Four free days of parking a year to 'boost towns'


Cheshire East Council is to provide our communities with four free days of parking a year.

The Council says the move aims to support the borough's towns and have the flexibility to support special events and busy periods, such as festivals and the run-up to Christmas.

Councillor Laura Crane, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for highways and waste, said: "This is good news for our towns and residents – and local shops and businesses.

"The council faces severe financial pressures – with increased demand for key services and big reductions in income due to Covid-19. However, we wanted to reintroduce this scheme, which was first offered in 2016, to help give our towns and high streets an extra boost – and as a thank you to our residents for their support and patience during the challenges of the pandemic and lockdown."

The council intends to introduce a free-parking initiative on a maximum of four days in the next 12-month period. There will be four free days allowed per town or parish council area, in places where charges apply.

Cllr Crane added: "The primary purpose of this incentive is to support our towns and provide a flexible incentive which can be used in the run up to Christmas or spread throughout the year to aid key town events. This is in addition to the free parking after 3pm at certain designated car parks within the borough.

"The offer of free parking will be considered on those car parks predominantly used by shoppers and the parking services team would welcome advanced liaison from the relevant councils and notice of the chosen days. This is to ensure there are no other programmed events taking place. The days chosen by the participating councils will follow consultation with their elected members, event organisers, local shops and businesses and charity event organisers.

"In return, the council requests feedback on these initiatives to ascertain their effectiveness for both shoppers and businesses."

The local car parks authorised for this incentive are as follows:

● Alderley Edge: South Street;

● Wilmslow: South Drive; Hoopers; Spring Street; Rex.

To maximise the number of free spaces for shoppers and visitors, the free parking will start after 10am. Participating town councils will be asked to advertise and promote these free days on the designated sites on the days in question and then remove these materials in a timely fashion afterwards, to avoid any confusion for service users.



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

Manuel Golding
Thursday 23rd July 2020 at 9:34 am
And Sandbach car parks are FREE all day, every day!!!!
Nick Jones
Thursday 23rd July 2020 at 4:41 pm
4 days in a year ! ... well that should do it then !... It'll be like Covid never happened

For goodness sake... .. Laura Crane's 'primary purpose of this incentive' is really just to say something when it really may be better to have said nothing... Absolute tosh .
Nik Eastwood
Wednesday 29th July 2020 at 1:35 pm
free parking at a weekend would be much better for the area, less commuters who will park up and get the train to work, it would also bring more people to the town centre at a weekend

four days per year is hardly worth bothering with.
Charlie Cook
Thursday 30th July 2020 at 10:12 am
I appreciate the intent here, but unless they patrol the parking spaces from 9-10 and again two hours later, the spaces, i fear, will just be used by commuters. As Nik said, free parking at the weekend would be a better idea.
Terry Roeves
Thursday 30th July 2020 at 10:36 am
‘...following consultations..’ Fat chance. Nothing will happen.
A derisory proposal from a Sandbach labour Cllr who probably has never ever been to Wilmslow.
Clive Cooksey
Thursday 30th July 2020 at 11:11 am
I think I need help! Ever since reading this story of four free parking days, I am now suffering from a prolonged burst of tearful hysterics at the latest idea this barmy council produces. Never ever I have I come across such garbage as they produce. The wasted money on ticket machines that people, especially elderly folk cannot use is enough reason to put this council in a padded cell. Morr tissues please!
David Smith
Thursday 30th July 2020 at 12:10 pm

So much costly faffing about [liaisoning, consultations, feedback] just to save a couple of quid for a few people who can then park their BMW's, Mercedes, Range Rovers and Audis for nothing.

"The council faces severe financial pressures – with increased demand for key services and big reductions in income due to Covid-19" - so lets spend money on arranging and making known a scheme that will lose us normal parking revenue! Where's the logic in that?
Michael Maddox
Thursday 30th July 2020 at 4:49 pm
The people at Cheshire East have lost the plot!
Raymond James Wallace
Thursday 30th July 2020 at 6:36 pm
So four days a year free parking is going to breath new life into a town which is slowly dying due to lack of customers and extortionate rates. its almost laughable the schemes this council come up.
Mark Goldsmith
Thursday 30th July 2020 at 7:32 pm
Before anyone else jumps to the wrong conclusion, I should point out that this it is not a new scheme. It has been in operation by Cheshire East for the past 6 years at least although this is not mentioned in the press release.

Therefore, there is an established process for implementing these days that I understand works well and without any fuss or issue.

Wilmslow Town Council gets to chose when to use these days and in the past it has made parking free on Saturdays in the run up to Christmas. How they use the next batch of free days is yet to be decided though.

Best regards

Cllr Mark Goldsmith
Residents of Wilmslow
Cheshire East & WTC, Wilmslow West & Chorley
John Harries
Thursday 30th July 2020 at 10:06 pm
On here only last week if you care to search.
There is, apparently, free (but dubious) parking all year round on footpaths around Chancel Lane/The Cliff!! I can appreciate and identify with the hysterics some contributors are finding themselves experiencing at this time - it's a protective mechanism don't ya know.
CEC come up with some remarkable schemes to accomodate the exceptional circumstances raised by Covid-19 - eg wider footpaths, pop-up cycle lanes and now to ease some of the financial strain imposed on the business community by this damned virus they re-launch (according to Mark Goldsmith who found it necessary to emphasise that it's not even a new or novel idea but a reheated scheme - of genius no less - apologies Mark, it's not personal but it is none the less a pathetic notion offered for a different time and actually another reason).
CEC - muppets, clowns, charlatans, weak kneed wonders and far worse insinuations - these kind of comments appear here with great regularity - it just keeps going doesn't it.
Simon Worthington
Friday 31st July 2020 at 8:33 am
Laura Crane - cabinet member for waste. She should be a very busy lady!!! Perhaps a smarter move would be to insist the private business car parks that are unused at weekends are made available to the public from 6pm Friday to a suitable time on Sunday evening.