Cheshire East Council is to reintroduce parking charges across the borough from 15 June.
Parking charges have been suspended in Cheshire East since 27 March following a council decision to support keyworkers – including NHS staff and social care workers – to assist in the response to control the virus. However, with the government plans to re-open highstreets on the 15 June, the council is preparing a number of measures, some of which are temporary, to ensure that the highstreets remain safe for the public and local businesses.
Money received from parking machines is used to ensure car parks are safe, secure and well maintained. Charges encourage a good turnaround of spaces for shoppers to support economic recovery of our town centres.
Over the coming days several measures will be installed across highstreets in Cheshire East, leading to changes at the following carparks;
● Temporary closure of Silk Mill Street and Princess Street carparks in Knutsford; Lyceum Square, Crewe; and Church Lane, Nantwich as access to these carparks compromises the space available for social distancing;
● Temporary suspension of some parking spaces and laybys, where these can provide extra space for widening footpaths to help pedestrians respect social distancing rules.
● Signage will be displayed at carparks to encourage contactless payments as cash payments will not be accepted on the majority of car parks; and
● Ringo, an online smartphone app will be available for people to pay for their parking, for people to avoid any contact with the parking machines.
Where Ringo cannot be used, the council recommends the public uses appropriate measures to reduce the risk of Covid19 by, for example, using a covered pen, or gloves to input a licence plate number into a machine and, using the contactless payment option.
After using a machine, the government continues to remind the public that regular hand-washing for 20-seconds helps to stop the spread of Coronavirus.
The council are also encouraging the public to purchase contract permits for those car parks where they are available – details of these are on the council’s website. If a permit is displayed in a car window there is no need to use the pay and display machines.
Councillor Laura Crane, portfolio holder for parking at Cheshire East Council, said: “I would like to thank all our keyworkers across Cheshire East for their continued work during the Coronavirus pandemic.
“As government restrictions ease, our main aim is to protect people and support our local businesses and the economy. Each measure we re-introduce is a balance between maintaining access and creating enough space for shoppers and visitors to observe ‘social distancing’ when in town.
“We are also mindful of the local environment and encourage, where possible, people to walk and cycle to their local high street – which is good for the environment and people’s health and wellbeing.
“Decisions like these are difficult and can be deeply emotive and unpopular but it is our responsibility to ensure that there is a good turnaround of spaces for visitors and shoppers and that our car parks are safe, secure and well maintained.
“Protecting our business economy and keeping people safe as lockdown restrictions are lifted by government, are priorities for us and these parking measures will be reviewed where necessary. We will also be supporting businesses with additional information and guidance as government moves to lift their restrictions.”
Parking meters will be un-bagged, and enforcement will begin on Cheshire East owned carparks from 15 June alongside on-street enforcement patrols.
To protect the public and council staff, the opening of Jordangate and Grosvenor Centre multi-storey carparks, in Macclesfield, will be delayed until mid-July.
Registering with RingGo
You can pre-register with RingGo online or by using the RingGo apps for iPhone and Android handsets (downloadable either through your handset or from the Apple store or Android marketplace).
If you pre-register for the service you will be asked to provide:
● the number plate, colour and make of your vehicle; and
● your payment card details.
Alternatively, you can register at the same time you want to park, either by using the RingGo apps or by calling RingGo via the number shown on the machine. The national RingGo number, which will work at any RingGo site, is 020 3046 0010.