Council considers new policy for more resident parking schemes

A new policy enabling the roll-out of more residential parking permit schemes in Manchester is to be considered for approval by the City Council’s Executive this September.

Responding to calls from residents for more schemes to tackle commuter parking, particularly in areas around the city centre, the council is developing a comprehensive policy which prioritises the needs of local residents and businesses by controlling and discouraging commuter and non-resident parking in residential areas.

The council currently provides a total of around £225,000 per year to support the city’s eleven existing residential permit schemes and a report to the Council’s Executive notes that twelve further locations have been identified as being in need of a parking scheme.

The high level of demand for schemes means it is no longer sustainable to issue vehicle permits free of charge. Under the new policy, a modest annual charge is being considered to cover the enforcement and administration costs of schemes.

No profit would be generated through charges, while discounts for some residents and free spaces for carers and Blue Badge holders would be made available.

Charges for resident parking schemes are currently levied in other areas of Greater Manchester, including Salford and Trafford, plus other major English cities such as Liverpool, Newcastle, Birmingham and Sheffield.

While the charges would meet annual running costs, set-up costs for schemes assessed as eligible to be brought forward would need to be raised from other sources, such as financial support from developers, or city council reserves.

The report also notes that ‘Section 106’ developer support is available to contribute towards the set-up costs of four new schemes – including one in Rusholme, one in the Hathersage Road area, one in the vicinity of North Manchester General Hospital and another for the St George’s area of Hulme.

If the new policy is approved, detailed proposals for the future charges and discounts to be applied would be brought forward later in the year. The public would also be consulted as part of any review of the city’s existing parking schemes and on any new schemes which are brought forward.

Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, Councillor Angeliki Stogia, said: “We have listened to residents’ concerns about the blight of commuter parking in residential areas, which causes significant road safety issues, increased air pollution and serious inconvenience.

“It’s vital that we tackle the problem by introducing new schemes to control non-resident parking in those areas where they would help to meet the needs of residents and businesses.

“However, the financial pressures associated with the management of such schemes are jeopardising the funding of other frontline services, so in line with other major cities and parts of Greater Manchester, we’re considering the introduction of an annual charge to help cover the running costs of each scheme.

“That would mean a modest cost for the residents who would directly benefit from the scheme, rather than it being subsided by all council taxpayers. While charges for residents will be minimised and will not generate any profit, they are essential if we want to bring forward the many new schemes which we know are required.”

The report will go to the council’s Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday 5 September, before being considered for approval by the Executive on Wednesday 12 September.

TNT News

Photo Credit: walthamforest.gov.uk

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