularly those that reduce nuisance parking in residential areas – that measures have simply moved the problem elsewhere. Those residents who over the years have requested and secured restrictions in their areas are content but not so the residents in the newer on-street parking areas.

Adequate levels of all day parking in Wilmslow can be provided only by a multi-storey car park. This cannot address the immediate term so we are actively pursuing other options.

We are looking for a tract or tracts of land within walking distance of the town centre. The obvious ones are owned by Cheshire East and the request is already in to see if there are any legal reasons against using the sites for temporary car parking of say 200/300 vehicles. Candidate sites are the Carnival Fields, the land south of the Prestbury Link Road near the High School and the land adjacent to the A34 south of the High School. Residents will have their own views on the suitability of such sites and there would have to be temporary hard standing so there must be a public survey on any favoured option. Sites for a potential 'park and ride' are the Jim Everson playing fields car park and the Handforth East site.

The Wilmslow parking survey of both on-street and off-street activity will start mid-September. We are pressing for the results and report this Autumn and then want action as soon as the traffic regulation order legal process allows. This is frustrating for everyone involved.

After protracted discussions with the police, a motorist advice and enforcement exercise will be conducted this month. The Police will be making their own announcement of the timing of this exercise. In addition, we have contacted the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and we await a date when he will be visiting Wilmslow. We can then demonstrate the difficulties of obstruction on the highway on the one hand and the inconvenience to residents in a wider area. We will give top priority to the pressing problem we all want resolved namely the parking in Alderley Road that most reasonable people would describe as obstructive.

When it comes to the implementation of the measures agreed it will need a concerted effort by all agencies to get the on-street parkers to use the off-street facilities. Currently they have free parking and no incentive to change their behaviour.

This is a guest post by Councillor Rod Menlove.

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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Rick Andrews
Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 3:14 pm
Our dear councillor fails to identify the first solution - double yellow lines and prosecution for obstruction. As for his other suggestions. Ridiculous proposals- the Carnival field would be a car park for ever and we would lose essential green space. Same applies to the Jim Evison fields. Why not a park and ride from Handforth Dean or one of the many vacant office sites in that area? There is a huge vacant piece of land behind screwfix- could easily be converted to a car park.

The council and planners have created the problem by failing to insist on adequate parking for new office developments. The sustainable public transport option is anothe unfulfilled promise from our inept and out of touch representatives.
Anna Meadmore
Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 3:18 pm
In France, many of the multi story car parks are underground - so no extra land taken, and no unsightly building.
Barry Buxton
Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 3:23 pm
Let's turn Broadway Meadow into a 2-3 level car park.
Howard Piltz
Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 3:35 pm
Double yellow lines now! Before somebody gets killed,

Cllr Menlove must be must have run out of ideas by suggesting the Carnival Field or Jim Everton parking area, the first beloved of WILMSLOW residents who would die before they saw it concreted over (including me!) whilst the Jim Everton fields car park is too small - for heaven's sake we've only just got rid of the travellers, this would be open doors - literally!

Park-and-ride sites either side of the by-pass near the High School would be ideal whilst firm limits on on-street parking would focus minds. That old chestnut-public transport might suddenly be affordable!
Pippa Jones
Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 3:38 pm
Thank you, Rod, for raising this important and difficult issue. Town centre parking is unacceptable and dangerous. I wholeheartedly agree with Rick Andrews that the Jim Evison fields and the Carnival field are far too valuable as green lungs for the town and places for sport and recreation, and if tarmac-ed over we would lose their capacity for flood prevention. It would also encourage traffic on to the already much too busy Altrincham Road.
While a "park and ride" is a potential solution, another would be the "Park and Stride" idea suggested by the charity Living Streets. This would involve a car park or car parks situated within walking distance of the town centre, linked by well lit, wheelchair friendly and safe walkways to the station and to schools. It would reduce congestion in the town, reduce air pollution from standing traffic, and encourage everyone to walk a bit further and improve health at the same time. Land adjacent to the A34 would seem ideal for this purpose but there would need to be investment in walkways to ensure people (including school students) feel safe walking to and from the car park, whatever the time of day.
Paul Hampton
Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 4:47 pm
New double yellow lines together with better enforcement of existing single yellow lines will force many of the usual suspects to:

a) use public transport
b) cycle to work
c) pay to park

A multi-story or any other type of car park too far to the outskirts of our town will become a white elephant.

