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Pay To Park Plans Come Under Fire
Friday 18th March 2016 @ 13:42 by Lee Wild
Ashton News

Parking in Ashton town centre could be about to get a lot more expensive, under plans announced by the council.

They’re set to introduce a ‘Cashless Mobile Telephone Parking System’ where people will pay for on-street parking using their mobile phones.

Pricing is set at £1 for up to half an hour, £2 for up to 1 hour and £5 for over one hour on streets throughout the town centre.

Some of the most popular shopping streets such as Stamford Street, Fleet Street and Wellington Street will be affected by the changes.

The news has been met with fierce opposition by those set to be affected by the new system.
Carl McCann is minister at the Ashton-under-Lyne Church of the Nazarene on Stamford Street, where the new parking measures are set to take effect.

He said: “From our perspective that is going to desecrate what we’re doing in the town centre. As a church we’ve made a conscious decision to remain in the town centre, not to move to a housing estate.
“We want to be at the heart of the Tameside community. We want to be doing things that are accessible to everybody and Ashton town centre is that location.

“If we’ve got a volunteer that’s going to come and help in our parent and toddler group on Friday morning, they’re giving up their time free of charge to try and benefit young mums and young families, who can often feel quite isolated and then all of a sudden they find they’re going to have to pay £5 for the privilege of investing in their local community, why would you volunteer?”

To fight the proposals, Carl has set up a petition against the introduction of the charges which can be signed at the church.

A Spokesperson for Tameside Council said: “The first thing to bear in mind is that the parking proposals are only at the consultation stage. No decisions have been made.

“If they are implemented they will bring Ashton into line with other towns and sit alongside some of the cheapest parking rates in Greater Manchester. It’s possible to park all day in Ashton for only £2.
“We do not believe people will be forced to go to out-of-town retail parks because the majority of Ashton shoppers walk or use public transport. Also, we are constantly working with the town team to expand and improve what the town centre has to offer.

“Charges would prevent the streets being clogged by ensuring a steady turnover of spaces.”

Anyone who wants to sign the petition can do so at the Church of the Nazarene at 230 Stamford Street, OL6 7LJ. The church is open 7 days a week. Alternatively you can contact Carl directly on 07979904044.