Councillors have assured frustrated Cheadle shop owners that they are seeking a solution to the growing parking problem. The village is enjoying something of a boom recently with new businesses moving to the area – but it appears some of that success has backfired on some of the more established local businesses.
A parking permit system was introduced to allow local residents and people working in Cheadle to use car parking facilities, but Cheadle’s shopkeepers believe their businesses are suffering as a result of parking arrangements in the village. With over 400 spaces, Cheadle enjoys one of the biggest car parking allocations in the area and, yet shoppers are apparently struggling to find places to park and local business it seems is suffering as a result.
David Silcock, of Ennerdales Greengrocers (pictured above) said : “We’re fifty per cent down on customers in the last year, many have have stopped coming. We used to get customers from Wilmslow and Heald Green and more and more are telling us about the problems they have parking”
David Beech of Sea It Fresh Fish said: “A little while ago a fishmongers in Bramhall closed down and we noticed an upturn in trade but it only lasted a month because people said they could find anywhere to park.”
Mark O’Malley of Jackson O’Malley Butchers believes the problem can be alleviated with some flexibility of the permit system during the day:
“Chapel Street is permit holders only and is currently empty, if they allowed short stay parking during the day until say 4 or 5pm that would free up 15 to 20 spaces.”
Cheadle and Gatley Councillor Iain Roberts explained that the situation is a symptom of the area’s success but that a variety of measures are being taken and additional ones investigated to solve the issue. He said:
“Although Cheadle has more parking spaces than any similar sized village in the Stockport area it is at the same time a very successful village and more and more people want to come here.
“One of the big changes we’ve been working on is that the Alexandra Hospital is converting the old coal yard, most of that is overflow car parking for the hospital itself and they’re adding on another 130 new spaces. In that is the capacity to take 30 people who work at the BMI offices in Cheadle so that will then free up nearly 10 per cent of the spaces.
“We are also going to look at whether we can allow limited parking for non-residents during the day in what are, at the moment, permit only residents parking spaces.
“There is also a suggestion from my colleague Graham Greenhalgh who has pointed out that the actual roadways around the Massie Street car parks for example are quite wide, two way roads and if we narrowed them and made them one way we could fit in more spaces.
Councillor Roberts is hopeful that some, if not all of these measures can be brought in relatively quickly:
“My hope is the BMI move and this could make a big difference. I would very much hope that we could do this in the next six months because I feel it is affordable and shouldn’t take an awful lot of effort”.