Community leaders have voiced their opinions over parking issues in their town. The comments from a handful of the Cheadle Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) councillors come after the Times and Echo have received a number of letters raising concerns about parking charges along with concerns that district council members of the town are not challenging the issue. Currently, parking charges range from 90p for one hour and under to £2.20 for three to ten hours between 9.30am to 3.30pm – the fees vary on long and short stay car parks. Amongst several topics, residents have complained about the price of parking in the town when only staying for a short period of time and the absence of drop-off bays along High Street.
The Times and Echo made contact with all seven Cheadle district councillors asking for their views on the matter, with five making comment.
Councillor Kate Martin, who represents Cheadle West said: “I don’t think we will ever get rid of car parking charges but if we put the time the car park becomes free of charge back by half-an-hour it would help ease congestion around Tean Road and the high schools.
“Also, if there were short-stay drop-off bays in High Street it would help.”
Councillor Ian Whitehouse, of Cheadle North East, added: “I don’t think there will ever be free parking, there isn’t many towns that have free parking anywhere.
“We could have an area where it is a ten minute pull-in short-stay area so people can pop into a shop and come out but I don’t think we’d get free parking completely.
“My idea would be to make parking free one weekend every month.
“I don’t think it is feasible to have parking on the high street as a lot of coaches and visitors go through.
“A lot of people park on there already; buses don’t stop there any more because of this.”
Phil Routledge, councillor for Cheadle North East, commented: “We can do with dropping the prices a bit, we are only a small town so we could do with the extra trade in the town.
“Having half-an-hour’s free parking would be ideal.”
Cheadle South East Councillor Richard Alcock said: “I didn’t vote for the pay and display.
“It stops a lot of people coming into the town.
“There should be free short-stay parking so people are able pop into shops.
“I struggle to get things through as a district councillor because I am an independent.”
Councillor Peter Elkin, for Cheadle South East, commented: “A few years ago I opposed the pay and display proposals and managed to get the free parking periods in place.
“Perhaps we could have a refund system; spend so much in the shops and get a refund on parking.
“We really ought to have some concessions.
“Anything to resolve the parking situation, I’m totally in favour of.”
Staffordshire Moorlands District Council Leader Sybil Ralphs told the Times and Echo that her Cabinet were due to discuss the matter in a meeting yesterday (Tuesday, August 13) afternoon.
See this week’s paper to read what traders in the town think about parking in Cheadle.
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