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Tories want to increase income from parking

April 26, 2018 1:49 PM
By Clr Rod Fletcher in Congleton Chronicle

Dear Sir,

In his letter published on 12th April ("Parking charges decided locally") Coun Sam Corcoran challenged me to provide evidence that some Labour councillors had called for the introduction of car parking charges in Alsager and Sandbach.

Comments made by these Labour councillors were reported in the Chronicle on 1st February, 2018.

Labour Coun Nick Mannion reported as saying: "Parking is a hot potato … Charge them what they can afford, make the pips squeak, rather than the motorists getting gauged in Macclesfield ... but you get away with it free in Sandbach." Coun Steve Hogben (a Crewe councillor) supported this view and called for the introduction of car parking charges in Congleton, Sandbach, Alsager, Middlewich, and Holmes Chapel, in the interests of creating a level playing field.

He also believed that charges should be imposed in former Congleton borough towns because Congleton borough did not impose charges, while Macclesfield and Crewe and Nantwich did.

Barry Knapper took this at Cholmondestin: the Royal Scot 46100 taking a rake of coaches on a test run to Chester from Crewe and back.

As I explained in my letter of 4th April, this is not strictly correct since drivers in towns such as, Audlem, Bollington, Handforth, and Prestbury do not pay car parking charges.

Coun Hogben is also reported as saying that parking facilities are often better in towns without car parking charges than those where motorists are required to pay. Has he seen the faded white lines in Fairview car park, Alsager? These comments came about as Conservatives are looking to increase income from car parks over the coming years. Any decisions must not result in reduced footfall in any Cheshire East towns. Also, introduction of parking charges can result in congestion on nearby roads by all-day parkers.

If Coun Corcoran believes that reports in local newspapers are inaccurate, I am prepared to listen to the recordings with him and any other interested person.

Liberal Democrats believe that the current strategy should be adhered to and no changes made without local community engagement. - Yours faithfully,