Tameside Council’s free parking offer slammed

TAMESIDE Council’s free parking scheme in the run-up to Christmas has been received like a paltry present that should have arrived months ago.

Put simply, to many people it is seen as too little, too late.

Confusion also reigns over where exactly the initiative, on Saturday and Sunday, December 16 and 17 and 23 and 24, applies.

According to the authority, it is at short stay facilities in Ashton-under-Lyne – at Camp Street, Church Street, Henrietta Street, Old Cross Street and Water Street – in Denton at Queen Street, Clarendon Street in Hyde and Castle Street in Stalybridge.

That leaves out Audenshaw, Droylsden, Dukinfield, Longdendale and Mossley.

However, the Labour Party group there, representing Cllrs Stephen and Jack Homer, as well as the current Civic Mayor, Cllr Tafheen Sharif, claimed: “All short stay Tameside Council operated car parks will offer free parking for the next two weekends.”

And the offer has not exactly been warmly welcomed by members of the public.

One said: “Are we really supposed to be thankful after they have disgracefully more than doubled parking charges?”

Another added: “What about during the week? Does it not matter? Don’t people shop then?”

A third said: “We said you were wrong regarding car parking and you thought otherwise. Two weeks isn’t going to plug any hole is it now?”

Offers in nearby Stockport, Oldham and Wigan Councils, with neighbours Oldham offering free parking every Sunday and charging only £1 on a Saturday, were also highlighted.

Mill Street car park once new parking changes came into force. A car park that is usually full (image taken at 2:30pm)

Tameside Council’s decision to raise car park charges, with all-day stays at short stay ones going up by more than 400 per cent, were met with almost unanimous derision.

A report to its executive cabinet claimed: “The review of town centre rates is intended to create a ‘shoppers’ charter’ encouraging short stay use, providing a reasonable charge for 1-3 hours, ensuring customer turnover, increasing space availability for the most sought-after spaces and discouraging long stay use in the most convenient car parks for shops and businesses.

“Car parks provide a critical infrastructure for residents and businesses in the borough.

“They should be safe, well-maintained, easy to use, accessible and convenient to both facilities and transport links.”

On this latest offer, Councillor Jan Jackson – Tameside Council’s executive member for planning, transport and connectivity – said: “We know this is a busy time for retailers and residents alike, so we are suspending car parking charges to offer free car parking for the next two weekends to help boost Christmas shopping further in the run up to Christmas.

“Festive events have been helping boost footfall across our town centres over the last few weeks and hopefully this will provide a further opportunity to support more local businesses.”

3 Replies to “Tameside Council’s free parking offer slammed”

  1. Unfortunately this shameful council, have not bothered to put notices on the carpark boards to let people know that they are free on these weekends.
    Thus hoping the public pay, which a few had done on clarendon Street carpark in hyde.

    1. Richard
      Parked in wimpole street car park on Saturday 16th believing it to be free only to return to find a ticket in my car ,rang the council on Monday morning ,to find there response a case of unlucky absolutely disgusting,.I will be paying the ticket but ashton will not be seeing me or any of my business again ever.

  2. Nothing to say which car parks are free,
    My son got a ticket last Saturday 16th in Wimpole st car park genuinely thinking it was free,it wasn’t ,absolutely appalling and he won’t be shopping in Ashton again.

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