Tameside Council Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington said: “I have taken the decision to suspend the cashless on street parking system (RingGo) in Ashton-under-Lyne. All parking charges, restrictions and enforcement in this specific area will be removed with immediate effect (from 2pm on 7 January 2019) in order that we have the time and opportunity for a full review to be carried out.
“The scheme was introduced in early November last year following a detailed feasibility study, and completion of all the necessary processes including statutory consultation and decision by the Strategic Planning and Capital Monitoring Panel back in 2017 prior to my time as Executive Leader. To assist users with the new parking arrangements, the scheme was phased across two stages. Enforcement through Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) was suspended for a period to deal with signage issues and was fully reinstated at the end of December.
“While the vast majority of people have used the system successfully, some have struggled with the cashless approach and traders have said they feel it has had an impact on their businesses. Having looked carefully at all the evidence available to me, and listened to feedback, I have taken the decision to suspend the system. Over the next few weeks, I will consult with colleagues and others on the most appropriate replacement that meets the needs of shoppers, visitors and traders alike.
“I hope this decision brings the current issues to a close so we can now focus on what promises to be an exciting year for Ashton-under-Lyne in 2019. When Vision Tameside is completed in the spring, the town centre will have an impressive new building housing an advanced skills centre for Tameside College, as well as a joint public service centre for Tameside Council and Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group, plus a new Wilko store. A library, customer services, Citizens Advice Bureau, credit union, welfare rights and Job Centre Plus will also be located in the complex.
“Once the new building is completed, work will commence to finalise the civic square creating a fantastic new public space alongside the already transformed outdoor market area. Bollards will be used so pedestrians have priority between 10am and 4pm. This will increase safety by allowing people to shop without having to worry about cars and vans. Construction of a new transport hub is also underway. When finished, it will make Ashton-under-Lyne town centre much more accessible by public transport.
“Taken together these improvements will ensure Ashton-under-Lyne town centre will be a brighter and better place for visitors and shoppers alike, with increasing footfall supporting local businesses.”
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