Four days of free parking


Cheshire East Council is to offer four free parking days to help boost our towns and businesses as we continue to emerge from Covid restrictions.

A previous, similar parking incentive scheme is due to expire on 31 August 2022.

Councillor Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council and chair of its highways and transport committee, said: "The past two years and more of the coronavirus pandemic and Covid restrictions have been really tough for everyone. So, this free parking allocation is some good news for our residents and businesses.

"The move aims to support our towns, villages and local service centres to have the flexibility to support special events and busy periods, such as autumnal activities and festivals and the run-up to Christmas."

Councillor Laura Crane, vice chair of the council's highways and transport committee, said: "This is an excellent incentive, which is in addition to the continued 'free after 3pm' parking available on a number of car parks across the borough.

"We have made this decision earlier in the year in order to support and help our local town and parish council event managers, who are already scheduling in a number of community events into the calendar."

The local car parks authorised for this four free days incentive are:

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

● Alderley Edge: South Street

Cllr Browne added: "The council faces severe financial pressures – with increased demand for key services and significant cuts in funding over recent years. However, we wanted to help give 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."

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.



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

Maureen Marner
Monday 13th June 2022 at 3:43 pm
Oh yes great news. If you have a car!!! What about us pensioners who want to get on a bus into wilmslow, the 130 is rubbish. Needs to come and pick up the residents from Lacey Green!!!
We'd love to come in and meet our friends for lunch or coffee!

Have a think about a new route please..
Thank you...
Pete Wright
Wednesday 15th June 2022 at 9:42 am
4 days? What genius came up with that? If you want to actually help businesses you need something a bit better than this poor attempt
Randal MacRandal
Thursday 16th June 2022 at 9:47 am
Yes, I agree with Maureen, why make it easier for cars to fill the town ?
She says the 130 bus service is poor and I say the 88 is as bad. One bus an hour between Alty and Wilmslow that starts at breakfast time and finishes at teatime.
Unbelievably, there's no bus from Wilmslow to the airport unless you want to go via Handforth and Styal or get the 88 and walk from the Marriott !
Oh, and no footpath on bendy bit of road approaching "Waters" from Alty so you take your life in your hands stepping onto the road.
David Smith
Thursday 16th June 2022 at 11:07 am
All a bit questionable I'm afraid.
If you stand by the road in the centre of Wilmslow at a busy time of day and only allow yourself to breathe when you can see a Range Rover, Porsche, Ferrari, Bentley, or any other expensive 4X4, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar etc. you should be able to stand there for most of the day before starting to turn blue.
I recently walked from Sainsbury's to the REX and almost every PARKED car was an expensive vehicle. I passed lots of Range Rovers, Mercs, BMWs, a couple of Porsches, a Maserati and two Bentleys. All of them parked up for FREE [poor rich so-and-so’s getting by and just managing to make ends meet with an hour of free parking] so if Mr Browne and co. have a mind to arrange the local finances into a better state of affairs it would be a good idea to make this stretch of free parking into the same Pay&Display arrangement as happens just round the corner by Sainsbury's and at the back of Hoopers.

Those who come to town by car wouldn't appear to me to be financially desperate to have 'free' parking so I'm not sure this oddball idea from our head councillors demonstrates they have any handle on the parking problem infesting our streets.

As Maureen [above] says, it is those without a car who are excluded from our community and town and are the ones in need of financial aid in coming here.

I mean, where's the logic?
Browne says, 'The council faces severe financial pressures – with increased demand for key services and significant cuts in funding.....' - so let's reduce the revenue from parking and somehow get it back from an increased spend in the shops. How does that work then? Does Cheshire East take a share in the profits of all the local businesses and so would then probably benefit if they all took in more revenue[profits]? Doesn't the council only benefit from business rates which surely are fixed and hardly affected by a miniscule change in the cost of leaving a car in town? Anyone care to put me right on that one please?

It would be a better idea to have a flat 50p rate for parking in town from 1800hrs until 0800hrs the next day on Fridays & Saturdays. This would increase income from evening visitors who if the entertainment on offer in town is so good they are going to think it money well spent.


Laurie Atterbury
Friday 17th June 2022 at 7:22 am
If 4 days' free parking can boost businesses and local economies just imagine what a permanent suspension would achieve?
Stuart Redgard
Sunday 19th June 2022 at 10:50 am
Laurie Atterbury

If town-centre car parks were free all year round (ie no restrictions), then all the people who work in the town centre would use them instead of using the free on-street parking in the residential streets adjoining the town centre, which is what currently happens.

In which case, there would be no parking actually available during the day in the town centre car parks for people wanting to use the "shops and restaurants". I suspect that this would have a very significant detrimental effect on the local economy.

Add Your Comment

Share what you think of this story. In order to post a comment click here to sign in or register to become a member (it's free and will only take one minute).