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City Centre Fumes About Car Parking Changes

We asked key businesses for their reaction to the extension of car parking regs from 8am-8pm seven days a week

Published on July 4th 2011.


City Centre Fumes About Car Parking Changes

 

UPDATE

Confidential will be interviewing the city councillor, Cllr Nigel Murphy, in charge of parking this Thursday (7 July). If you have questions put them in the rants below.

After the council's recent decision to increase on-street car parking charges and extend the hours when these would apply - from 8am-8pm, seven days a week - we fished around for reaction from businesses directly affected by changes.

"The proposals are terrible and stupid and will keep away trade. The parking situation is already bad enough."

At the same time as Manchester was proposing the extensions, Leeds was reducing the regulation of city centre on-street parking (click here). Also, the justification for these changes is not the recent government cuts imposed on local authorities but the need to ease traffic flows and increase the circulation of people through the city.

The reactions we found were strong and impassioned.

By the way, our picture shows empty bays on Booth Street and Tib Lane close to the main retail area at 12.20 on Saturday. The picture punctures the notion that the city centre is so filled with on-street parkers that they need further regulation.

The Reaction 

"The High Street is in trouble nationally and they these sorts of measures are exactly the type of short-sighted thinking driving people to the Trafford Centre. If the council can’t see this, they’re fucking stupid. They’ll help drive businesses across Town into bankruptcy and then there’ll be less rates coming in. So what will they do – raise the parking fees. And so it goes on. The early week, early evening economy is important for many operators in the city. This hits the pre-theatre trade directly, and is targeted to do so.  If it were just about government cuts then you may have a tiny degree of sympathy but still feel this was attacking the wrong target, but to say it’s to ease traffic flows is just bollocks." 
Tim Bacon, Living Ventures

 

Dubowitz 102 

“We are aware of the forthcoming changes to parking charges in the city centre, and will be watching to see what – if any – effect it has on our patrons. A large number of our theatregoers use public transport or park in the nearby NCP car parks that we have a discounted parking deal with. However we know that some do take advantage of the free on-street parking and these changes will likely to be a disappointment to them. Anything that could have implications on the numbers of people coming into the city is a concern and one that we will be monitoring closely once the changes come into effect.” Spokesperson for the Palace Theatre and Opera House 

"People coming into town, especially on a Sunday, like the convenience of on-street parking. We're not sure if it will affect us yet...time will tell. A lot of our customers like parking on the street outside the restaurant, especially after 6pm. It doesn't matter that there's a multi-story nearby, and that's the same for a lot of restaurants. Points made about handing over adventage to the Trafford Centre are probably right. In the past year, the city centre has grown and brought more people in. I think the
parking charges might hand advantage back to the Trafford Centre." Marcelo Di Stefano of San Carlo and Cicchetti

“The proposals are terrible and stupid and will keep away trade. The parking situation is already bad enough, people have to arrive early on a Sunday to get a space. People will go elsewhere and the restaurants and other businesses are being squeezed like lemon.” Ettore Cicchetti of Piccolino 

“Proposals are shocking and particularly bad in current economic climate.  At the moment parking is free after 6pm and therefore encourages new custom and people who may not usually come into the city. Free parking on Sundays currently creates a buzzing hive of activity up here but changes will threaten the thriving Sunday trade that has been built up. It’s a red carpet for places like the Trafford Centre. And what about Chinatown on Sunday? This is the day when families normally come to visit; that will be jeopardised. As for the argument that the charges will help clear congestion, are they joking. There is no problem with this especially on Sunday.” Nicky Rybka-Goldsmith, Thomas Restaurant and The Bay Horse

“Depressed as ever by the retrograde proposals. They are sad and depressing and not surprising. By adding Sunday charges the council will jeopardise one of the best days of the week - the freedom to park is one of the main reasons people come into town on a Sunday. Manchester is very car unfriendly. If this were about the council’s cuts and real people’s jobs were being protected by this, fair enough. But to make traffic flows better.....I can’t see any way in which it isn’t negative for businesses. We have a Sam’s in Leeds and people can easily park outside it and not get a fine for returning one minute late. In parking, Leeds is clearly a much more progressive place. Roger Ward, Sam’s Chop House

Stephen Miles, of the Radisson Edwardian hotel, didn't think the changes would have any affect on his business. Meanwhile seven businesses who didn't want to be named including shops and galleries all thought they were, to quote one of them, "Bad for the city." A main theatre that also didn't want to be quoted said, "it was making a bad situation worse."

There is still time for a reversal of these changes and for the city council to see sense. Confidential thinks it would be the noble thing to do - especially if as stated the changes have nothing to do with cuts but all to do with traffic flows.

Politicians must make difficult decisions from time to time. And you have to respect them when they have the guts to take an action they know will be unpopular.

But here a massive majority of people who actually employ people, pay rents and rates in the city centre, are against the car parking changes. These aren't stupid people blindly hating all car parking fees, none of them would ask for free car parking every hour of every day, but they know the footfall in the businesses, they know what affects custom.

To Confidential and to everybody we meet (more or less), squeezing the success of an unsteady city centre seems perverse - especially on grounds of better traffic movement. 

The council's report reads: 'The reason for making the proposed changes is to reduce city centre congestion making it easier for shoppers and visitors to find a short-stay, onstreet parking place close to their destination. Generation of revenue is not the reason for introducing the price rise.'

Nobody sees the need to make it 'easier' in this way for shoppers and other visitors to visit Manchester. There's being brave and unpopular - and thwen there's being at bit daft.


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162 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousJuly 4th 2011.

Oh, the council seem to have forgotten about residents that don't have parking spaces in their buildings & have to rely on, on street parking. To echo Tim Bacon, the council are "fucking stupid".
Private parking is ridiculously expensive too, the day rate at First Street went up £2/£3s in a matter of weeks.

buckoboyJuly 4th 2011.

Absolutely fucking stupid! Yet another way for our council to shaft the general public. It will undoubtable drive people to the TC and it will cause businesses in the city to struggle. It begs the questions: are the people who make these stupid decisions in touch with reality? Can they not see what they are doing by making it even more awkward to park in this city. This city is fast becoming an enemy to its inhabitants, I doubt many Mancunians actually have any respect for our council!

1 Response: Reply To This...
Hero
John NuttallJuly 4th 2011.

Of course they're not in touch with reality, they have their own private parking. Some animals are more equal than others

AnonymousJuly 4th 2011.

I doubt the Council will listen and do anything about it. They'll not read this & take on board people's comments at all. They don't give a shit.

Nigel DempsterJuly 4th 2011.

Have any of you ever been to London?

4 Responses: Reply To This...
JABJuly 4th 2011.

What does that have to do with it? Londoners get the extra wage to reflect their cost of living! Idiot.

AnonymousJuly 4th 2011.

Yes you can get all the way across the city on a bus for £1.30p and they have a fabulous underground tube network to get you around on. No need for a car. It's great. Unlike Manchester....!

Ian BlakesleyJuly 4th 2011.

Yes thanks, the best way to get there is probably on Virgin trains a really good and regular service nowadays.

Ian BlakesleyJuly 4th 2011.

MCC councillors take a short trip up to the beautiful lake District, Keswick to be precise, go out of season and you will find a ghost town. Shops are closing down, vistor numbers are dropping and the town is dying (sadly) on its feet. The link to Manchester, well do not be late back to your car on the car park - charged all year long 24/7, no on street parking.....

Jane BaxterJuly 4th 2011.

I don't believe for one minute it is about reducing congestion. That argument is nonsense and the council are insulting our intelligence by trying to use it. It's about getting more cash out of us as always.

NQ ResidentJuly 4th 2011.

