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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Hana Kelly

Christie Hospital parking scheme extension paused following resident outcry

An extension of the parking scheme around the Christie Hospital has been paused.

The extension to the scheme, which went live in Withington on August 2, will see parking restrictions brought to more streets in Withington. It had been brought in to cope with the rising number of staff at the Christie hospital.

However many residents are against the scheme, which offers a free permit to residents and charges £45 for a visitors’ permit, as many roads are now marked with double yellow lines and no waiting zones.

It was announced on August 13 by the Old Moat Labour Voice on Facebook that the extension to the scheme was no longer live and would be paused until further notice with anyone who was a resident and received a fine, to be refunded.

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The council confirmed this and told the Manchester Evening News that the scheme would go live again on October 1, with a spokesperson saying: “The extended boundary of Christie Parking Scheme has been agreed, but while the work is undertaken to complete the signage and road lining, we will not be enforcing against parking restrictions in the extended area. We expect this work to be completed by 1 October.

"During this period, enforcement will continue as usual for the existing Christies Parking Scheme area.

"In the meantime, we would advise all residents who live within the boundary of the parking scheme to continue to apply for the appropriate permits now and ahead of the extended scheme coming into force."

Hill Street Withington, where new yellow lines stop residents parking outside their homes (MEN)

A further statement added: "Enforcement has temporarily been delayed in the new restriction area until the signage and road lining are complete, and additional communications have gone out to all local stakeholders. In the interim, tickets issues to motorists have been rescinded and refunds made to those who have already paid."

Hill Street is one such road where the amount of available parking has been heavily reduced by the introduction of bays, yellow lines, and double yellow lines. Similarly, some residents have been receiving fines for parking outside their own homes, both before and after August 2.

Janet Hurst, who’s lived on Hill Street for around 30 years, used to park her car outside her house every day but was given a parking fine two weeks before the scheme started. She said: “I got a parking ticket two and a half weeks before it started.

“I’ve never been able to park along here since they’ve been put in place. It’s causing trouble between the neighbours.

Janet Hurst, a resident of Hill Street (MEN)

“If I was fortunate enough to go on holiday, where would I leave my car?

“It’s just causing animosity between neighbours. Why didn’t they just make the road for residents only?”

Janet also expressed her confusion as she was not aware that the scheme was no longer live. Adding: “Two weeks ago, they put letters through the doors saying you could go to the library for help with permits. Why couldn’t they do that with the suspension?

“I need something official through my door, I’m not going to park and risk getting a ticket.”

Elisha Kennett, a nurse, was also unaware that her road was not currently a live part of the Christie Scheme and said: “When it first started, I couldn’t get a permit, I had to put a note in the car. The last thing I want is to get a fine for parking outside my home.

“It wasn’t the easiest thing in the world to sort it. Only last week, I got a letter through the door explaining how.

Despite this, she is still following the rules and parking in the bays because she doesn’t want to risk a ticket, as some of her neighbours have received them. She added: “I’m getting used to it. I’m a nurse and I work unsocial hours so I leave my car here in the day.

“We’ve got two cars for our house, we’re both nurses and there’s students next door, last year they had three cars.

“Before the lines, we were double parked on both sides and there were no problems. There’s just no communication.”

Joan Campion, a retired lecturer, has lived in Hill Street for 27 years and has found the introduction of the parking scheme problematic. She has complained to the council and has written to her MP and local councillors about the matter, but still feels like Hill Street is being unfairly targeted with yellow lines and not enough parking bays.

Joan Campion, a resident of Hill Street (MEN)

For a road to have parking bays along both sides, it must measure 7.3m, however, Hill Street only measures 6.55m, and the introduction of bays means the residents have lost many parking spaces to yellow lines.

She said: “It’s dreadful. They say they sent us a letter in 2020, I never received a letter, several people say the same.

“The first we knew was the yellow lines and boxes. It started on August 1 and they had traffic wardens coming down.”

Joan also added that the changes in parking were causing problems between the neighbours and issues on other nearby roads.

“It’s causing arguments. On Yew Tree Road, they’re parking on the pavements, there were eight cars with tickets on them on Rippingham Road.

“It’s the big brother thing, yellow lines appearing, people being booked by traffic wardens.

“We’ve managed for so many years, they park on both sides for years.”

A spokesperson for The Christie said: “The Christie recognises the impact it has on residents in the vicinity of our Withington site and we work hard to be good neighbours. We also recognise that for many of our staff, including those who work shifts, travel by car may be their only viable travel option.

“A new tired car park has been developed off Cotton Lane and, together with more staff working from home, should result in a significant reduction in staff parking in the vicinity of the hospital site. We encourage staff to car share, use public transport and other modes of transport such as cycling where possible.

“Further details of Manchester City Council’s ‘Christie parking scheme’ are published on their website including details of any consultations and implementation plans. We expect all our staff to park sensibly and with consideration to others and are working to maximise the use of staff car parks at The Christie.”


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