Cheshire East Council is to review its parking charges to see how it can better support local towns and businesses.
The Council will consult with local businesses, partnerships and people with disabilities on an off-street parking pricing policy that will reflect the needs of different areas.
The focus of the review will be on the Borough’s key towns of Crewe, Nantwich, Macclesfield, Knutsford and Congleton. Electric vehicle charging bays also look to be introduced in some of the car parks.
Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “We are a listening Council that puts residents first and is committed to supporting our local businesses to help them thrive and prosper.
“Parking policy needs to reflect the needs of different areas and help bring more people into Cheshire East to spend money and boost the local economy.
“However, we recognise that each of our towns is unique and so we are not advocating harmonisation of charges across Cheshire East.
“We will focus on our key towns of Crewe, Nantwich, Macclesfield, Knutsford and Congleton as a starting point for consultation. We know that car parks aren’t free as we have to maintain them and we need to operate on a full-cost-recovery basis.
“What we can do and will do is listen and act wherever we can to develop and implement a more attractive car parking policy to boost economic vitality and job creation across the Borough.”
Cheshire East will consult with key stakeholders over proposals for an affordable and attractive parking policy with a particular emphasis on Crewe, Nantwich, Macclesfield, Knutsford and Congleton.
A report setting out the outcome of the conversations with local businesses and a set of key recommendations will be put before the Council’s Cabinet for consideration on November 11 (2014).
Councillor Jones added: “We wish to set charges for parking which reflect local pressures and needs. The Council should also look to make car parking charges cost neutral and no longer fund our services.
“Conversations with businesses and local people since that date as well as research have shown that accessible, affordable and attractive parking places encourage people to shop in towns. Therefore, we want to continue those conversations and listen even more to local stakeholders on the way forward to nurturing strong communities and further boosting local economies and job creation.
“Cheshire East is about listening, putting residents first and being open for business. It is a strategy which has seen Cheshire East being recognised as the Best in the North West – and a place that is truly open for business.”