Updated: Council to consider proposals to change car parking charges

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Updated - 23rd January

Final proposed changes following consultation

Many representations made during the consultation highlighted that a large number of visits by users often take less than one hour. Therefore, paying a tariff for one hour for much shorter visits was unfair. In response, the council proposes to introduce an 'up to 30 minute' tariff band on all short stay car parks (defined as car parks with up to four hours maximum stay) across the borough, which includes:

  • Ryleys Lane (10 designated short stay spaces),
  • South Street, Alderley Edge;
  • The Carrs, Wilmslow; • South Drive (short stay only),
  • The Rex/ Hoopers, Wilmslow.

The final proposals include an up to 30-minute tariff band for these car parks.

Alderley Edge

The only change to the consultation proposals being put forward for Ryleys Lane and South Street car parks is the introduction of the 30-minute tariff band.

For clarity, Ryleys Lane car park is proposed to have 10 designated short stay spaces (up to two hours) with the remaining spaces designated for short and long stay parking. The proposed 30-minute tariff band would only apply to the 10 designated short stay spaces. South Street would be retained as the Free after 3pm car park.

Final proposals for Ryleys Lane and South Street car parks

Ryleys Lane - Short Stay - 10 bays (the row of spaces nearest the park) would be allocated for short stay (i.e., up to two hours).

  • Up to 30 mins
  • Up to 1 hour - £1
  • Up to 2 hours - £1.60

Ryleys Lane Long Stay

  • Up to 1 hour - £1
  • Up to 2 hours - £1.60
  • Up to 3 hours - £2.30
  • Up to 4 hours - £3.30
  • 4-6 hours - £4.40
  • 6-10 hours - £5.20
  • Quarter Permit £228
  • Annual Permit £750

South Street

  • Up to 30 mins - 40p
  • Up to 1 hour - 80p
  • Up to 2 hours - £1.40
  • Up to 3 hours - £2
  • Up to 4 hours - £2.70
  • Quarter Permit £195
  • Annual Permit £620

Handforth

School Road car park

There are no changes to the consultation proposals being put forward for School Road. School Road is proposed as the designated Free after 3pm car park, which would operate Monday to Saturday inclusive.

  • Up to 1 hour - 80p
  • Up to 2 hours - £1.40
  • Up to 3 hours - £2
  • Up to 4 hours - £2.70
  • Up to 6 hours - £3.70
  • Up to 10 hours - £4.30
  • Quarter Permit £195
  • Annual Permit £620

Wilmslow Road car park

Representations cited the need for permits in Wilmslow Road car park. The final proposals enable permits to be purchased. No other changes are proposed at this car park.

  • Up to 1 hour - 60p
  • Up to 2 hours - £1
  • Up to 3 hours - £2.30
  • Up to 4 hours - £3.30
  • Up to 6 hours - £4.40
  • Up to 10 hours - £5.20
  • Quarter Permit £228
  • Annual Permit £750

Handforth Library car park

The council only owns approximately 15 parking spaces. Implementing parking charges on such a small area is likely to encourage greater use of the free section of the car park and surrounding streets. Having considered the feedback, the council proposes to retain Handforth Library car park free of charge.

Wilmslow

The only change to the consultation proposals being put forward for The Carrs and South Drive (short stay only) is to introduce a 30-minute tariff band. No changes to the consultation proposals are being put forward for Broadway Meadow, South Drive (long stay) or Spring Street MSCP. The majority of car parks are proposed to continue operating and charging between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Saturday. The only exception is Spring Street MSCP, which is proposed to continue operating and charging between 7am and 10pm, Monday to Saturday.

The Rex/ Hoopers car park

Representations stated that this car park should remain as a four-hour maximum stay because there are many films that are frequently two-and-a-half to three hours long. If the stay duration was reduced to three hours, there were concerns that the car park would not fully support the cinema and also impact the vitality of other retail outlets. Additionally, the council proposes to introduce a 30-minute tariff band. Therefore, the council proposes to retain The Rex/ Hoopers as a chargeable car park permitting stays of up to four hours on the higher tariff band.