Please don’t concrete over our playing fields.
David Jefferay
Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 5:05 pm
I really can’t see the council coming up with anything innovative as a result of this parking study so we’ll end up with yellow lines on the streets that are currently experiencing problems (Alderley Road, Buckingham Road, etc. and (maybe) more pay and display parking (probably a 2-storey on Broadway Meadows).

The trouble is that people don’t want/ can’t afford to pay for all day parking so, unless Cheshire East radically drop parking charges (unlikely given their budget deficit in the coming years), people will still seek free on-road parking and we’ll be chasing the problem around the town until the whole of wilmslow is yellow lined!

At which point, a multi-storey on Broadway meadows won't be enough!
What’s needed is a different approach. RoW and I looked at this idea (https://bit.ly/2O9wZzD) in 2015 but decided not to pursue it.

Maybe it’s time we (as a town) revisit it, tweak it or come up with something else to take control of the situation as clearly CEC needs helps if a costly park and ride (which no one will use because it inconvenient) or parking on the carnival field or Jim Evison fields are the best solutions it can come up with.
Richard Slater
Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 5:11 pm
Hold on, he warming up to tell you they are going to be included those assests in the next round of green destruction for houses.

Oh by the way did the Comittee not ask the "expert" planning officers when they approved all the offices, where are these people going to park? Oh wait was he on the Comittee?
Carol Shawcross
Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 6:01 pm
It seems to me that CEC’s idea of town planning is to build first and then when the obvious infra-structure problems occur attempt to fix them! The residents of Wilmslow’s very real concerns which have been raised time and time again during the consultation periods and have been totally ignored by CEC. Why are our constructive objections which are raised during the consultation period/s totally ignored? For goodness sake we live here so listen to us please!
CEC are ruining Wilmslow with this ‘frantic’ building programme.
Clive Redhead
Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 6:13 pm
Thanks Rod.

As you are well aware, ever since Daveylands (off Macclesfield Road) and later the Thorngrove Estate received part-time parking restrictions certain roads around the area, particularly Leaside Way off the Mottram New Road and near to the A34 Wilmslow High School Entrance, have been littered with 'out of area' parked cars.

Multiple efforts had been made by neighbourhood groups to restrict parking in these and other areas but after one or two suggested proposals by Cheshire East Roads Highways / Planning Department nothing progressed beyond the initial drawings and if it did, not all of the local neighbours were informed of it. These 'unrestricted' roads have been blighted with cars left all day by Sixth Form Drivers from the High School, Office Workers in Wilmslow and commuters travelling to both Manchester and even London!

It was found that one company had even provided their staff members with maps hi-lighting roads where they could park in Wilmslow without being ticketed!

On occasions, due to poor parking, Refuse Lorries and Delivery Vans have not been able to gain access to their required destinations. It's perhaps only a matter of time before emergency crews have similar difficulties. It seems parking in Wilmslow has been an issue for decades yet little has been done to improve the situation.

A park and ride would certainly help matters but as others, here, have suggested; please consider utilising some of the Brown Field Sites within a three mile radius (though we fully appreciate that much of the land is owned by major developers, we also realise that those who reap the most benefit should be made to take their share of the burden).

If we continue the way we are, businesses won't want to invest in Wilmslow (and judging by the number of empty shops and offices this is already happening). Rents are killing the High Street and traffic is choking the town but those who are hardest hit are the residents who pay their council tax!
Hilary Pinnock
Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 6:17 pm
Too little, too late Mr Menlove. It is criminal that town planners do not have the vision / foresight / call it what you will to see the immediate and longer term knock on effects of decisions they make on our valuable land and on our residents' daily lives trying to navigate around Wilmslow.