They are clearly fucking stupid - Leeds in my opinion is almost Manchester's sister city, very similar for nightlife (better I might add depending what you are into), shopping, business etc - those people that don't have ties to Manchester and simply want to work in a bustling northern city will probably relocate.

People from the suburbs who want a day out shopping will probably consider Leeds instead of Manchester (a lot of people hate the trafford centre - myself included).

New businesses / restaurants etc initially geared for Manchester will probably opt for Leeds instead.

This short sighted money grabbing approach from our witches council will no doubt generate a much bigger detriment to our city than they have the mental capacity to appreciate.

I don't even have a car so it doesn't affect me now but as I can't afford to buy a space I could have relied on street parking after 6pm.. now people will have to cruise around town until 8pm, increasing congestion and polution.

Manchester is supposed to be moving forwards? London will always look down their nose at us because of stupid decisions like this.

IDIOTS!

Pete RansomJuly 4th 2011.

"People from the suburbs who want a day out shopping will probably consider Leeds instead of Manchester (a lot of people hate the trafford centre - myself included)."

A bit extreme... You'd do a 70 mile round trip and spend £15 on petrol to avoid paying £6 in the NCP for a few hours?

1 Response: Reply To This...
NQ ResidentJuly 4th 2011.

Sorry I should have stated people from the suburbs that are close to both cities - I live in town and don't drive so it doesn't affect me directly, I just can't let stupidity fly by without saying something.

City Centre ResidentJuly 4th 2011.

I dont have a car myself but all of my family and friends do. The current charging system allowed for them to visit me in the evenings and Sunday and not have to pay for the privilage. This will throw a huge spanner in the works!!! Manchester has one of the countries and Europes largest city centre populations and this decision will only isolate them.

In addition city centre owners/renters pay a fare chunk in council tax and get pretty much sod all for it. Most things that those in the suberbs take for granted we have to pay for on top. This is just another example.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 4th 2011.

Maybe Manchester has a large city centre population in comparison to other UK cities but most European cities and large towns have massive city centre living, much greater than that of Manchester. We simply cannot get it right in this country. Whilst folk move to the city to take advantage of facilities and for the convenience, eventually they get fed-up and move back to the suburbs or the countryside. Anyway,that's beside the point - the city Council are still short-sighted arses

Lee CarrollJuly 4th 2011.

An absolute joke - the only other option for us to get in to town from Sale is on the Met - unfortunately however they also seem incapable of getting their act together and only offer the most ridiculous bus replacement service as compensation, that takes an extrodinarily long amount of time to commute in. Without the free parking on a Sunday we'll be avoiding Manchester of a weekend altogether! What a shame.

AnonymousJuly 4th 2011.

I got stung by this today, had to drive my Mums car back to Manchester late last night, popped out with luckily, £3 coins in my pocket to pay for 1 hour to parking at 8am on an empty side street by my home, got 20p out of the car for the £2.20p charge, only to find the prices have been implemented already, I didn't have a 50p piece and the machines won't give change, so to park for that 1 hour while I got ready for work it cost me £3 as I had to put the 3 coins in to cover the hour!!! It then cost me £1.70 to get the bus back from parking my car at my friends place in Moss side who has a gated car park, it's 1 mile away, so nearly a fiver this morning just for that. THANKS A MILLION MANCHESTER COUNCIL. You really do suck :-(

PaulJuly 4th 2011.

I'm really happy about the decision to increase parking charges. I live in the city centre and am sick of all the cars. Some people should learn that the car is not the answer to all transport questions. Get on yer bike.

7 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 4th 2011.

muppet!!! tell that to my Mum who stuggles to walk, next time she's coming to visit me!!!

PaulJuly 4th 2011.

There are plenty of spaces for blue badge holders.

PHILJuly 4th 2011.

Pillock!
Dont cross my path on your poxy bike or I'll stick my walking stick in your spokes and you can park your arse on
the road .

AnonymousJuly 4th 2011.

"I live in the city centre and I am sick of all the cars"

Priceless!!!!!!!

PHILJuly 4th 2011.

P.S. You don't work for MCC by any chance ?

PaulJuly 4th 2011.

Go to mainland Europe and see how proper world class cities manage to avoid encouraging car usage. They do really strange things there like Cycle, walk and get trains/trams. It is your comments that would be priceless there. Looking forward to the next petrol duty rise....

AnonymousJuly 4th 2011.

I agree with Paul! I also live in town and Im sick of cars blocking pavements next to my apartment! Ban all the cars from town!

BlondeJuly 4th 2011.

I agree with everything that's been said about the impact on restaurants, shops and entertainment - great move MCC !!
In addidtion, there are those city centre residents drawn in by the apartment boom... who have been left high and dry by the very councillors who are supposed to represent them - a great move for democracy !
I moved out of the City Centre last week, in part, because of this. I couldn't get an allocated parking spot near to my rented flat so relied on on-street parking. This was ideal as I generally left for work (outside the city centre) before 8am and didn't return before 6pm. I accepted I had to pay for a Saturday (or go out for the day in the car) and had Sunday free to lie in.
Changing this to 7am - 7pm workdays would have been a huge ball ache as I'd have to go out and put a ticket on for an hour in the morning, and probably an hour when I got back. And Sunday would be an unecessary additional tax to my recession squeezed wallet.
So I left the city centre after almost two years. Along with my rent. My council tax. My twice-weekly restaurant habit. My Sainsburys loyalty card. My daily Starbucks. My Saturday shop-athon...
And I've moved to Urmston, where I can spend all my money at the Trafford Centre instead and park on any road I choose, for free. I reckon I'm not the only one...
Well done Manchester City Council, very well done.

AnonymousJuly 4th 2011.

ps - friends and family are all gutted about this new parking costs, how can anyone now afford to come and visit me if they have to pay prices like that to park their car outside my flat and move it every 2 hours to a new spot as well to avoid a ticket for "meter feeding' which I received last week because apparently "I didn't reverse the car by 1 parking space" so for that crime, even though I paid all the parking meter fees, I was being punished to the sum of £25 as well! Utter JOKE!!!!!! I actually am looking forward to moving out of this city and somewhere that isn't just looking to squeeze every single last penny out of me when I'm already broke and in debt :-(

JenwanJuly 4th 2011.

@Nigel, if you are suggesting that the measures introduced in Manchester are nothing compared to Central London and it's congestion charge etc there is one major difference and that is that they have a much better public transport network. If we had better public transport here perhaps the lack of free city centre parking wouldn't be as much of an issue. I get the bus to work because the local car parks are very expensive, however leave your car on the road near my office (which is next to the 5* Lowry Hotel, incidentally) and you're lucky to have all your windows intact by the end of the day. Perhaps the parking measures, as with the horrendous disruption on the A6 Chapel Street, are to encourage more people to use public transport but the plan is fundamentally flawed, and that is the actual transport is not adequate. Buses are irregular and overcrowded so it's no wonder people prefer to drive into the City Centre.

BazzaJuly 4th 2011.

Lee this quote brilliant: 'I'm really happy about the decision to increase parking charges. I live in the city centre and am sick of all the cars.' In that case go in live on a small island in 1821

3 Responses: Reply To This...
PaulJuly 4th 2011.

Nope, happy here with a little less traffic. In fact, I would love the council to put in some more bike racks around town. That would be great.

webUrchinJuly 4th 2011.

Yes, install a few more bike racks around town. Then charge for them between 8am and 8pm every day.

AnonymousJuly 4th 2011.

well, maybe you should move to a town on the edge of motorway

Margaret LittlewoodJuly 4th 2011.

Absolutely pathetic excuses as usual,watch and see how empty the shops and restaurants will become on sundays,people will go elsewhere to avoid these charges

funboi123July 4th 2011.