Broadway Meadow

  • Up to 1 hour - 60p
  • Up to 2 hours - £1
  • Up to 3 hours - £1.50
  • Up to 4 hours - £2.10
  • Up to 6 hours - £31 day - £3.40
  • 2 days - £6.80
  • 3 days - £10.20
  • 4 days £13.60
  • 5 days - £17
  • Quarter Permit £163
  • Annual Permit £490

The Carrs - Monday to Friday

  • Up to 30 mins - 30p
  • Up to 1 hour - 60p
  • Up to 2 hours - £1
  • Up to 3 hours - £1.50

The Carrs - Saturday and Bank Holidays

  • Up to 30 mins - 30p
  • Up to 1 hour - 60p
  • Up to 2 hours - £1
  • Up to 3 hours - £1.50
  • Up to 4 hours - £2.10
  • Up to 6 hours - £3
  • Up to 10 hours - £3.40

South Drive - Short Stay

  • Up to 30 mins - 50p
  • Up to 1 hour - £1
  • Up to 2 hours - £1.60
  • Up to 3 hours - £2.30

South Drive - Long Stay

  • Up to 1 hour - £1
  • Up to 2 hours - £1.60
  • Up to 3 hours - £2.30
  • Up to 4 hours - £2.70
  • Up to 6 hours - £3.70
  • Up to 10 hours £4.30
  • Quarter Permit £195
  • Annual Permit £620

Spring Street

  • Up to 1 hour - £1
  • Up to 2 hours - £1.60
  • Up to 3 hours - £2.30
  • Up to 4 hours - £3.30
  • Up to 6 hours - £4.40
  • Up to 15 hours £5.20
  • Quarter Permit £228
  • Annual Permit £750

On-Street Parking Proposals

Changes to limited waiting bays

The council proposed a series of changes to on-street parking restrictions, which primarily proposed to reduce the permitted maximum stay in limited waiting bays to 30 minutes. Changes were proposed to streets in Alderley Edge, Alsager, Bollington, Congleton, Knutsford, Macclesfield, Prestbury, Sandbach and Wilmslow. Representations received from most of these towns raised concerns that the proposed reduction to the permitted maximum stay would be too short and could potentially impact town vitality. It was also noted that the decrease in time would potentially hinder access for those with pushchairs and/ or people with less mobility. The council has taken onboard the feedback provided through the representations and no longer proposes to change the permitted maximum stay, no returns period or operating period in any of the towns.

Waiting Restrictions

Wilmslow

The council proposed to amend waiting restrictions on the Alderley Road service roads in Wilmslow. There were no representations received that related to these changes. The proposed changes are to:

  • Replace the existing single yellow line restriction with a double yellow line restriction on Alderley Road Service Road North, between Green Lane and the Service Road;
  • Introduce double yellow lines on the unrestricted section of road between Parkway and Broadway on Alderley Road Service Road South.

Both measures were proposed to improve road safety at these locations. The council proposes to implement these changes as no representations were received for either proposal.


Original Article published 17th January

Cheshire East Council's highways and transport committee is to consider proposals for parking in the borough which they say seek to provide fair and consistent arrangements (currently 7 towns/villages are subject to pay & display parking whilst 12 towns/villages remain free of charges) and to reduce the costs of operating and maintaining car parks.

The proposals include:

  • Reducing parking charges in some car parks due to their location and usage.
  • Introducing parking charges in most car parks where parking is currently free.
  • Increasing the council's standard parking tariffs by the rate of inflation – this would be the first increase since 2018.

As a result of feedback during the public consultation on proposals for parking arrangements, the council is proposing:

  • To keep its 'free after 3pm' initiative and extend this to specified car parks in towns where the introduction of charges is proposed.
  • To retain free parking at a number of smaller car parks where it is not value for money to introduce pay and display.
  • To withdraw plans to reduce the time limits at on-street parking bays.

Below are the proposals being put forward for Alderley Edge, Handforth and Wilmslow.

Alderley Edge

South Street is a short stay car with 47 spaces, including 2 disabled spaces. The maximum stay is 4 hours and it is free after 3pm.

