CEC car parking -Snow Hill Nantwich - parking charges recommenced on 15th June 2020 (1)

The “free after 3pm” car parking scheme on some Cheshire East Council car parks will be kept after the results of a public consultation.

But parking charges looks set to be introduced in most car parks where it is currently free, and charges may also be brought in on Sundays.

And it will increase the council’s standard parking tariffs by the rate of inflation. It is the first increase since 2018.

The controversial new parking charges will come into force despite opposition from more than 8,000 residents who had their say in the consultation.

The proposals include introducing charges in the existing ‘free’ towns of Alsager, Audlem, Bollington, Handforth, Holmes Chapel, Middlewich, Poynton, Prestbury and Sandbach.

This aims to create a fairer parking regime as towns like Nantwich, Crewe Macclesfield and Knutsford have been paying for years.

Other recommendations include ending the scheme whereby users of Crewe and Nantwich leisure centres get their parking costs refunded and off-loading some car parks.

Cllr Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council and chair of its highways and transport committee, said: “I would like to thank all those who took the time to respond to our consultation.

“We know that residents and businesses in some areas are very concerned about the impact on their local high street of any changes to parking.

“While parking charges are just one potential factor affecting consumer decisions and habits, we have listened and looked again at our proposals, and have been able to put forward some key changes.

“But this council – like many other local councils across the country – is facing increasing financial pressure.

“Doing nothing and sticking with the same parking regime is not only something that we cannot afford to do but would mean that we continue with the inherited, unfair legacy where some of our residents pay to park in their local town centre, and others do not.

“All car parks – whether they’re free to use or not – need maintenance, management, and enforcement and the costs relating to these services have significantly increased and continue to rise.

“The costs associated with the ‘free’ car parks alone are around £400,000 per year.

“Not making difficult decisions, such as increasing parking charges, means the pressure on the council’s finances worsens even further.

“The result would be a reduction in other services that fall under the highways and transport committee, for example roads maintenance or bus subsidies.

“Fairer charges for parking also help us to deliver the council’s own published priorities, including encouraging more people to use sustainable and active modes of transport, especially for shorter journeys.”

CEC says it will monitor the impact amid fears many will stop using car parks facing new charges and park on residential streets.

It says “potential mitigation measures” will be in place, such as parking zones or bays for residents, time-limited parking bays, or single or double yellow lines.

But it warned current proposals will not resolve the department’s budget gap, and other measures could be brought in for 2024-25.

These include introducing a Sunday parking charge, pulling in £180,000 per year, and extending parking charges to cover evening periods, with a potential income of £300,000.

The report to committee also recommends changes to the arrangements for staff and member parking permits, as part of the council’s corporate travel plan, with consultation to take place at a later stage.

Altogether 8,384 representations were received from across the borough during the six-week consultation period.

Of these 8,127 were objections, 127 neutral and 130 supported the proposals.

Of the total objections, 6,804 came from towns where parking is currently free, with the most – more than 3,000 – coming from Sandbach and more than 1,000 from Alsager.

Full information about all the proposals for each individual town and village can be found on the Cheshire East website here

The highways and transport committee meeting takes place at Macclesfield Town Hall at 10.30am on Thursday, January 25.


  1. Tom Edwards says:

    I work in town and would not dream of wasting £700 on parking. plenty of close areas to park on the street at and walk in for 5 mins

    Other towns have free parking after 3pm, its great, mind you the stores open at 10am and close an hour later

    Saturday doesn’t need to be the only shopping day

  2. Well all this will do will drive people away from towns to places like retail parks and supermarkets which offer free parking for 3 hours and 1.5 for supermarkets so trying to force people who only use a vehicle this fee is not only unfair but a joke just like the green bin fee it only charges some people and not everyone pays the same con taxes and it is unfair the authority needs to price things fairly like put it on the con tax so everyone pays a fee but then on the flip side you pay for a parking space and the green bins to be emptied if you wanted to how ever if ur smart you can bi pass the charges by finding free parking or street parking with no lines on them as as long ad ur not coursing a obstruction on the road then the highway code says you can park there if u like and the green bin charge again as long as the rubbish is in bin bags u can put what u like in the black bin apart from battery’s and oil ect thay say thay will fine u for putting wrong rubbish in the bin but that’s if it’s loose the rules say all rubbish must be in bin bags and what are the bin men going to do check every bin bag I don’t think so some how as this is not practical is it and if someone rips ur bags open to check u can do them for privacy laws and trespassing so ways around those things be smart thay think we are dum but some of us are far smarter then the council is.

  3. The Financial mismanagement by local authorities up and down the breath of the country. High salaries for those who are accountable, ludicrous management costs, poor investment initiatives,
    then they blame central government!!!!

    ….who’s than penalised US the tax payers…complete bollxxks

  4. Make it absolutely clear that it’s free after 3. I paid as the machine clearly states mon-fri 8-6 and could nit obtain my refund at the gym

  5. And what about the poor staff who work in these towns. Nantwich staff are already paying over £700 ay year to work and now the council wants to put it over £1000!

  6. Please tell me what the total cost of the consultation process was. Please explain the reasons of having a consultation process when you totally ignore the feedback.
    Is this really democracy at work?
    I would suggest it is yet another example of tax payers money being wasted.
    Mr Bailey you are absolutely right in your analysis.

  7. The parking machines are not cheap. Don’t forget they will have had to replace the ones that got nicked last year.

  8. More buys from Amazon , free delivery and Chester where partaking is better value for money as more to see, do and shops/stores to visit RIP Nantwich

  9. 400,000 thousand to maintain the free carparks,no wonder this lot are in financial trouble, who comes up with these figures and what qualifications do they have,I would question there maths.

    I understand the need for maintenance but how much does a large tarmac area with a few white lines on it cost to look after.

    Sorry but I am sure most of this councils figures are plucked out of the air

  10. This does not apply to Bowyers row car park which is private and will earn you a ticket.

  11. John Bailey says:

    Why did you go to the trouble and expense to ask residents for their opinion when you had obviously already made the decision to charge for parking. Once again we are paying for past mistakes.

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