To be fair, Im pretty tight when it comes to parking, but in the grand scheme of things, its only an extra 40p per hour??? If it goes somewhere into the councils coffers and stops council tax going up... well, Im not saying its a good thing, but as a consumer, its not catastrofic, and it wont stop me parking on street.

If I was NCP or similar, I would act now, and use this as the perfect opportunity to lower my charges to match or undercut on street parking, because, again, as a consumer, I'd much rather park in a car park and pay as I go, than run the stress of constant clock watching incase my ticket runs out on street.

Now before you all go mental at me, Im completely with the quote of Tim Bacon on the Sunday and extension 8am-8pm "fucking stupid".

1 Response: Reply To This...
Jill JillianJuly 18th 2011.

ncp won't do that they and jc deacux have the council in there pockets ,who do you think runs the cctv in the town ncp there not watching for muggers but illegal parkers £35.00 every time

JABJuly 4th 2011.

Anyone else noticed that work has begun on the council's own car park under central library? And who pays for that? Cheeky [insert expletive]!

Simon SmithJuly 4th 2011.

'People from the suburbs who want a day out shopping will probably consider Leeds instead of Manchester (a lot of people hate the trafford centre - myself included).'

Those who have lots of spare time and cars which run on fresh air might, not busy people with petrol cars. At £1.35 a litre a round trip to Leeds is going to cost a lot more than parking in Manchester, and take much longer.

The parking charges will only affect car owners, who obviously have the money to buy and run a car, and people who choose to spend money in the city centre, which is not a cheap area for shopping or anything else. They won't affect anyone who can't afford to pay them.

We should congratulate the council for taking cash from those who have high levels of disposable income, so minimising the cuts it needs to make to services for everyone.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
PaulJuly 4th 2011.

'People from the suburbs who want a day out shopping will probably consider Leeds instead of Manchester (a lot of people hate the trafford centre - myself included).'

Those who have lots of spare time and cars which run on fresh air might, not busy people with petrol cars. At £1.35 a litre a round trip to Leeds is going to cost a lot more than parking in Manchester, and take much longer.

The parking charges will only affect car owners, who obviously have the money to buy and run a car, and people who choose to spend money in the city centre, which is not a cheap area for shopping or anything else. They won't affect anyone who can't afford to pay them.

We should congratulate the council for taking cash from those who have high levels of disposable income, so minimising the cuts it needs to make to services for everyone.

PaulJuly 4th 2011.

Couldn't they just jump on the train like many other people do?

AnonymousJuly 4th 2011.

I can't afford a car and I'm suffering as a result of this by becoming a burden for friends and family to come and visit :( I don't particularly want a car and I understand some of the need to keep congestion down at peak times, but just because someone has a car doesn't mean they have high levels of disposable income and should be stung like they deserve it almost, they probably have less because of the high costs of running a car but some people simply need them, my folks are old and it's expensive and very hard work getting a train to visit me from where they live, they struggle walking too far. I don't have a car but I have chosen to live in Manchester city centre for work and walk most places, because I can but now if my Mum and Dad want to come and see me and stay one weekend, Sat-Sun not only will it cost them the extortionately high price of petrol to get here and back but they will now have to fork out around £25 combination of on street/ncp parking to see me. It's extremely unfair in a lot of cases but with an attitude like yours you should probably work for Manchester Council.

AnonymousJuly 4th 2011.

I don't like using multi story carparks in the evening - not just because of the expense but because I find them intimidating, badly lit and generally off putting. Because I am likely to be on my own I feel that I would be stupid to risk my own safety by using them. The 6-8pm restrictions will make a big difference if I want to go into the city for the evening as safe public transport is unavailable to get me home later so I will be facing car parking charges or a very expensive taxi fare at the end of the night, both of which are likely to mean that I just don't go into the city centre as often as I do at present.

Peter ReganJuly 4th 2011.

I have had a business on Deansgate with pay and display parking outside of the door for 10 years. For the first couple of years very few of the parking spaces were used. Then from about 2004 until the start of this year you couldn't get a space for love nor money. Since then we're back to almost no spaces being used, A few months ago I saw a council worker with a clipboard counting the cars using the spaces prior to 6:00pm and the after. Soon afterwards it was announced that the parking charges and times were being reviewed. Call me a skeptic, but why would the council want to assess the level of parking usage around the cut off point if this proposal had anything to do with congestion? This is just a cynical attempt to fleece motorists which is riddled with lies from the council spokespeople. There is no need to reduce traffic flow into the city centre, the cost of petrol has already reduced the traffic so much that I can get to work at least 30 minutes earlier. If the council want to do something constructive then why don't they designate all of the unused parking bays on the extremities of th city as 10 hour pay and display, then people who work in town could use them freeing up lots more space in the centre and achieving the council's stated aim.
Peter Regan

CBJuly 4th 2011.

Peter. If I was a Councillor and I was about to change the parking times and charges to improve congestion then I'd definitely want to know how full or otherwise the parking situation was? So send someone to count.

Doesn't that make sense?

If they didn't know when and at what times peoples were parking then there would be no basis for the changes...

Re: your second point - How would enabling people to park for all day on-street improve on-street capacity generally?

CBJuly 4th 2011.

I'm OK with the charge changes here. I think the extension to the charging times is a risky one though - especially at this current time.

One thing I'm struggling to get my head round though is that:
- Saturday and Sunday are both equally busy days
- Saturday you can find a parking space on-street, but Sunday you can't.

but both day's are still just as busy in my experience?

Bored with thisJuly 4th 2011.

All talk no action. Where's the petition like last time?

1 Response: Reply To This...
don't waste your timeJuly 4th 2011.

it's all been democratically rigged and decided already...

AncoatsJuly 4th 2011.

There is a large percentage of city centre residents who want to live in the city but refuse to make adequate provisions for their cars i.e buy or rent a space – thinking, as per blonde below, that the city should be just like Urmston – now that modern utopia for brand namedroppers who publicly boast about eating at restaurants twice weekly! Will the savings enable you to join the reified air of the thrice weekly dinner? On your way back from star bucks worship in the Trafford centre you can stop by the M60 and gently breathe in all the fumes.

These residents then block out visitors and shoppers from spaces. Traffic creates pollution and much noise that degrades the city centre shopping experience especially if that is a drink at an outside table. Is there really still a culture that people expect to get a park INFRONT of their favourite restaurants. Is this 1930s Las Vegas? As for the Manchester’s ever expanding, improving public transport being rubbish? Code for ‘too rubbish for the likes of me’. Same people were too good to visit the centre 30 years ago for the same reason... snobbery.

Manchester has often had a massive traffic issue especially when there were still warehouses etc operating in the city. The pics are on the wall of lots of the pubs that many were all too happy to price the original locals out of over the last 10 years - showing rammed streets – the city does need to work to ensure this does not snare up again – take a look next time you are bitching how hard this has made your life over £5 beer.

The solutions is already here. Parking buildings and yards have sprung up in places like Ancoats that charge as low as £1.50 per day. As demand for cheap parking increases this will drive more disused sights and developers to respond to the market. More completion means better deals. People may have to walk a little bit. However that will mean they will be less of a health burden on the NHS and will buy sensible shoes that didn’t cost £500 and the life of one Vietnamese teenager. The money can then be spent on parking while keeping the streets workable OR on a charity for the homeless.

Yes by walking a little in the city people may become more engaged with the city. They could use the lovely increasingly gardened canal ways for access, take note of the public art and spaces, mingle with other human beings and even become aware that there are many who have much bigger issues they need help with other than £3parking fees. they could be motivated to use their hard won democratic rights to focus their energy on society’s bigger issues.

If people really see this as the worst thing to hit Manchester since the Luftwaffe maybe they lack a soul and the Trafford centre really is best place for them.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 4th 2011.

