MP Jonathan Reynolds has asked bosses at Tameside Council to delay the implementation of full car park charges in Stalybridge – until sewers repairs are complete.
Part of Corporation Street is expected to be closed for six months while United Utilities carry out vital maintenance to underground sewers.
The road closures have prompted fears amongst some traders that shoppers will stay away. And as High Streets across the country continue to struggle, some independent traders have said this may threaten their survival.
The road closures come as Tameside Council are set to implement new parking tariffs in the town centre – doubling the pressures on local traders.
So now Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds – who has been working with traders and businesses in Stalybridge for some time – has asked the council to delay the new parking charges in Stalybridge until the sewer work is complete.
He has written to the council’s executive member for transport and development, Cllr Peter Robinson, to outline his views.
“Our town centres should be a vibrant focus for our communities and in these difficult times we should do all that we can to support our High Streets,” said Mr Reynolds.
“The start of the year can be a difficult time for businesses, as rents and other outgoings are often due. This year – as our economy continues to struggle – I know many traders feel that their survival will be harder than ever.
“In Stalybridge traders are concerned that road closures that have been put in place for sewer repairs combined with new parking charges from the council will deter shoppers from visiting the town centre.
“It has been suggested that concessions to the new car parking charges would help.
“I have now written to the council to ask them to delay the implementation of car park charges in Stalybridge until the work is complete.
“I recognise the council has already taken steps to ease the situation by enabling traffic to access Armentieres Square – and now I hope they will feel able to make this further concession.”