A STALYBRIDGE resident has highlighted car parking issues in Stalybridge.
Steve Walton added they will only get worse when the Castle Street car park, earmarked for development, disappears.
He said: “I live in Pattern House on Castle Street with my wife, and we both use the Castle Street council car park.
“My immediate concern is where are the residents, visitors, traders, shoppers and people who work in Stalybridge and the Manchester commuters going to park their cars if the development goes ahead and the impact it will have on the town in general having very little parking facilities.”
Steve has also written to Tameside Council about problems for existing users – he has paid £354 to the local authority for a six-day, 12-month car parking permit.
In his letter to Tameside Council, a frustrated Steve wrote: “With the lack of parking spaces in Stalybridge and the town being so popular, people are now blocking in cars on Castle Street car park, my car has been blocked in now for over four hours.
“Both entrances/exits to the car park are only one car away from being totally blocked on a regular basis due to the constant flow of people looking for somewhere to park.
“The number of non-existent bays is either 101 or 130 dependent on which Tameside Council website you visit and, since there are no bays marked out, people just dump their cars/vans anywhere causing obstructions. Also causing obstructions are the ponds of water rendering bays unusable.
“On a public safety note, and duty of care, the car park is not serviced by any street lighting making it an ideal place for muggers and other unsavoury characters.
“Lighting at the pay point would be useful as well so you can see the letters and numbers so no mistakes are made when entering your registration number.
“I trust you will be able to understand my concerns about the car park, and act accordingly by putting in bays, lighting and draining the pond and puddles, having done a brief study on car/van movements in the car park well over 1,000 vehicles use it on a weekly basis. I await your reply.”
Steve has also uncovered a discrepancy about the £354 cost of his six-day 12-month parking permit.
He explained: “I was looking on the council’s car parking page on their website after a conversation with a friend and noticed that the cost had been reduced to £302.
“I phoned the car parking services asking when the cost had been reduced. The chap I spoke with said there had been no reduction since I purchased my permit in August 19. I asked for and was given a refund of £52.
“I then asked if all the other over charged permit holders would receive a refund, good point was his answer. I wonder if this has happened?
“Have they kept the parking cost low on Castle Street (SIDS old site) knowing what their intentions are for the car park so they can say it’s not profitable and would cost too much to make good!”
Councillor Eleanor Wills, executive member for health, social care and population health, is taking up the matter.In an email to Steve, she said: “I agree that certainly some of these issues need resolving. I will also be pushing some of the points you’ve raised for a point of safeguarding.
Ian Saxon, director of operations and neighbourhoods, in an email to Steve added: “Just to further reassure you the Castle Street car park in Stalybridge is very high on our list of priorities.
“With regards to your concerns re potential criminal activity on the car park, I will share these matters with colleagues at Greater Manchester Police.”
A Tameside Council spokesperson said: “The car park at Castle Street, Stalybridge, is within our car parking programme in which we are reviewing all parking facilities in the borough, including machines, bays, lighting and resurfacing.
“We’re looking at improving all parking facilities throughout the borough so hope to have this completed as soon as possible.
“With regards to the charges of the car park pass, a refund was processed immediately. The problem was caused by a temporary fault with the automated payment line and rectified straightaway.”