Alderley Road? Yellow lines right now - give me a brush and the paint and I'll do it for you.

Parking? There are ALWAYS parking spaces available in the Wilmslow Library / Sainsbury's carpark- the only reason folk don't park there is because it costs a few quid. Answer? Lower the parking charges. Same with the multi-storey off Water Lane.

There is absolutely no point in using fabulous green spaces to resolve this issue, temporarily or otherwise. We don't need to. Just get folk off the roads and using the parking facilities provided. Lower the parking charges.

I've lived in Wilmslow most of my life and watched its roads slowly becoming one big carpark.

Plan ahead Mr Menlove, plan ahead.
Clive Cooksey
Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 6:22 pm
Double yellow lines as of now. Or Coun Menlove, I place you amongst the Blue Sky Thinkers who are wrecking this town. Believe me, there are lots of them. As for the miracle tract of land for a multi storey. Who wants to walk a mile to work in a downpour? Everything that this town needs is always past at snail pace.
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 6:26 pm
Cllr. Menlove, why have the two responsible Ward Cllrs failed, yet again, to make any public comment? As the out-going Cllr for the opposite side of the road (where I took the above photograph from) in your shoes I would be booting them up the derrier, seeing as there is an election looming.
Why not simply put out some cones as a temporary measure? After all, cones seem to be available once a month for the Artisan Market (possibly stored in the Rectory Stables?!)
You , personally, had little trouble in getting yellow lines painted all around the estate where you used to live, so you know the process- just get Barton to do the same.

Can you tell us how many dangerous parkers were persuaded to take up the stunning ten-day solution to park at the High School, pay a pound and walk a round trip of nearly a mile? Can you tell us if the money collected covered the cost; I’m sure that scrupulous records were kept.
Cllr Barton’s father posted here that this solution was a splendid initiative; unfortunately nobody else seemed to think so.

When I kicked off this debate I asked if a cyclist had to die, or be seriously injured before some POSITIVE action was taken. Apparently that is the case.
Josie James
Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 6:33 pm
Unless parking is made free you’ve got no chance of them moving
Nick Jones
Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 6:44 pm
Clear evidence why we need to rid ourselves of incompetent , duplicitous , myopic representatives... The time for non-party affiliated, sensible local representation is now.

How many threads on these pages tell the same story...Say one thing do another, cant balance the books, so put the taxes up !

What does Harrry Westbill , who replaces the deselected author of this meaningless diotribe of a thread suggest ?
Fred Rayers
Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 6:47 pm
The reason there are places available near the Library / Sainsbury is they are short stay places - and without them we would have no shops left because they would have no shoppers - not useful for anyone.

CEC needs to get its fingers out and come up with a real solution by increasing long term spaces. These need to be within viable walking distance of the centre. Suggesting temporary parking on green spaces is not a solution - CECs normal inaction to Wilmslows needs would just mean it became permanent.

Perhaps something like a multi-storey at the old police station site, which would also potentially help reduce transits through the bank square pinch point by having a decent volume of parking to both the east and west?
Jon Newell
Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 6:52 pm
Blaming the planners is not productive. They were never empowered to provide one parking place for every person who worked in a building. The planners were, probably unreasonably, told to assume that public transport would be available. It is not the case and never will be again.
The comment that all day Parker’s are being selfish is not fair. There are very few spaces in Wilmslow where you can park for more than 3 hours -even if you are willing to pay. What we need is 12 hour parking - this is park and ride!
Prentice James
Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 7:00 pm
Town centres need to embrace free car parking if they are to compete with and survive the competition from out of town retail parks and online shopping.
It may seem radical but it’s not impossible even if it means a new cost model that recoups some of the lost revenue from the businesses that will benefit.

The current main road parking on Alderley Road through the town centre is a no brainer - it creates dangerous congestion and it should be double yellow lines along the whole town centre stretch of road. The centre already has limited time parking for shoppers on the parallel access road in front of the shops - which is more than most town centres can offer.

