There is enough car-parking in Sandbach, but it needs to be used in a more efficient way in future.
This is the conclusion of a new study by Cheshire East Council, which has completed a review of parking in the town, in partnership with Sandbach Town Council and the “No 2 Parking Charges Group” (N2PCG).
Rather than making significant changes to control measures, drivers will be encouraged to adapt their parking behaviour to make best use of the spaces available in order to improve footfall for local businesses and organisations and to protect and enhance the vitality of the town.
Sandbach Councillor Barry Moran explained: “The review found that many short stay spaces on Scotch Common and in Green, Welles and Bold Streets, were being filled by long stay parkers.
“Analysis showed that more than 30 per cent of vehicles using the limited stay waiting bays were staying all day. While on Scotch Common, nearly half the vehicles were staying all day.
“Clearly this has the effect of reducing space for shoppers and short stay visitors to the town, hurting our retail prospects.
“We don’t want to wave a big stick in terms of enforcement, but we do want to actively encourage drivers to park in the most appropriate places for the benefit of all visitors to Sandbach.
“Drivers staying all day should be using Westfields, Chapel Street or Lower Brookhouse Drive Car Parks.”
The review has led to new directional signage being installed to assist drivers in finding the correct car park to suit their visit - and parking enforcement officers will still be on-hand to ensure drivers stick to the notified waiting times.
In addition, new signs on Scotch Common indicate to drivers that spaces should only be used for stays of up to two hours maximum (although some exceptions can be made for evening parking) in order to free-up spaces for shoppers and visitors.
Cllr David Topping, Cheshire East Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, added: “The review set out to identify how well the supply of spaces and parking management matched demand for the residents of Sandbach.
“What became clear is that the town is adequately served. In addition, by choosing where to park according to their specific needs, car-driving residents and visitors can help the town continue to be a viable and prosperous centre without the need for more spaces or more controls”.