The existing tariff

  • Up to 1 hour - 50p
  • Up to 2 hours - 90p
  • Up to 3 hours - £1.90
  • Up to 4 hours - £2.20

Proposed Tariff

  • Up to 1 hour - 80p
  • Up to 2 hours - £1.40
  • Up to 3 hours - £2
  • Up to 4 hours - £2.70

Ryleys Lane car park is intended for long stay and has 34 spaces, including 2 disabled ones. It is currently free and the maximum length of stay is 10. Introducing charges in Ryleys Lane (Alderley Edge) aims to encourage turnover of spaces and improved accessibility to the park.

Proposed Tariff

Short Stay - 10 bays (the row of spaces nearest the park) would be allocated for short stay (i.e., up to two hours).

  • Up to 1 hour - £1
  • Up to 2 hours - £1.60

Long Stay

  • Up to 1 hour - £1
  • Up to 2 hours - £1.60
  • Up to 3 hours - £2.30
  • Up to 4 hours - £3.30
  • 4-6 hours - £4.40
  • 6-10 hours - £5.20

Handforth

The Council proposals to introduce parking charges in two of the three carparks. 

Handforth Library is a short stay car with 46 spaces, including 3 disabled spaces. However, Cheshire East Council only control 15 spaces here, the rest belong to the Health Centre, so the Council has decided to keep the parking here free rather than introduce charges as previously proposed.

School Road is a short stay car with 48 spaces, including 1 disabled spaces.

Proposed Tariff

  • Up to 1 hour - 80p
  • Up to 2 hours - £1.40
  • Up to 3 hours - £2Up to 4 hours - £2.70
  • Up to 6 hours - £3.70
  • Up to 10 hours - £4.30

Wilmslow Road is a short stay car with 56 spaces, including 3 disabled spaces.

Proposed Tariff

  • Up to 1 hour - 60p
  • Up to 2 hours - £1
  • Up to 3 hours - £2.30
  • Up to 4 hours - £3.30
  • Up to 6 hours - £4.40
  • Up to 10 hours - £5.20

Wilmslow

Broadway Meadow is a large car park intended for long stay with 272 spaces and 10 disabled spaces. The maximum stay is 5 days.

The existing tariff

  • Up to 1 hour - 60p
  • Up to 2 hours - £1.10
  • Up to 3 hours - £1.80
  • Up to 4 hours - £2.60
  • Up to 6 hours - £3.20
  • Up to 10 hours £5.60
  • 1 day - £5.60
  • 2 days - £11.20
  • 3 days - £16.80
  • 4 days - £22.40
  • 5 days - £28

Proposed Tariff

  • Up to 1 hour - 60p
  • Up to 2 hours - £1
  • Up to 3 hours - £1.50
  • Up to 4 hours - £2.10
  • Up to 6 hours - £3
  • 1 day - £3.40
  • 2 days - £6.80
  • 3 days - £10.20
  • 4 days £13.60
  • 5 days - £17

The Rex is a large car park intended for short stay use with 132 spaces and 4 disabled spaces. It is proposed to reduce the maximum stay to 3 hours. 

The existing tariff

  • Up to 1 hour - 70p
  • Up to 2 hours - £1.10
  • Up to 3 hours - £2.20
  • Up to 4 hours - £3.20
  • Up to 6 hours - £4
  • Up to 10 hours £4.40

Proposed Tariff

  • Up to 1 hour - £1
  • Up to 2 hours - £1.60
  • Up to 3 hours - £2.30

South Drive has two car parks. The majority of spaces are dedicated to short stay parking, however there is a separate, smaller long stay car park.

The short stay car park has 330 spaces and 16 disabled spaces. The maximum stay for the short stay is four hours. Whilst the long stay car park has 45 spaces and no disabled spaces. The max stay is 10 hours.

It is proposed that the short stay area of the car park will be reduced from four hours to three hours. No changes to the length of stay within the long stay area of the car park are proposed.

The existing tariff

  • Up to 1 hour - 70p
  • Up to 2 hours - £1.10
  • Up to 3 hours - £2.20
  • Up to 4 hours - £3.20

Proposed Tariff

  • Up to 1 hour - £1
  • Up to 2 hours - £1.60
  • Up to 3 hours - £2.30
  • Up to 4 hours - £2.70
  • Up to 6 hours - £3.70
  • Up to 10 hours £4.30

Spring Street multi-storey is a large car park intended for long stay use with 236 spaces and 22 spaces for disabled users. The max stay is 15 hours.