Finally look to increase capacity where car parks already exist - the obvious one being the Broadway Meadow car park - develop this by adding at least a second level there. There are plenty of examples online of businesses and public buildings which have expanded their car park capacity in this way.
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 7:20 pm
Out-going Councillors Barton an Brookes... speak to us. Please.
Terry Roeves
Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 7:52 pm
.....attempting to find solutions......and failed. Property taxes help keep CEC salaries, pensions, fees etc ever onward and upward with minimal expenditure on us Residents.
Decades of conservative failures to look after us. All talk and no action with more and more consultation and reports. Obfuscation. Do something!
Mark Toombs
Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 8:02 pm
So CEC local plan Green space strategy2018 states. ( 7.71)

“In terms of local open space requirements the conclusion from the open space assessment is: Generally open space provision is poorer in the south-west and in some eastern and northern areas of Wilmslow and there are specific shortages for some types of open space as listed.”

Great so CEC understand the lack of green space, the same green space that Menlove wants to turn to a car Park! Yer go local councillor who doesn’t understand the needs of the area or read the local plan!
Martin Kitchin
Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 8:54 pm
Clr Menlove,

You say that 'candidate sites' for parking include the Carnival Fields...

Or are you just plucking green fields out of the air I wonder that you can plonk a Pay -n- Display on ?

Sticking cars in a field way up Altrincham Road is not the solution be it Carnival or Everson.

It's the prohibitively expensive town centre car parks that are the driving visitors to park on the road where it costs zilch.

But please Clr Menlove, waste no more of our hard earned money on surveys, public consultations (that CE pay little credence to) costly PR exercises, reviews or buzzspeak.

Resident, be they Summerfields Village or not, are now all increasingly suspicious of much that CE do. Reduce the town centre car park charges and be done with it !
Tony Hughes
Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 9:13 pm
I have a friend who lives on Victoria Road, opposite Sainsbury’s. He spotted someone regularly parking on double yellow lines. He confronted the driver who admitted he parked there on purpose. He would receive one or two parking tickets a month, which he paid immediately. So for approximately £35 or £70 a month he could park all day while at work. If you say 20 working days a month that equates to £3.50 a day. So why not?
Whatever happens regarding car parks or park and rides, Wilmslow could employ many full time traffic wardens who would undoubtedly pay for themselves.
They could even come round the residential roads and get all those inconsiderate drivers who think it’s ok to park on pavements, blocking the way for pushchairs and wheelchairs. I know it’s not illegal to park on the pavement but it is illegal to drive on pavements. And surely they can receive a ticket for that!
I could go on....
David Richmond
Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 9:21 pm
So the many objections to building hundreds more houses in Wilmslow were totally ignored by the council. Many of those objections voiced concerns over congestion and a danger to the public due to excess traffic. Here we are just a couple of years later, even before the greenbelt is destroyed by totally over estimated residential sprawl, and the town is congested, cars park dangerously and the situation is frankly out of control. It's most certainly time to revisit the planning decisions to build on greenbelt as there are already dozens of new residences being built on brownfield sites in the town.
David Cain
Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 9:29 pm
Talking of parking , are there any plans to repair the parking meters in Sainsbury's car park?
Several of them have been out of action for several weeks now!
Not good if you are elderly or infirm.
Nicola Storer
Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 10:43 pm
Parking restrictions are a must on Alderley Rd and are now long overdue, however we need to consider where these cars will go then and it is quite obvious they will use Knutsford Rd, so perhaps our local councillors & other representatives should be looking at restrictions be enforced within a two mile radius of the centre of Wilmslow. As it stands you only shift traffic into other surrounding areas it doesn’t eradicate the nuisance that it is causing. Wilmslow is becoming inaccessible to it’s residents which is having a negative effect on the just about surviving retail premises. Those that park as they are do on Alderley rd, Buckingham rd, Manchester rd and any other side rd nearby do not contribute to the prosperity of Wilmslow, that is evident by the lack of footfall during the day. CEC have and still are, allowing planning for office space without any consideration to where people will park See news item in here for planning application for offices within the Leisure Centre car park, enough said!!!!
Rick Andrews
Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 10:48 pm
Both the Carnival Field and Jim Evison fields are protected by covenants - the council must know this and comply. Parking there is not an option.