Are you in the same city as everyone else on here???????

BJuly 4th 2011.

this comment hits the mark. City centre should be for people not for cars!

If you want to move everywhere in your own car pay for it! a few more pennies won't break the bank! or use public transport or a bike! Walking would be beneficial for some suburban car owners too!

Simon SmithJuly 4th 2011.

Why is it the moderate parking charges that are the straw that breaks the camel's back?

These people will be visiting the shops, restaurants and bars, usually spending lots of money on discretionary purchases rather than the necessities of life money and yet we are expected to believe they are put off by a paltry few quid of parking charges?

It seems unlikely.

Motorists are selfish and vain bunch. They'll shell out hundreds of quid for pointless stuff like alloy wheels and metallic paint when they buy their beloved cars but if anyone asks them for a small parking payment they start their familiar complaining.

There is always free parking at Lidl and Asda, and anyone who needs to save a few quid should be thinking about shopping at such places rather than the city centre.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 4th 2011.

Why is it the moderate parking charges that are the straw that breaks the camel's back?

These people will be visiting the shops, restaurants and bars, usually spending lots of money on discretionary purchases rather than the necessities of life money and yet we are expected to believe they are put off by a paltry few quid of parking charges?

It seems unlikely.

Motorists are selfish and vain bunch. They'll shell out hundreds of quid for pointless stuff like alloy wheels and metallic paint when they buy their beloved cars but if anyone asks them for a small parking payment they start their familiar complaining.

There is always free parking at Lidl and Asda, and anyone who needs to save a few quid should be thinking about shopping at such places rather than the city centre.

Northern LassJuly 4th 2011.

@ Blonde
Sooo good the streets of Manchester are finally clearing - good luck with you shopping and general life in Urmston!

I am encouraged to stay in the city because of the pro-pedestrian and pro-public transport policies of MCC. My vote is equal to yours, even if my carbon footprint is less!

1 Response: Reply To This...
BlondeJuly 19th 2011.

Indeed, all votes are equal and I don't deny anyone else their view. In fact that is exactly why I posted on here in the first place. democracy is only demoncracy if we exercise it and use our voice.
I was simply explaining my own situation as an example and hoped that in doing so it would encourage an explanation from the council to whom we all pay our council tax...

Cars are more important than peopleJuly 4th 2011.

Is this really the most pressing thing for you all to get hot under the collar about?

1 Response: Reply To This...
more betterJuly 4th 2011.

Where did you get the most pressing from?

City with cars= New York.
City without cars=Pyongyang.

You choose.

AnonymousJuly 5th 2011.

Untill Manchester has a good robust public transport system, which I did try for two years, I will continue to drive 30 mile round trip to work in the city centre. People who live in the City, get used to the traffic, it was there before you commited to City centre living.

AnonymousJuly 5th 2011.

Some of these comments beggar belief. Forget about reasoned argument, let's just shout and swear and where people disagree with us, well they must work for the council.

Mancon's fault of course, because the rather immature postings on here are merely attempting to ape the rather pureile comments from Mr Bacon (look Daddy I can swear too!). Incidentally, Tim, what kind of financial support have you received from the council over the years to help support the rather expensive drinks you sell in your Manchester venues?

And, yes, I do work for the council. I don't like extending the parking hours and I don't particularly want to be charged to park on Sundays but, hey, that's life. I can afford it, as I suspect can most Mancon readers, and understand why the council has to concentrate on its core business right now. I can think of 170 million reasons (that's the level of cuts the Tories and Lib Dems have imposed on the city - I wasn't just being hyperbolic).

This faux macho argument of "I eat out EVERY night in Manchester and it is MY RIGHT to PARK for FREE outside my FAVOURITE EXPENSIVE RESTAURANT and the council can GO FUCK ITSELF. Did I mention that I AM VERY VERY RICH. Now instead I WILL EAT AT NANDO'S AT THE TRAFFORD CENTRE AND DRIVE MY EXPENSIVE CAR TO LEEDS TO HAVE A KFC" is pretty pathetic and rather exposes one of the more unpleasant sides of this site. It has certainly made me think twice about visiting the Alchemist again. And I was there the other Saturday, having some rather lovely, and by no means cheap, waffles and bacon. Hey ho, they do the same at the IABF for about half the price...

In saying that, the more thoughtful comments on here, like those of CB, are worth looking at. Has the council looked into the risks of this policy? What will they do if there does appear to be a drop in business linked to the on-street parking hike? Oh, wait, you've not asked the council. It's easier to shout and swear.

James SpencerJuly 5th 2011.

aha Gordos been at it. I have lived in theCityCentre for 11 years and I can tell Anon that the congestion has become gradually worse. I actually can cost my parking since I pay £1600 in service charges and interest..... about the same as a commercial contract.

I also 'live' in London and actually the £1.20 bus charge for getting right across the city is correct though I know no bus route that takes me from one end of Boris's empire to the other. The cash fare is actually 2.20. And you have to come back. On Oyster bus travel is capped at £4.00, which is cheaper than Manchester (£4.90 off peak) There is a hefty TfL charge on my mates Council Tax. I posted what the Westefield Centre (Central Londons nearest eqivalent to the Trafford Centre) charges for parking here the other day. In London I am in a CPZ (residents) but I don't have a car and guests better come by tube! (single fare £4.00)

Back to Manchester....if we take entertainment first.. There is not enough street capacity for a completely car bourne audience to the three theatres, the MEN arena and the Bridgewater Hall . Patrons anyway use the paid car parks even though street parking is free or use public transport (including taxis)

I would be intersted to know how many car bourne patrons of the Arndale Centre use street parking, Curously CityCo persuaded the Centre to offer late opening to 8pm. Whenever I go after six thirty it is mostly shut even with free street parking!

As for luxury shopping, my presumption is that patrons of Harvey Nicks can afford parking charges or come by cab or a hired limo (Gordos Mum?).


Pinkie BrownJuly 5th 2011.

Have any of you ever been to Brighton?

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 5th 2011.

No. Enlighten us please

Pinkie BrownJuly 5th 2011.

It is a barren and lifeless place - with rows upon rows of empty homes and shops and the only visitors are hungry seagulls.
I does however have loads and loads of free parking.

Pinkie BrownJuly 5th 2011.

And who said sarcasm is the lowest form of wit? Not me - thats for sure.

AnonymousJuly 5th 2011.

Yes, I have. It's rubbish.

Hovis AlbionJuly 5th 2011.

Brighton - isn't that where people inhabit the shells of old luxury cars like post-apocalyptic peasants, eating string and steering wheels?

1 Response: Reply To This...
Apocalypse NowJuly 5th 2011.

Yes, and all because they changed the parking charges a couple of years ago and people now have to pay till midnight.

AnonymousJuly 5th 2011.

Retailing now is declining everwhere not just in Manchester and not just on King Street and on the Avenue. Gordo will therefore be able to tell us 'told you so' but seperating the Osborn effect from the Lees effect will be impossible.

Hovis AlbionJuly 5th 2011.

Dear Anon, do you eat 'e's. Osborne. Leese. Plees

AnonymousJuly 5th 2011.

Dear Hovis, I will admit to the occasional past indulgence

AncoatsJuly 5th 2011.

There are 1000s of city centre dwellers that have made adequate parking arrangements through hiring or buying a space. Many others have not and rely on the free parking. Many landlords have taken advantage of this and not brought allocated parking for their tenants. BUT why should responsible residents have to struggle down rammed side streets to their parking buildings after 6pm? What about all the delivery businesses that struggle to do their evening runs because of this issue?

This forces all residents, landlords and developers make responsible provisions for parking cars and makes sure the problem does not become worse.

