Jepsons menswear store in Nantwich - pic by Michael Garlick under creative commons licence

A Nantwich store has offered to pay its customers’ parking fees as Cheshire East Council’s move to bring back charges was labelled a “shambles”.

Jepsons on Hospital Street is among many local stores frustrated at stories heard from shoppers struggling to use parking apps or contactless on the town’s council-run car parks.

And Cllrs Peter Groves and Andrew Martin, councillors representing Nantwich South and Stapeley, have labelled the authority’s handling of the issue an “ill advised shambles”.

A spokesman for Jepsons said: “We have heard from so many of our customers how difficult it is to park in Nantwich right now.

“We are doing everything we can along with other retailers to get this sorted but the council are not being very helpful.

“Some people are simply unable to use the Ringo app or pay with contactless.

“Due to this we have decided for any customers who would like to come and see us, we will pay your parking for you using the Ringo app.

“This means on the day you have nothing to worry about, simply park your car on the chosen car park and walk in.”

 

Cllr Peter Groves

Cllr Peter Groves

Cllrs Groves and Martin say Cheshire East Leader Cllr Sam Corcoran and highways Portfolio Holder Cllr Laura Crane are “still refusing to listen and restore the covid relief on council car parks”.

In a joint statement, they said: “The Labour led decision to reinstate charges requires physical contact with parking meter buttons to enter the number plate.

“This has understandably caused concern and worry for people, especially those with vulnerable loved ones.

“The alternative method of paying online via the Ringo app has been beset with confusion, faults and failure.

“Feedback to local cllrs continues to attest as such.

“This ill advised shambles (no advice was ever actually sought from local business or cllrs) has prompted one store to take action. We appreciate that not all local traders can afford this luxury.

“Conservative Councillors have always opposed these charges returning until after the Covid recovery, and we continue to lead the call for the Labour leader of the council to end this chaos.”

In previous statements and interviews, Cllr Crane defended bringing back parking charges because of Cheshire East Council’s need to boost its income, and to improve the flow of traffic.

But she did admit imposing charges in Nantiwch and Crewe while others towns enjoyed free parking – such as Sandbach where she lives – was unfair.

Anyone wishing to use Jepsons service is asked to contact them beforehand with the vehicle details.

Call them on 01270 624734 or email [email protected]

8 Comments

  1. Tim Bowyer says:

    I won’t be shopping in Nantwich again, the pavements are crowded with folk, they are not walking on the road because there are still vehicles driving at normal speeds and not dead slow as they should be. It is ludicrous why not shut off half the road, and make it one way

  2. All above comments display the discrimination to area, people and shop keepers. Abolish car park charges and remove the barriers which are a waste of time.

  3. Snow Hill car park last Saturday had only one out of the four machines operational. This caused problems. It took me some 20 minutes queuing to get to the payment machine. As said it is card only which caused problems in its use to some. Not good enough having one machine.

  4. why are people driving through the *road closed for pedestrain social distance* areas in Nantwich town. I have seen cars sitting in the traffic lights outside Harrisons just in front of the road closed signs and I have seen cars driving past Laura Ashley down the 2nd road closed area. . Do these people think they are exempt – why cant people respect the decision even if you dont agree with it. the bollards should be in place in such a way the area cannot be driven through.

    • I appreciate there will be people completely ignoring the road closure for their own selfish benefit, but it is also important to not tar everyone with the same brush as there will still be a number of people who need to use the roads to get their residential address and shouldn’t be treated with contempt and dirty looks.

  5. David Marren says:

    Cheshire East’s decision to ban cash payments for using its car parks is discriminatory because it is ageist. Ironic it behaves in a discriminatory fashion whilst consulting on its equality objectives. Covid-19 has been used as the excuse but I believe there is an intent to bar the use of cash PERMANENTLY because it will save the Council more than £100k a year in cash collection costs. If you want to change the Council’s approach you need to complain to it either by letter or through the Council’s website at: https://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/council_and_democracy/customer-services/complaints_and_feedback/complaints_and_feedback.aspx

    Also complain to the Equality Advisory Support Service on 0808 800 0082. And complain to your local Cllr. The unfairness of free parking in Sandbach will be addressed. Enough recorded complaints including complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman can change their direction and stop cashless becoming permanent.

  6. Phillip Walker says:

    Since Nantwich has closed off a lot of the roads for social distancing, I wouldn’t thank you to shop there.
    Nantwich has lost me any many of my friends as a shopper.

  7. Haydn Thomas says:

    I visited Stoke on Trent last week and was pleased to see that they have cancelled all parking charges until the end of the month in order to encourage people to shop locally and
    stimulate their economy – funny how Stoke can afford to but Cheshire East still want to squeeze the lifeblood out of our shoppers!

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