As already stated we need parking restrictions and a block on all new office developments because Wilmslow has reached capacity. Any more will complete the destruction. Time to vote for educated and realistic councillors - not those with inflated egos creating unsuccessful spinoff companies and allowing planners to approve unsustainable development.
Sarah Cooke
Thursday 13th September 2018 at 8:47 am
Call me suspicious, but living right bang next to one of the entrances to Carnival Fields, I believe the decision may have been made (or at least "someone/some whos" are manipulating other features around planning, to set, or "tee" this up).
We have recently seen a brand spanking new resurface of the entrance to the site, copious road markings and incidentally removal of some quite mature trees.
Why? If the field retains its use, ie Round Table Fireworks/ Wilmslow Show, access to a local nursery and Weekend League Football, why would this site demand such an expensive spend??
I watch children play on it, community coming together to meet on it and older hikers/ramblers walk through it. My understanding is, it was left to the people of Wilmslow as open space, NOT for commercial parking.
Once there, it would never go (we fill what we have) and then there would be a premise for, I'm sure, "a bespoke "top end" small housing development"
My suspicion is only matched by my cynicism.
Andrea Barton
Thursday 13th September 2018 at 9:58 am
Setting aside the usual negativity by certain people credit to our local councillors for trying to find a solution to the problem. Enforcement etc would be good particularly for dangerous parking but it does not solve the problem of lack of parking spaces. Seemingly as said a multi-story car park would go a long way to solving the problem long term but all-day parkers are reluctant to pay for parking if they can park for free in someone's road. Temporary short-term solutions are by definition not ideal but there has to be some give in all this.
Jonathan Follows
Thursday 13th September 2018 at 10:23 am
I live on Victoria Road and can confirm Tony Hughes' comment, indeed I have posted similarly before. Plenty of people have worked out that if they park all day in time-limited spaces, which the people in Sandbach will assume are used as intended as short-term free parking for shoppers and other visitors, the infrequent tickets issued make it worth while. End result is that people who visit for a short period are put off because there is no free parking for them. And CEC don't have a real idea because their plans and maps don't correlate with reality.
Nick Jones
Thursday 13th September 2018 at 12:49 pm
The negativity comes from THE SAME myopic Cllrs who have failed this community time after time, in their rush for development and failing to support to the life blood, businesses, visitors, workers and residents of our town. Weeks months before a local election its all Panic Stations ! .. and if in the many ignored consultations they actually had the decency to listen, comprehend and act outside of the party whip this need never have been the case.
Robert Taylor
Thursday 13th September 2018 at 1:20 pm
At risk of stalling yet another discussion on this site; the matter of parking heavily influences people's journey choice much like the availability of more new roads - More parking at lower or low cost available through the day will have the consequence of increase the amount of commuting traffic into the town. This is a researched fact.
I ask why the town should provide spaces for commuters over local residents and shoppers?
Park and Ride is a good idea but not a solution that should be implemented on its own - it has to be implemented with other ranges of measures because commuters will just maintain their existing habits and avoid the Park and Ride.
The best way to deal with this issue is to have a review of parking availability; times; charges and locations throughout the town. In particular more allowances should be made for parking which increases the economic viability of the town centre which may mean more short stay balance than there is currently - the exact opposite of what most of you are asking for! This should be coupled with lining restriction and narrowing of main road spaces, making quiet cycle streets etc. to minimise the ease of use of the private car within the town - increased private car use will arise by making more spaces available so restricting private car use is the prime objective to reduce demand. Enforcement has to be more reliable and effective.
Furthermore technology can help with parking such as real-time parking space availability systems which once installed can make parking more effective and reduce congestion because there will be less driving around looking for a space.
It may be a good idea for CEC to consider imposing a workplace parking levy or other financial measures on employers to reduce car parking and increase sustainable transport options.
Knowing where car-based commuters come from would be useful because this will assist understanding where travel demand is coming from and CEC can work with those neighbouring local authorities and organisations to provide sustatinable transport options.
Julian Abbot
Thursday 13th September 2018 at 1:21 pm
Rather than criticising the "negativity" and praising the "creative vision ?!" of our Tory councillors. Perhaps the illusive G. Barton should actually respond to his constituents who have been trying to raise this issue with him for many months. The residents are now frustrated and understandably angry at the way we have been ignored and mislead.
If the parking is free (at a suitable Park & Ride brownfield site), people will use it. If I apply for a job I assume that the company would have some sort of parking provision as the town planners surely wouldn't allow that?