Traffic is a part of city life agreed, but free parking is not. Pedestrians deserve clear foot paths and motorists who cannot or choose not to use public transport deserve free flowing motoring. Many people are so upset because they have had something free for so long that they now see it as a right.

There may be the unfortunate side effect that some shoppers are turned off short term maybe long term as the car culture changes the city will become even more pleasant to live and shop and more people come in.

As for the New York comment - Leading NY guide About’s opening line on car use in the big apple ‘New York City cannot be called ‘Car friendly’ and goes on about making other arrangements for cars apart from street parking. My own experience there backs that up. Forward thinking cities have realised that if you are going to stack people ontop of each other in towers you need to do the same with cars. Unpopular decision today. Unrecognised blessing for the future.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 5th 2011.

Point is, we have not got the luxury of time for a long-term, idealistic system to come into being. The city in parts (and some of the suburbs) is declining as we speak due to the toughest and longest recession in living memory. To bring in these changes now is just an act of stupidity on the part of the Council. By the time the transport system is improved and the car culture changes, there will be no shoppers, diners or residents left to take advantage of this imagined Utopia

Yvonne WeirJuly 5th 2011.

I think the charges are going to have a terrible impact on smaller businesses rather than the large chains or restaurant groups. Rates are up already and many small traders will be simply forced out of business.

The charges are absolutely unjustified, the council already make a hefty sum on charges currently in place and barely a day goes by when I do not witness an altercation between a warden and a car owner, who has unfotunately just gone over by a minute or so and therefore has a fine to pay.

Given the recession, (I haven't had a pay rise for 4 years and my partner took a pay cut to keep fellow colleagues in work!) the rising cost of fuel, free parking is a perk that I for one, have most defintely taken advantage of especially if overtime arises at work - I always chose a Sunday for this precise reason.

Its also a way of saving money on a Saturday night out, my partner or I often drive ourselves/and a couple of friends and leave the car in a free car park space instantly saving money for taxis.

If public transport was reliable it might not be as much of a cost issue, but I live in Swinton, where there are no future plans for a tram line, where we are already incurring disruptions and delays due to the ludicrous pedestrianisation of Chapel Street and where, the current transport is totally unreliable! It is not a joke that all the buses into Mcr come at once!

I'm with Gordo, increase the hourly rate as most people who park in these bays during the day are not commuters but people on business meetings who expense it anyway! We do not want to turn Mcr into a ghost town on a Sunday as that is what will happen and lets face it The Trafford Centre is already heaving fit to burst at weekends so much so I don't shop there anymore for that reason.

I am intrigued with Stephen Miles comments that the Raddisson will not lose custom as I beg to differ. It might not affect people staying over at the hotel but I am a gym member there but only because my partner can free park from 6.30am until 8.00am. And he is not the only one - once this 'perk' goes, both our memberships will sadly expire and the gym members I have spoken to who do the same have said this too.......and there goes the hotels guaranteed income?

AncoatsJuly 5th 2011.

Mom and pop businesses in the city centre.... where? And who? unless you mean Bars and restaurants and do people really still driver to the pub? And the argument that people can only park for 1 hour etc - use a commercial car park for 24 hours if you like. There are plenty of reasonably priced car parks popping up.

And the ‘no time issue for public transport response’ ... the metro will double in size in the next year. The free metro buses have expanded routes, there are water taxis on the way. Face it guys you just want free parking and are blind to the solutions that are already there.

BewilderedJuly 5th 2011.

Also good to see that a few weeks ago the council changed a bunch of single yellows to double yellows on the roads in the residential area around Castlefield chopping out a lot of parking options there. Great decision that for residents. Not even paid parking bays. Just bugger all. And they are not congested streets in the heart of the city.

As for visitors and trade in all of this it wouldn’t be as bad if we had great, reliable transport links but we don’t. Get that sorted and then maybe there’d be less of an outcry and they’d be more on track for achieving their objective.

I feel most passionate about extending the hours. I really think this is the wrong move.

Many things are pointing towards making it harder and harder for people to come in and enjoy Manchester. Our neighbours in Salford are killing one of the main routes under the delusion that they’re going to make Salford Crescent some desirable work/residential place. I personally feel there’s a lot of work that needs to be done on the surrounding areas first but hey, if it’s free parking versus Manchester’s charges maybe they’re onto something.

AncoatsJuly 5th 2011.

Why are people so scared of the car losing its favoured transport position? Were you this scared of other changes for the better... like electricity replacing coal? Is it not utopian to think that every adult in society can afford to use their own car and that the environment and city infrastructure can handle all these cars? Can anyone explain how the current car situation can last into the next 50 years?

Many people on here already cannot really afford a car... that is why the free parking is such an issue for them as they struggle with petrol and insurance. You feel too proud to admit it so blame the politician. Take a step back and see if there is an alternative.

And driving to the gym – analyse that – you are spending money on a devise invented to reduce physical excretion to transport you to a place where you pay more money to be physically excreted! But think that paying for parking is the issue? Go for a run or cycle/ walk to work for free along footpaths no longer blocked by cars.

We all know people who, when students or starting out took the bus from the burbs. They get a bit of cash and a nice German car and all of a sudden drive from the same suburb to work even though it is relatively just a costly and often time more consuming in traffic. So much Car stuff is just ego. It didn’t mean your great granddaddy was less of a person because he took a tram to work. You are still a great person if you leave the car in garage!

AnonymousJuly 5th 2011.

I live in Cheshire, work in Manchester city centre (get the train in to work) but often will drive back in with my partner on a Friday night or Sunday for something to eat as we like the restuarants in the city centre. But we simply won't be able to afford to do this anymore once the changes to free on-street parking come in. The cost of parking for a few hours, on top of petrol and the cost of our meal will put us over budget on what we can afford to spend on a meal out, and we will simply eat nearer to home. A shame for us, and the restuarants we come to. I'm sure there are many people in the same boat as us.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Jamie Oliver CromwellJuly 5th 2011.

Do the trains not run on a Friday night or on a Sunday?

AncoatsJuly 5th 2011.

And the market will respond. So a few of the 500 licensed premises in Manchester may move to the towns and villages around. And we all know that many of these places have suffered far greater than central Manchester (just not as fashionable to do a bit on high street issues in Burnage). It will be great to see more vibrancy in Middleton, or Failsworth or where ever. Shop in your local community with out driving as much – brilliant!

AnonymousJuly 5th 2011.

As someone who no longer works in Manchester I only go there at evenings and weekends for evening classes, socialising and the odd concert.

For months I've been hearing rumours that parking times may be changing but despite several attempts at Googling and searching the Manchester council website I could find no mention of any proposals or descisions and I can't find anything explaining what's actually going on.

Can anyone (possibly the anonymous councillor?) provide any actual facts on the current situation, what is the current status, when it is likely to come into effect and what means if any there are to influence a reversal of the decision?

When Manchester starts charging for parking after 6pm and on Sundays I'll have to quit my evening classes (which already cost an arm and a leg - certainly can't afford it with parking every week too). I'll start going to Buxton for concerts and I'll find other places to meet up with friends.

It's a shame - I have a real soft spot for Manchester having studied and worked there for 15 years but these changes will mean my last few excuses to visit the city just aren't worth the price so I'll move on elsewhere, and I guess I won't be the only one.

suzyblewJuly 5th 2011.

Trains from a lot of suburbs go once an hour and the last one is before 11pm so actually train is not always a convenient option.

Secondly I live just over 4 miles from the city centre and I will continue to drive my car into the city. The bus service near me is great, very reliable however I prefer not to have deal with feet on seats, swearing, people picking fights, smoking and this behaviour being completely accepted but the bus company.

We eat out most Sundays taking advantage of the city centre free parking and will eat locally now instead. Meters are not just expensive but also having to have exact change is ridiculous! If you are going to charge that much then take cards! Also since the Arndale put their Sunday charges up, I go to shop in the Trafford centre instead.

