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Prices plummet

Reporter: Richard Hooton
Date online: 10 August 2009

OLDHAM town centre businesses and shoppers will get a credit crunch-busting boost today.

In a bid to ease the financial strain, on-street car parking charges have been slashed by at least half.

The move, which is anticipated to cost up to £100,000, is being funded by Oldham Council’s Credit Crunch War Cabinet’s Rapid Intervention Fund.

It follows concerns expressed at meetings of the Oldham Business Improvement District (BID) and Oldham Town Centre Partnership that parking charges were unreasonably high and driving away customers.

The new charges are: Up to 15 minutes — 20p (was 40p); Up to 30 minutes — 40p (80p); Up to one hour — 70p (£1.40); Up to one hour and 30 minutes — £1.10 (£2.30). The maximum stay has been extended by 30 minutes to two hours — for a £1.50 fee.

Councillor Lynne Thompson, cabinet member for finance and resources, said: “It is crucial that Oldham Council listens to and acts upon the genuine concerns of traders and residents who use the town centre.

“The War Cabinet was established with the Oldham Partnership as somewhere we can build genuine support for all sectors of our community who are facing the harsh realities of this recession.

“An important part of that was to identify ways that we could play a positive role in helping secure the future of independent local traders who are concentrated in areas outside the core of the town centre like Yorkshire Street, Union Street and George Street.

“Customers are more likely to visit their shops specifically for a one-off visit rather than browsing and we’re confident — based on what traders and shoppers have told us — that slashing these charges will help promote the health of the High Street.”

Paul Hughes, owner of fashion store Zutti, lobbied hard for the prices to be reduced and was delighted with the council’s response.

He said: “Charging for parking on the street is imperative, it can’t be free. In the past it’s been extortionately expensive. Our charges have been 40 per cent higher than the most beautiful parts of Manchester. Now they are 40 per cent cheaper than Manchester and most parts of the North-West.

“The charges are just perfect. People will have no excuse not to come in to the town. If anyone gets a parking ticket for not paying 20p then they deserve it.”

Comments

Until parking is offered at a reasonable cost ALL DAY, Oldham will never compete with likes of Bury, especially when the new shopping mall is built, just a stone's throw from the famous Bury Market.

Half-hearted attempts as per usual.

Credit Crunch War Cabinet - where do they dream these departments up from? Not forgetting that someone employed from the pages of the Guardian is sitting at great expense holding the purse strings of the grand sounding "Rapid Intervention Fund" along with a team of secretaries and advisors. How did Local Authorities cope without these legalised loafers 30 years ago?

A step in the right direction..........

How ironic, it was usually his 4x4 parked up without a ticket, always to run out when a warden appeared with a attitude. I know as i was a warden

many years too late! nearly all the good businesses have dissaperaed

If the council had invested in a sensible town centre, not charged such high rents on shops or market stalls, had lower parking charges without the over-zealous wardens, had maintained the roads and pavements and had an intelligent public transport system with one bus station and a train station closer to the town centre, then people may not have deserted Oldham for Ashton, Bury or Manchester, and Oldham's businesses may have been better placed to face this recession.

But it will not stop the taxi firms on yorkshire street using the bus lane for there own parking space, with the blessing of ombc and it partners

They are funding this with the amount of parking tickets they issued like confetti in Uppermill at the Yanks week-end.Another way to make sure visitors never return to the area.

Peter over zealous wardens?..... people really make me laugh, its idiots who park their cars thinking the rules don't apply to them. Often people would say get a proper job, I said, "I have one, if it was not for idiots like you!, there would be no need for me doing my job!". Quite simple really.

peter i agree with your view on the sensible town centre that ombc failed to provide. but this goes back along way from the days when the relocated the town hall, new shopping centre right at the top of town. a way off from the rail & bus stations. all other town centres kept things close by for the future, their railway stations never moved. oldham thought it was being clever, and as usual it wasnt.

over zealous is a perfect way to discribe oldhams parking wardens. i cannot count on my hands alone the number of times i've come back to my car just on time and the warden has be poised to put a ticket on my car. as for elsewhere like in uppermill and dovestones they loiter around just waiting for a car to stop on double yellows or a ticket to run out. so theres doing your job and being over zealous!
maybe oldham scotland was an exception to this!

Scotland,I returned to my car earlier to find wardens ticketing cars immediately either side of mine who unlike me were not displaying a blue badge.They could have informed me verbally I was in contravention of on street parking but only having the IQ of ticket issuing robots they chose not to do so.

keith - the article is about reducing car parking charges to try and give a boost (rightly or wrongly) to the local economy, as usual you have to steer it in the direction of your own "agenda" - get a grip!!!

Wiseowl I take it your a bluebadge holder, and was given all the literature when you got the badge. I also take it you have been driving for a number of years and took your test. Why is it the wardens fault for people basically dumping their cars and not bothering to look at the markings and signs next to their cars, takes seconds. By the same I see people with blue badges.

Given to people supposedly unable to walk 50 mtrs park their cars and go shopping for a whole 2 to 3 hours. and they was the majority not the minority. But back to what you was saying, so who has the lowest IQ the wardens or the people parking the cars, all for the sake of a few seconds.
Ignorance is not a excuse and if you really don't know the road or by-laws you should not be really driving on them.

A tip for you wiseowl the ticket has to be completed and properly fastened to your window, or it is not valid your entitled to drive off, its the wardens photographic evidence that convicts you, its classed as a spoil if you drive off whilst he or she is still writing it out, if you see a warden waiting for a unexpired ticket take his/hers number and report them, as for parking I have no sympathy I obey the rules why not everyone else.

Scotland,not all disabilities are physical and some blue badge users can walk.I parked on what I perceived to be double yellow lines with no kerb bars.On returning yesterday by peering intently there are remnant specks of yellow paint which may or may not have been the kerb bars,am I to blame for not maintaining the road markings,you were not there so please do not judge me.

Wiseowl I am sorry it seemed like a judgement, but you did judge the wardens for issuing tickets and doing their jobs!. Do not rely on the markings on the road read the plates on the lamposts pertaining the restrictions in the area. Also if the markings within the area are very poor and you get a ticket goback photo the area and signs and appeal if you concider them not upto standard.

 

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