No free parking for Diamond Jubilee revellers in Stoke-on-Trent
REVELLERS enjoying Jubilee celebrations in Stoke-on-Trent will have to pay to park – after party-pooper officials refused to waive charges.
Across the border, Cheshire East Council has decided to waive parking charges on Monday and Tuesday, in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
It will also be free to park in Newcastle.
However, Stoke-on-Trent City Council says it has no intention of lifting its parking charges for any of its 34 car parks and a total of 3,713 car parking spaces, 121 disabled spaces and 38 motorcycle spaces.
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Councillor Ruth Rosenau, Labour, cabinet member for regeneration, planning and transportation, said: “Parking is going to be as normal."
Richard Cresswell, chairman of Longton Chamber of Trade and owner of engineering and ironmongery products firm RD Cresswell and Co, said: “It’s very short-sighted. It is a special occasion and if the council did waive the parking charges it would help small businesses, which is what they want.
“It is going to be a nice weekend, the weather will be good and people will be out and about.”
Bill McDonald, chairman of Tunstall Chamber of Trade, said: “We are quite conditioned to pay parking charges in Tunstall, we don’t expect anything from the council.
“Free parking would be nice. We’ve only got a couple of shops open over the bank holiday. It might encourage more to open, if we could get increased footfall by not having to pay.”
Meanwhile, in Newcastle and Cheshire, revellers will be able to soak up the party atmosphere without having to ensure they have a valid parking ticket.
Councillor Rod Menlove, Conservative cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said: “Cheshire East Council has taken this decision to ensure that party-goers can concentrate on enjoying themselves for the whole celebration, rather than worrying about if their ticket has expired.
Apart from the two bank holidays, parking in Cheshire East is free on Sundays, meaning penalties will only be enforced on Saturday.
Paul Bates, chairman of Congleton’s Business Association, said: “I think it’s fabulous, there’s a lot going on in Congleton and we are expecting a lot of people.
“It’s a great opportunity for people to come into the town centre without worrying about parking.”
A spokesman for Newcastle Borough Council said that although no special arrangements had been made, parking was free anyway on Sundays and bank holidays.
Weekend and bank holiday parking charges are enforced in Stoke-on-Trent.