The existing tariff

  • Up to 1 hour - 80p
  • Up to 2 hours - £1.20
  • Up to 3 hours - £2.40
  • Up to 4 hours - £3.50
  • Up to 15 hours £5.60

Proposed Tariff

  • Up to 1 hour - £1
  • Up to 2 hours - £1.60
  • Up to 3 hours - £2.30
  • Up to 4 hours - £3.30
  • Up to 6 hours - £4.40
  • Up to 15 hours £5.20

The Carrs is a medium sized car park intended for short stay use for most of the year from Monday to Friday, with a max stay of three hours. On Saturdays and Bank Holidays the car park is long stay with max stay of ten hours. There are 60 spaces with 2 disabled bays.

The existing tariff

  • Up to 2 hours - 30p
  • Up to 3 hours - 60p
  • Up to 5 hours - 90p

Proposed Tariff

  • Up to 1 hour - 60p
  • Up to 2 hours - £1
  • Up to 3 hours - £1.50
  • Up to 4 hours - £2.10
  • Up to 6 hours - £3
  • Up to 10 hours - £3.40

Councillor Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council and chair of its highways and transport committee, said: "I would like to thank all those who took the time to respond to our consultation. We know that residents and businesses in some areas are very concerned about the impact on their local high street of any changes to parking.

"While parking charges are just one potential factor affecting consumer decisions and habits, we have listened and looked again at our proposals, and have been able to put forward some key changes.

"But this council – like many other local councils across the country – is facing increasing financial pressure. This is as a result of factors including construction inflation, high interest rates and costs incurred in petitioning against HS2 to secure the best possible outcomes for communities across the borough.

"Doing nothing and sticking with the same parking regime is not only something that we cannot afford to do but would mean that we continue with the inherited, unfair legacy where some of our residents pay to park in their local town centre, and others do not.

"All car parks – whether they're free to use or not – need maintenance, management, and enforcement and the costs relating to these services have significantly increased and continue to rise.

"The costs associated with the 'free' car parks alone are around £400,000 per year.

"Not making difficult decisions, such as increasing parking charges, means the pressure on the council's finances worsens even further. The result would be a reduction in other services that fall under the highways and transport committee, for example roads maintenance or bus subsidies.

"Fairer charges for parking also help us to deliver the council's own published priorities, including encouraging more people to use sustainable and active modes of transport, especially for shorter journeys."

The council says it recognises the potential of cars being displaced from car parks onto residential streets because of new charges being introduced and, on a town-by-town basis, a set of potential mitigation measures has been prioritised, these will be subject to further consultation with residents and councillors before they are introduced and could include parking zones or bays for residents, time-limited parking bays, or introducing single or double yellow lines.

If approved, the proposals being recommended to committee do not meet the full savings target for the parking review as included in the council's medium-term financial strategy.

Therefore, the report recommends that committee considers a set of supplementary measures, to be implemented in 2024/25, to resolve a budget gap of £800,000, with five measures identified.

The measures, which would be subject to separate statutory public consultation if agreed by committee, include:

  • Extending parking charges to cover evening periods (6pm to 10pm), which could achieve an annual income of £300,000
  • Introducing a Sunday parking charge, which could achieve an income of up to £180,000 per year
  • Revoking the offer of "4 free days" that is currently available to town and parish councils where charges apply would increase annual revenues by £120,000
  • Removing cash payments in all Pay & Display car parks which will reduce operating costs by around £100,000 a year.

The report to committee also recommends changes to the arrangements for staff and member parking permits, as part of the council's corporate travel plan, with consultation to take place at a later stage.

Click here read the full report to the Highways and Transport Committee on Thursday, 25th January.