The proposal to use Carnival Fields as a car park is insane, is CEC so out of touch with reality? CEC's short term measures have failed, they have failed Wilmslow, time for a change come May.
Rick Andrews
Thursday 13th September 2018 at 8:21 pm
The office developers are also complicit. They take the money with no regard to the trail of destruction. No social conscience but lots of cash.
David Nelson
Friday 14th September 2018 at 8:43 am
Councillor Menlove doesn't need to plan ahead.... He keeps getting voted back in. Why should he bother? Give him a high viz, can of yellow paint and a brush. Let him earn his position.
Kathryn Blackburn
Friday 14th September 2018 at 10:04 am
Tow the vehicles away. Impound them. Massive fine. Job done.
Manuel Golding
Monday 17th September 2018 at 5:32 pm
I really must question Andrea Barton's sense of reality. It was, as she puts it "our local councillors", i.e. Conservative CE councillors, who, to their credit, all four of them, voted like lemmings to destroy the town's & surrounding areas' Green Belt sites, in the face of strong public opposition to the Local Plan Strategy (LPS).The problem of increasing parking blight was already there but has since exacerbated- RoW constantly implored the Conservative leadership & its planners to look at the effects of their building plans before first putting into place a decent infrastructure. This would have been to include proper off road parking. But no, the leadership et al, supported by Mrs. Barton's plea to give credit to the Cons councillors for "trying to find a solution". Well the truth is Mrs Barton,, they have not.

Residents of Wilmslow, in addition to pleas prior to the LPS being approved with the Wilmslow Conservative's votes, has made numerous suggestions to CE to alleviate the 'on- street' parking problem. Again, no one there wanted to know.

RoW believes residential roads must be returned to the over charged council tax home dwellers as a first. One of our suggestions is via Residents Only parking permits (officers say it is council policy to not award residents permits if there are driveways in a road - RoW solution: change the policy, other boroughs do). Other thoughts: Strict short stay on-street parking (an hour or two max); we know of at least two(2) near to town centre sites (from under a mile to approx 1.5 miles out of town - no problem for the young, fit & able commuters- supplemented by a park & ride scheme, with a small combined daily charge for the parking & bus. RoW suggested this solution three years or so ago,with no positive response (we are not talking about the small Everson fields or destroying the Carnival Fields).

Meanwhile, the Alderley Road traffic hazard continues daily (weekend excepted); RoW has suggested to the Leader that she simply institutes either a "temporary" or "emergency" No Waiting order. Will she do this? So far, NO!. Similar orders could be made for Buckingham Rd, Water Ln/Altrincham Rd on a temporary basis before a long term solution is in place. Wilmslow needs ACTION NOW, not in 3, 6 or 9 months, NOW. Then deal with the parking mayhem on other roads off Manchester Rd, Knutsford Rd etc.

Residents of Wilmslow is more than willing to offer constructive ideas, some above, rather than the old palliative pseudo-solutions trotted out here & elsewhere again and again by the out of ideas CEC Conservative councillors.

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