‘It’s so frus­trat­ing when you can’t find a park­ing space...’

After hear­ing your com­plaints, Dave Knap­per hit the streets of Han­ley to dis­cover for him­self how dif­fi­cult it is to find a park­ing space in the city cen­tre

The Sentinel - - THE BIG ISSUE -

L ONG-SUF­FER­ING mo­torists in the Pot­ter­ies are well versed with con­ges­tion, road­works and pot­holes.

But work­ers and shop­pers in Han­ley have a new an­noy­ance lead­ing to some tight grips of the steer­ing wheel – car parks.

The Sen­tinel has pre­vi­ously re­ported how those who have bought a park­ing pass from Stoke-on-trent City Coun­cil have been left frus­trated after turn­ing up on a morn­ing to find their car park full.

A fin­ger of an­noy­ance has been pointed at Hinde Street, where pass hold­ers pay­ing hun­dreds of pounds for the priv­i­lege of park­ing are re­port­edly spend­ing half-an-hour search­ing for a space be­fore just giv­ing up.

Things may well get worse for Hinde Street as 50 bays are set to be as­signed to guests at the £20 mil­lion Hilton Gar­den Inn, which is due to open later this year.

Nearby John Street multi-storey car park is also a busy lo­ca­tion, with any­one ar­riv­ing after around 9.30am find­ing them­selves ‘on the roof’ – or look­ing else­where.

The city coun­cil has, as ex­pected, de­fended the amount of spa­ces in Han­ley by say­ing there is enough ca­pac­ity, and re­mind­ing the irked Hinde Street pass hold­ers that they can use other lo­ca­tions.

How­ever, we de­cided to hit the streets of Han­ley to find out how easy it is to find a space in the city cen­tre.

Sen­tinel Busi­ness Ed­i­tor Laura James says even on a good day it will take her 15 min­utes to get parked up.

She said: “The park­ing in Han­ley has been get­ting pro­gres­sively worse for about six months.

“I have the op­tion of park­ing at ei­ther Hinde Street or John Street, and on a good day it takes me about 15 min­utes to find a park­ing space.

“It’s re­ally frus­trat­ing to have to pay hun­dreds of pounds a year on a park­ing pass and not be able to get a space.”

Mean­while, busi­ness own­ers in Han­ley be­lieve the is­sue of park­ing needs to be ad­dressed.

Jane Hall is owner of Munchies cafe on Pic­cadilly. The 58-year-old said: “I think it’s too ex­pen­sive. Now Cle­mentsons Mill has gone too for an­other ho­tel – do we need an­other ho­tel?

“I think the park­ing sit­u­a­tion is

putting peo­ple off com­ing in. It needs to be more af­ford­able.”

Melanie Eard­ley, aged 27, who runs Pic­cadilly-based sa­lon Al­tar, said: “The car parks are ei­ther full or just re­ally ex­pen­sive.

“I know you can park on Tesco, but that’s just for a few hours or you are risk­ing a fine. I think there needs to be more spa­ces, but also for them to be a lot more af­ford­able – es­pe­cially for peo­ple who work in Han­ley and are here all day.”

Daniel Jel­ly­man, cab­i­net mem­ber for re­gen­er­a­tion, trans­port and her­itage at the city coun­cil, de­fended the park­ing pro­vi­sion in Han­ley – but sym­pa­thised with work­ers fac­ing a walk. He said: “There are over 1,500 park­ing spa­ces on a va­ri­ety of city coun­cil car parks within walk­ing dis­tance of shops and busi­nesses in the city cen­tre. We do ap­pre­ci­ate that some car parks are a lit­tle fur­ther away from the main shop­ping ar­eas than oth­ers. With the growth of the Smith­field area, and the full oc­cu­pancy of both Smith­field build­ings, we do un­der­stand that this area is par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar.

“Busy car parks are a sign of a grow­ing econ­omy and suc­cess­ful city.”

CLOGGED UP: Re­porter Dave Knap­per try­ing to find a spot in John Street, and in­set, Hinde Street car park. Pic­tures: Steve Bould

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.