In conclusion, they've lost me for shopping, shortly to lose me for dinner too!

AnonymousJuly 5th 2011.

All those people recommending the use of public transport clearly haven't used public transport recently.

funboi123July 5th 2011.

ManCon, in the intro part at the top of the newsletter, it reads "The City Centre’s revolting".

Presuming you mean about the parking how exactly are we 'revolting'?

AnonymousJuly 5th 2011.

Think the card charging point is a valid one. It is a total ball ache having to get the right change.

1 Response: Reply To This...
funboi123July 5th 2011.

I always got the impression it was done this way on purpose. You always have a 50p in your pocket, a 5p, not so often. the result, you put in £1, but you only get 55p worth of parking, and no change. Now its gone up to 65p, again, that elusive bloody 5p thats never in my pocket!!

If they introduced card charging, it would cost more through processing fees, and they'd make less, as everybody would pay exact change only.

If only though....

AncoatsJuly 5th 2011.

So public transport can be noisy and a bit dirty – get onto your councillor and pressure for better – if enough people demand democracy will respond. Are we saying that cars never get dirty, break down, etc?

AnonymousJuly 5th 2011.

Are you retarded Ancoats?

5 Responses: Reply To This...
SmittyJuly 5th 2011.

nice way to engage with the argument anonymous. This kind of abuse OK for your site, Mancon, or just when it's aimed at people who are coming up with a different view to your editorial position?

AnonymousJuly 5th 2011.

Ehm, I'd rather have that last post posted as "smitty" please. I don't want some of these posters coming round my house!

Jonathan SchofieldJuly 6th 2011.

It's not that bad Smitty. If it gets silly I'll delete.

SmittyJuly 6th 2011.

It's not so much a defence of Ancoats (sounds like a Ford Maddox Brown mural), but the use of a term like "retarded". If someone said to me, are you some kind of "queer", or called my nephew a "stupid nigger" I'd find that somewhat offensive. The term "retarded" is just as nasty and to my mind doesn't sit well on this site. Just saying...

AnonymousJuly 6th 2011.

Fix this blooming site and stop full names appearing!

AncoatsJuly 5th 2011.

Retarded? Such a mastery of rhetoric on you behalf!

Great debate but I need walk home via my local shop. I will leave on this – The issue is much bigger than central Manchester. There is an economic revolution away from the car as we know it beginning to happen. I am amazed that having been born during the car/ plane revolution, I have lived through the computer and internet revolution and have the exciting prospect of seeing (with some luck) another revolution in how we live our lives – this is exciting – not daunting.

Remember after the war the future was the car. America based it transport system on it. Beeching went about axing what people saw as those horrible Victorian railways. Trams were seen as expensive compared to petrol buses. The future was roads.

So Manchester lost the second largest tram system in the Uk which at its peak in 1920s carried tens of millions of passenger journeys, on 950 trams, via 46 routes, along 290 miles of track in each year! They never thought that cars would not only be used by middle class men but everybody including women and teenagers. But the market responded to demand and cars became relatively affordable for all and in many ways liberating for people.

But just because it worked for a while does not mean that it is sustainable as the resources used to make and run cars become more expensive and populations grow. And as this debate is about ever harder to park them up on streets. Mass transport investment esp the railways was a huge driver of the industrial revolution. Much of privately funded and a huge creator of jobs – why not again for manchester where it all started?

The car idea no longer works well in the home of the car culture city - America - hence Obama’s love of HS rail, how can it work in Victorian cities long term?

And cities adapt just as they did with the change from the changes over 3000 years. That’s what makes them so great to live in.

Businesses who are looking at the long term realize that relying on customers getting access by the car may not be the future. Why is there now moves for a metro link to the Trafford center or the water taxi idea down the ship canal? Because the Trafford guys realize that long term free parking is not enough if cars journey costs spike. They need top notch public transport access for future growth.

AnonymousJuly 5th 2011.

It won't though, will it Ancoats, because the region's bus network is in the grip of two operators and the rail network is controlled by central government.

It's out of our hands locally.

Nicky Rybka-GoldsmithJuly 5th 2011.

I have just received my response from David Lea the director of commercial services with regards to there response to "the public consultation on proposed changes to city centre parking" I strongly opposed there proposal having 3 Independent business within the city centre. I got a letter 45 pages long !!!!!!

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 5th 2011.

That's about right Nicky - I got a similar tome when I challenged a parking ticket - astounding waste of resources. Anyway, any details on the outcome of the 'public' consultation and the response of the Council (other than to increase charges)?

Carlos TevezJuly 5th 2011.

This is awful. I have had enough of this stupid city. I am going back to Argentina where i can park for free after 6pm.

Flic EJuly 5th 2011.

There seems to be a disconnect between what the council would like people to do- use public transport, walk, cycle, fill in your own green utopia here- and what people actually do, which is use their cars, because it's easier, quicker and a whole lot simpler to transport shopping in. Not to mention the fact that taking a family on the Metro or bus is so expensive it'd be cheaper to get taxis both ways.
Unfortunately, the council seems to be pursuing an agenda that looks better on paper, but is massively detrimental to existing businesses in reality. One of the (many) reasons our shop closed down last year was the ludicrous parking restrictions in the Northern Quarter, which made it impossible to drive up there, and as all the businesses above have commented, early evening trade is vital to bars, restaurants, theatres and certain shops. The high street is already being attacked on all sides by rates rises, plummeting footfall and the internet. Unless the city council are planning to turn the entirety of Manchester city centre into a funky, online offering, soundtracked by Elbow and Damon Albarn, they are shooting themselves in the foot, and shooting struggling businesses in the head.

One more thing, as Columbo RIP would say- why do businesses which have a perfectly valid point to make 'prefer to remain anonymous'? I hate this shrinking, corporate cowardice. If the city's businesses banded together publicly, there'd be a far better chance of crushing the council's stupid proposals.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AncoatsJuly 5th 2011.

Flic was it not a greedy landlord charging too much that was blamed at the time?

Rags to Bitches was on Tib st which has several large parking buildings nearby so surely people had access to parking. The Northern Quarter streets are narrow and not suitable for on street car parking not because of the council but because it was all weavers cottages from the early industrial period – that’s part of what makes it a ‘trendy destination’.

Or was there a disconnect between the image of the northern quarter as a place full of the type fashion shoppers Rags to Bitches wanted it to be and the actual reality of it being a place people go to drink and socialise or go to the trade shops still there. An example of a business trying to go after or create footfall that was not there at the time. As sad as that is as remember the shop looked very interesting and I hope the online shop is going well.

NitternotterJuly 5th 2011.

Nice phrasing Flic: 'unless the city council are planning to turn the entirety of Manchester city centre into a funky, online offering, soundtracked by Elbow and Damon Albarn....' And that picture - is it of you actually thinking up this comment.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 5th 2011.

From memory wasn’t it a greedy landlord charging too much that was blamed at the time?

Rags to bitches was on tib st which has too large parking facilities nearby so surely people had access to parking. The northern quarter streets are narrow and not suitable for on street car parking not because of the council but because it was all weavers cottages from the early industrial period – thats part of what makes it a ‘cool destination’.

Or was there a disconnect between the image of the northern quarter as a place full of the type fashion shoppers rags to bitches wanted it to be and the actual reality of it being a place people go to drink and socialise or in some cases the old school trade shops still there.

An example of a business trying to go after or create footfall that was not there at the time. As sad as that is as remember the shop looked very interesting and I hope the online shop is going well.

AnonymousJuly 5th 2011.

You will note that Flic states that it was one of many reasons......

Jill JillianJuly 5th 2011.