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Comments

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

Fergus Mckendrick
Wednesday 17th January 2024 at 3:57 pm
Firstly the council introduce a charge to have your green waste collected, now they are increasing parking charges for everyone who parks in Wilmslow. Have they ever thought to look at cost reduction measures, rather than expecting people to pay more?
John Smith
Wednesday 17th January 2024 at 5:06 pm
This is such a needed move, I’m sure all the petrol heads are going to come and say how it’s unfair. The alternative might be to sell the land on to raise capital private companies are charging a lot more than pennies an hour.
Simon Rodrigues
Wednesday 17th January 2024 at 6:21 pm
So Businesses pay rent, give people jobs, pay rates and pay tax and charge Vat. Economy is in disaster and your plans are to increase town parking charges , its no wonder Cheshire East are in financial trouble clearly leaders are not in touch with the real world.
Richard Mason
Thursday 18th January 2024 at 11:51 am
@Simon Rodrigues - an alternative truth.... Central government set a business rate, charge it to commercial operations in Wilmslow, including charging Cheshire East Council for the car parks in the area; central government determine where those business rates are to be distributed such that 70% of the income from Wilmslow is reinvested outside of Wilmslow. Cheshire East Council left to determine how to spend the money that they haven't been given keeping areas such as Wilmslow in the manner to which we would like to be accustomed, so left with some difficult decisions and suggests increasing parking fees to try and generate income.
I wonder if a "Resident Pass" may be an option which gives Wilmslow (or CEC residents) a discount on parking and helps locals whilst still charging visitors.
Alternatively lets vote for Cheshire's independence from Whitehall and see if we can make it work!
Pete Wright
Thursday 18th January 2024 at 3:29 pm
When will the council treat people like adults and stop making clearly false claims that they're increasing parking charges "by the rate of inflation", many of the rises mentioned above are much higher than can be explained away by inflation. Argentinian inflation perhaps, but not British
Gina Thompson
Thursday 18th January 2024 at 4:21 pm
Richard Mason I like your thinking outside the box.
Mark Goldsmith
Friday 19th January 2024 at 7:08 pm
Peter - it is inflationary over the 5 years since car parking charges were last increased.

However, this is an overall average. Some charges are going up, some are staying the same and some like Broadway Meadow are going down (from £5.40 a day to £3.40).

Hopefully this will encourage workers in the town to park there and not on local residential streets,
Pete Wright
Saturday 20th January 2024 at 12:37 pm
Thanks Mark, although I noticed some increases range from over 200 percent (such as some at the Carrs) and 2 hrs in central Wilmslow in the Rex car park, the length of a typical shopping visit perhaps, is about a 50% increase, both obviously well over 5yrs inflation. But as you point out, others are less, including some reductions so overall a mixed bag. However there appears to be a bit of cherry picking going on, targeting more typical parking durations/locations and families with kids, presumably attempting to generate the most extra income at their expense, probably to the detriment of small shops and businesses. Thanks for the reply
Mark Goldsmith
Monday 22nd January 2024 at 9:42 am
Hi Peter

The Proposal figures seems to be the intention at Sept 2023, so do not include the amendments that came out of the consultation eg the Rex / Hooper car park stays at a 4 hour stay, so people can use it when watching a long film at the Rex.

A 30 minute option has also been introduced, so not to deter people popping into town for a few items. The 64 free spaces also remain, for them too.

Therefore, please do not take the figures here as gospel. For example

The Carrs (Monday to Friday)
30 mins = £0.30
1 hour = £0.60
2 hours = £1.00
3 hours = £1.50

The final proposal is here: https://moderngov.cheshireeast.gov.uk/ecminutes/documents/g9854/Public%20reports%20pack%2025th-Jan-2024%2010.30%20Highways%20and%20Transport%20Committee.pdf?T=10

The principle of this change is to make the pricing system fair across Cheshire East, to encourage more people to use our car parks, vary pricing based on the convenience of the car park and to raise the overall revenue in line with inflation.

We also benchmarked our car parking fees vs other local authorities nearby and they change around £3 per hour for their town centre car parks. It is clearly not our intention to charge this sort of level as we want to ensure our local businesses can thrive. The landlords say their occupancy is Wilmslow good, with new tenants lined up for most of the empty properties in the town.
Robert Taylor
Wednesday 24th January 2024 at 3:55 pm
Some of these rates seem very lean to me and counteractive to minimising car use/congestiong for in-commuting to Wilmslow but then we usually walk so never had to pay for parking.
Pete Taylor
Tuesday 30th January 2024 at 6:14 am
None of the above applies to big black SUVs of course. They will continue to park on pavements and yellow lines; because they can.

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