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Council U-turn on Ashton parking promise
Thursday 6th April 2017 @ 11:36 by Lee Wild
Ashton News

Tameside Council have made a dramatic U-turn on their plans for on-street parking in the Centre of Ashton.

Last March notices appeared on lampposts informing people of plans to change how on street parking works in the town.

It proposed that payments would be made via mobile phones and would cost £5 for over an hours parking.

The plans were defeated 5-4 in a narrow vote at a Speakers planning at Dukinfield Town Hall in June.

However less than a year on from that defeat the council have again given notice of their intention to implement the charges.

Shop owners outside Dukinfield Town Hall last year.

Business owners came together last year to fight the proposals, saying it would severely impact their businesses and criticised the council for not giving them long enough to organise a response.

Amongst the main complaints were the expensive pricing and the need for mobile phones which could leave those who do not have one without the ability to park.

The Church of the Nazarene is on Stamford Street Central and would be affected by the proposals. Their minister Carl McCann says he angered by Tameside Council:

“It’s fascinating how the council think’s it can ignore the will of the people on this.

“I’m quite outraged because I devoted many hours to fighting this. A lot of people took time off work to collect petitions and to go to a public consultation to engage with the democratic process.

“It feels insulting to find out I’m going to have to fight that battle every year.

“It’s like they’re trying to wear us down to pass this.”

The list of streets affected by the plans includes some of the main shopping stretches in Ashton such as Stamford Street Central, Wellington Street and Penny Meadow.

A map of the affected streets

In a statement Tameside Council said that the changes were as a result of feedback from traders and shoppers, they said: “Our parking proposal for Ashton town centre comes in response to feedback from traders and shoppers. Valuable on-street parking spaces are clogged by people who leave their cars for long periods but do not use any of the businesses.

“Shoppers want convenient, central, short-stay provision, so spaces have to be priced to encourage frequent turnover to benefit them and the retailers. Workers or shoppers, who want to park for longer, at a lower cost, can do so in any of the town centre car parks.

“The spaces that would be affected by these changes form only a small proportion (less than 6%) of over 2,000 available in Ashton and our car park charges are among the most competitive in Greater Manchester. We want to improve the parking offer in the town centre by ensuring there is a mix of parking options, introducing the most up to date technology with options that suit all needs, for both traders and shoppers alike.

“These proposals will have no impact on Blue Badge Holders and income from the scheme will be re-invested into the town centre to support pedestrianisation and the safety of visitors.”

The council are welcoming feedback on the changes until May 4, 2017. You can let them know your thought by e-mailing “[email protected]