Ashton parking change plans quashed
Thursday 2nd June 2016 @ 15:09 by Adam Higgins
Dukinfield News

Plans to change on-street parking in Ashton were defeated in a vote at the Speaker’s Panel on Planning at Dukinfield Town Hall last Thursday.

The proposal was defeated by a slim 5-4 majority, however many councillors chose to abstain from voting.

The room was packed with local business owners who objected to the proposed scheme which
would see cars on some of the main roads in Ashton town centre charged £5 for more than one hour’s parking.

The plan also included a cashless payment system via mobile telephone, which many said would leave older people, or those without mobile phones, unable to park on-street in Ashton town centre.

Notices were placed on lampposts around the affected zones in March, but local businesses said that this did not give adequate time for them to argue the case.

The Rev Carl McCann is minister at the Ashton Church of the Nazarene, located on Stamford Street, one of the proposed sites for changing the parking system.

He organised a petition that gathered 1,500 signatures within two weeks, opposing the changes.

He said: “One hour of free parking is a helpful incentive to draw people into Ashton town centre.

“Since its introduction two years ago areas like Stamford Street have seen the beginnings of a recovery start to emerge. Charging £5 for over an hour of parking is excessively high, especially for an eastern suburb market town with negative rating on almost all indices of deprivation and poverty.”

Naveed Butt was representing the Allegiance of Small Businesses of Ashton and Tameside.

He said: “Some (businesses) had not even heard of the whole situation. They didn’t know it was coming into practice or what it was about.

“Most if not all were absolutely in disgust, there was nobody for it.”

Ashton MP Angela Rayner welcomed the decision too, saying it was ‘a victory for common sense.’

Angela said: “I am relieved that the council has listened to the hundreds of people who had objected to these proposals, which were not properly thought through and risked deterring people from visiting Ashton town centre.”

She had written to the council to object to the proposals.

 

By Lee Wild