Its not the odd 35p the councils after its the £35.00 they get for you going two minutes overtime ,the number of families I've seen come out of the MOSI to be greeted by a parking ticket breaks your heart .

AncoatsJuly 5th 2011.

Firstly the recession is not the councils fault. Nor is it their fault that large sections of the economy were built on unsustainable debt levels including much of the retail bonanza. The argument that retail is failing because of car parking is missing the point that retail levels were probably way too high based on people living outside their means. Maybe it is now coming back to a more realistic level – much of this publication and others have blindly cheerled this
.
I know it is hard to accept it as it was so much fun – 10% annual growth on the house, big german car, looking like Jerry Hall 7 days a week, international holidays 3 times a year. And then it stops and people can’t even afford parking so stores go broke. – does that not show how mad it all got!

But we live in an on demand culture so you all want it back and NOW! Sorry history tells us that this will take some time. In the mean time to make the parking issue easier over the next few years and prop up a few bars maybe...

Do everything they can to push on with the full possible metro expansion – Stockport line, Trafford centre line. Increase the operating hours on weekends.

Look at better weekend discounts on public transport.

Taxibus routes start ups subsidised.

Provide backing for the water taxi idea.

Work to reinstate Mayfeild station to ease pressure on Piccadilly so train frequency can be increased.

Work to assist in the expansion of the free city centre metro bus service.

Implement the minimum alcohol price there by encouraging drinkers back to pubs and bars and out of tesco.

Look to make the city more bike friendly (bikes on trams, more bike lock ups etc).

Look to use any vacant plots as parking yards – or assist developers to do so on stalled developments to get cars off street.

Work harder to keep streets clean, safe and presentable by coming down hard on litterbugs.

Chase up the £40millions of unpaid council tax and use it to subsidise public transport ideas.

Continue pushing the regeneration of Brownfield’s rather than Greenfield development and thus increase city centre and nearby surrounds population - people living where they work etc.

AncoatsJuly 5th 2011.

Yes indeed – almost as wonderful as the make believe world certain retailers/ restaurants etc who have gone bust because they thought there was a never ending market for what ever over priced stuff they sold.

Or the world those live in who thought that they could live in the centre of a major city.... without paying for a parking place.

Or those who think petrol and car insurance.... is bound to be more reasonable some day soon.

Or those who think public transport has no major place in their future lives some day.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Juliet StevensonJuly 5th 2011.

What a joy you must be to live with Ancoats, and what a lot of time you have on your hands.

jandamanJuly 5th 2011.

Isn't this this just the Congestion Charge rebranded??

1 Response: Reply To This...
Jeremy PaxmanJuly 5th 2011.

No

Flic EJuly 6th 2011.

Just for the record, we never blamed our landlords- they were always excellent, fair and very supportive of us. I know other landlords in the NQ weren't, but we were lucky with ours.

CBJuly 6th 2011.

Lots of talk about the Council's agenda, but not a peep about the agenda of ManCon.

It's win-win here isn't it Mark? If you manage to influence a decision then you protect your ad revenues from city centre restaurants and hotels. If not then it's just priceless PR - especially if ManCon is seen as a vehicle for lobbying in the interests of this sector.

Conflict of interest?

What is the editorial stance on this Johnathan?

Jonathan Schofield - editorJuly 6th 2011.

CB. We're against the time extensions completely.

AnonymousJuly 6th 2011.

This vicious reaction to the policy is frustrating. If there is no money to spend on your parking, you won't spend it.

Why not cook at home, go to your local, reduce your shopping cravings?

It is ok to be reasonable about your money and go for a walk or have a nap on the train on your way to work.

It is good to eat healthier food. If you cannot cook, take cooking lessons. You will be surprised how easy and fascinating cooking can be. Plus you have more chances to have a balanced diet.

It is fantastic to invest in classic pieces rather than clothes that make one look cheap and scraffy.

If you cannot afford something, you should either work harder or change your habits. Now, what is not clear there?

As someone said above, it is ok if you take the tram just like your granddad would. It is not diminishing. Only idiots would consider you less of a person if you take a bus to work. There must be something better in your life, reach out for it!

1 Response: Reply To This...
suzyblewJuly 8th 2011.

think you're missing the point. just because I can afford the parking charges doesn't mean I'll pay them. Do you not understand people don't want to pay for something they don't get value from?

the Whalley RangerJuly 6th 2011.

Q's to Cllr:
How much revenue per annum does MCC envisage to recuperate by:

a) extending the hours from 6pm to 8pm
b) charging on a Sunday

1 Response: Reply To This...
culture vultureJuly 12th 2011.

Another case of this labour council screwing the public. There's only one way forward, stop voting Labour in every election, they have dominated this town for far too long.

AnonymousJuly 7th 2011.

My family & I went to Manchester City Centre on Saturday 2nd July We arrived at 11.30am as my daughter had an audition at The Raddisson Hotel as we have always parked in their underground car park we did'nt have any reservations we decided to make a day of it had lunch, bit of shopping. Put the ticket in the machine £16.70 I was furious its dificult times for everybody. We have decided we will not be going to Manchester anymore The Trafford Centre is easier to get to for us anyway. They are not doing the city any favours soon will be a ghost town.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
CBJuly 9th 2011.

Maybe plan your trip a tad better?

Simon TurnerJuly 22nd 2011.

Anonymous, you're confused I think. This was for the Radisson car park, not out on the street? So this isn't a Council issue. The biggest rip-offs are the private car parks, as this goes to show.

BJuly 9th 2011.

To all threatening to chose Trafford Centre!

If you really value so much that trashy establishment, please chose it!

Many comments suggests that as a result of that minor changes local businesses will suffer. If you're really thinking of moving your shopping/dining to the TC and chosing a dinner in tacky 'restaurant quarter' full of Cafe Rouges and other Nandos above a meal in fine, independendly run restaurant in town, the increase won't affect any of the local businesses. This shows that you don't dine/shop there anyway, and chose Nandos/Cafe Rouges in town, so the only losers would be the chain restaurants/shops in town not the local businesses. Manchester CC could do with a few less of these establishements who are to blame for running down our local businesses.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
JohnthebriefJuly 9th 2011.

The present tense is "choose" not "chose"

BJuly 9th 2011.

Thanks for that comment John and sorry for my typo. Very topic related remark.

sammiedooJuly 18th 2011.

The current pricing is ridiculous - the promoted pricing is absolutely disgusting! I say lets not increase the hours etc.... but lets reduce the current fees!

AnonymousJuly 18th 2011.

The city centre would be much better without ANY cars. Park on the outskirts (if you really have to), take a bus or tram or train in to the centre, and enjoy walking around without all the pollution and evilness of single-person cars filling the place up.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 18th 2011.

Yep! You can travel all day on the train (after 09:30) for only £4.40. And remind me how much it costs to park in the centre?

AnonymousJuly 18th 2011.

Some residents dont have parking that comes with their building and so have to rely on public parking. The price already is rediculous for a small number of limited hours. To increase it would only lead to an arguement or protest.

NicJuly 18th 2011.

This is a shocking move. The city centre will be dead on a Sunday as everyone will flock to the Trafford Centre to shop rather than pay a small fortune to park in the City Centre.

My family and friends are also disappointed as I am a city centre resident and the 3 hour parking limit and the expense (it is not cheap) to parking nearby will mean I cease to have any regular visitors as they will not want to pay.

I live in close proximity to Castlefield Basin but it is essentially a residential area and many visitors to the City Centre would not park in the area as they would not know it is there or how to get there. It's just a kick in the teeth for the resident's family and friends.

This is a money making exercise, nothing more. This has nothing to do with congestion due to the simple fact the commuters make up the traffic and that won't change.

Joke.

tombaJuly 18th 2011.

Anything that discourages cars, Mancunians' insane driving of them, and their addiction to building car parks sounds like good news to me. Although it would help if they'd also regulate the buses so that they don't cost as much as taxis, and provide some decent cycle provision.

user1770July 18th 2011.

The pay & display bays outside our flat are always empty - it seems that no one is prepared to pay the ridiculous charges.

After six it's buzzing though, full of life and people heading for the local bars & restaurants.

AnonymousJuly 18th 2011.

When the Council introduced charging on Saturday afternoons, we stopped going into the City Centre on Saturday Afternoons.
Charge for parking on Sundays and we stop going into the City Centre on Sundays.
It's as simple as that!
There are plenty of other places to go who are more welcoming to motorists.
Councillors just don't get it - they are throtling their local businesses just because of some dogma.
They got in wrong on Congestion Charging so maybe this is their way of saying "screw you".

Sharon MchughJuly 19th 2011.

Ok let me get this straight this decision is being made by people WHO live outside the city centre? People who do NOT live in the city centre? Oh and forgot to add - council workers who get allocated and reduced city centre parking in all the council car parks? Three words come to mind The Fat Controller and Bourgeois! I think they need to think of the number of people who live in the city centre or in the m3/m15 1 mile circular - who might WORK at home (yes unbelievable dear council a lot of people still do this?), or travel into the city AFTER RUSH HOUR to use the gyms etc. I for one live in M3, and will have to cancel my gym membership if this happens Fitness First, as I would rather travel 10 min to a different gym (in my CAR thus not reducing pollution) to get free car parking. I think the people making the decision should stick around in rush hour rather than taking their council friendly 'benefits' such as flexitime and stick around to see the REAL picture. SHAME ON YOU. Agree this may drive revenue for teh selfish council (which we will not see), however it will drive housing prices down in an already fragile economy, at a far greater pace than the amount revenue they woudl generate! REALLY NEED TO RETHINK THIS IS CALLs FOR A PROTEST I'M IN IF THIS HAPPENS!

AnonymousJuly 19th 2011.

Are they mad !! This will hit the (already depressed) city centre apartment prices! Ten's of thousands live within the city and a high percentage need to use on street parking, driving out early and arriving back after work (6pm-ish). By pushing these times out to 8pm and full on weekends the city centre living commuter is hit, their home is less attractive to buyers and thus price drop (whilst more hit in the pocket). Seriously.... how much do the government and local government think we can take! Are you mad... try this for the a small list........ home bills up 10-20% minimum, fuel up 30%+, VAT and tax rises, inflation nearly 5%.... get a serious grip Manchester Council ..... the mice on the wheels are worn out !! Result will be depressed and irrecoverable market, broke tax payers and busted flushes! I know - I am an economist and this is a MAJOR SHORT SIGHTED SOLUTION. PS- Councillors....... best of luck with informing the indepedant retailers, etc that their busy Sunday trading is shot !

MoiraJuly 22nd 2011.

I am a retired woman in my 60s and do enjoy going to the city centre to theatres, cinemas and restaurants. I do take the bus during the day but prefer to take my car in the evenings because I do not like the walk from the bus stop to my house when it is late and dark. I will not be using the inner city car parks as they are so expensive. Also going back a to high rise car park at night can be very unpleasant. I just feel so much safer taking my car into town in the evenings and parking it somewhere reasonably close to where I'm going. I'm sure I speak on behalf of many single women who will be greatly affected if this proposal goes through. It will definitely take away the spontaneity of nipping into town to attend an event - like MIF or MJF.

Erin BoylanJuly 26th 2011.

It's a good thing if you ask me. What they need to do is revise loads of the double yellow lines where they're totally unnecessary and create pay bays there instead so that the price of parking throughout Manchester can come down. THE PROBLEM IS A LACK OF PARKING SPACES, NOT THE PRICE OF PARKING. Residents being able to park easily is a seperate issue about resident permits and such. So many of the double yellow lines in town just waste potential parking spaces. There must be 10% more spaces that can be created by looking into this MINIMUM.

Jeff CAugust 8th 2011.

I pay over £200 a year in road tax, £1.40 a litre in petrol and I've just got my insurance renewal - fk me! That's gone up about 20%! Now these greedy bastards are trying to rob my spare change! I avoid going to town in the day because of the parking as it is, and even after 6pm it's hard work finding a spot. This makes absolutely no sense other than pulling in more money for those c***ts in the council. This is OUR city not the council's. When they handed NCP and Europarks their licence's to print money they could have just as easily imposed limits to what they could charge for parking - but they didn't think about us did they!? When they handed out the other license's to print money to developers building city centre apartments and offices, they could have asserted a need for parking in those new buildings, but they didn't did they? They are taking the absolute piss - again!

Remember the congestion charge to pay for the new tram lines? 87% of us said no (was a proud Manc that day) and now I see tram lines being built, which makes the council a bunch of liars - which isn't surprising since it's full of politicians. Imposing price increases really only deters those on less income, your footballers and millionaires are gonna give a fuck, so all the council are really doing is freeing up parking spaces for their rich mates. Driving around looking for a parking spot causes congestion AND pollution - FACT. If a car is parked it's not IN traffic so by definition it isn't traffic - thus not congesting said traffic - FACT. Don't piss down our legs and tell us it's raining - we get enough rain as it is.

Derek JacksonAugust 12th 2011.

come on guys be fare. tricky dicky leese and his merry band of hangers on need the money from parking to waste on more foolhardy ventures like the now demolished B of the BANG, i say stuff em and let em get on with it and stay away from the city centre altogether.
get with the programme and boycott the area,
go somewhere else that appreciates your custom and revenue.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 12th 2011.

where are you going Derek? 'pool, Leeds, Chester or London

AnonymousAugust 12th 2011.

Where are you going Derek?

AnonymousAugust 26th 2011.

Fuc the council, the robbing basterds!

AnonymousAugust 26th 2011.

we could save the money by cutting back on those ridiculous cycle ways that only Mr Leese uses or start fining cyclist for going through red lights

Martin RobertsNovember 13th 2011.

We have been regular visitors from Huddersfield to the theatre in Manchester. We always parked in the same area at about 7.30pm it was free. Today 12th Nov returned to the car to find a parking ticket on it! We had no idea things had changed, no signs or anything. Annoyingly two traffic wardens watched us park and walk away, no help there then. So goodbye Manchester there are plenty of good theatres in Leeds, Bradford Halifax etc. What a stupid council, no buisiness sense at all.

Aidan O''RourkeMarch 26th 2012.

I was given a 25 pound parking charge for parking at 7pm on a Saturday. I contested it and it was overruled and so I have to pay the £25 pound charge. After this incident I will never again use on-street parking in Manchester and wherever possible I will spend my shopping 'dollars' away from Manchester city centre in places such as Merseyway Stockpor, Altrincham, Bolton and occasionally the Trafford Centre. The draconian 7 day 12 hour parking regime is appalling for Manchester in PR terms and puts the viability of the city centre in jeopardy. Our misguided councillors could create a fantastic PR opportunity by learning from other councils and reversining it!

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 26th 2012.

So you got got a ticket after parking somewhere you knew you shouldn't (with the pre knowledge 7 day a week charging was in place) and now you're refusing to come into the city centre?

Why not just not park in places you know you won't be charged?

AnonymousMarch 26th 2012.

Surely Aidan if the parking is from 8am-8pm 7 days a week you would/should of known not to park?? Its your own fault and know one elses, just coz you got a ticket for parking somewhere you shouldn't. not really anything to do with the article really is it.

AnonymousMarch 26th 2012.

This is really weird, because when I come into town I find it just as hard to find a parking bay as I ever did. But then I do try to park in the northern quarter, not in places with a fifteen minute walk to the shops.

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