Veteran Manchester politician , Pat Karney, spokesman for city centre Manchester, Director of Smokefree Greater Manchester , Councillor for Harpurhey (Although he doesn’t live there !) , driving force behind Manchester’s Mardi Gras and chastiser of Tesco’s for selling lager to Rangers fans has recently contributed to the debate on the state of High Street shops by suggesting that The Trafford Centre , the mega mall on the edge of the M6o motorway should be forced to start charging for parking so that Manchester’s city centre retailers would be on a level playing field with the vast temple of Mammon, aka The Trafford Centre some 5 miles away.
Here’s an idea, Pat, why not exert some influence in a forum where your voice is actually listened to ? Manchester decided in October to implement longer chargeable periods for it’s on-street parking, removing the opportunity for people to park free on Sundays and charging for 12 hours of every day. Everyone outside of a mental health unit and over the age of seven can see that this will only discourage people from shopping in Manchester and drive even more shoppers to alternatives like the Trafford Centre or Online.
But then this is not new behaviour for members of Manchester’s Politburo, Labour councillors have hated the motorist for a long time now constantly altering road layouts without consideration for the private motorist, narrowing the few remaining through routes with pointless cycle lanes and underused bus lanes and employing hordes of voracious wardens to harass and pursue those foolhardy enough to drive into the city centre.
Not that it’s one rule for all of course, it’s easy to do without access by car or inadequate public transport when you live in a council flat built for pensioners in the Northern Quarter, isn’t it Pat? Or you can always find a car parking bay, free of charge, close to your place of work in the part of Lloyd Street that the council annexed between the Town hall and it’s extension. We all used to be able to park there in the Eighties, did you know that Mr Leese?
Karney has given us many words of wisdom before:
On car parking in 2007:
Plans for evening and Sunday parking charges in Manchester look set to collapse after a senior Labour councillor branded them “crass and crude”.
Pat Karney, the council’s city centre spokesman, said in a letter to the M.E.N. that the proposed charges would “penalise city residents and modestly-paid city centre workers”.
Coun Karney, in a joint letter with Labour council candidate Kathy Crotty, writes: “We do not believe that these crass and crude parking charges will solve these problems or benefit Manchester. We call on the council to withdraw these charges and set up a task force that listens to residents and workers.”
In 2006 Councillor Pat Carney banning people from watching World Cup football in Exchange Square because (he said) there were four arrests on the day and he witnessed someone giving his son a sip of beer. There were 14,000 people there.
In 2008 , Karney had forgotten this as he welcomed ticketless Glasgow Rangers fans to Manchester
Police and the city council previously advised fans not to travel without a ticket. But it has now been confirmed that big outdoor screens would be installed in response to demand from fans.
Manchester City Council’s spokesman on the city centre, Councillor Pat Karney, said: “In the light of Rangers qualifying for the final and the massive reported demand from fans for bigger and better provision, we’ve arranged for big outdoor screens for fans to watch the match.
“Manchester is looking forward to welcoming fans from Rangers FC and from FC Zenit St Petersburg for a day to remember on 14 May. Our city is well used to friendly invasions of many thousands of visitors for major events like the UEFA Cup final.
Another good call Pat , what a wonderful and joyous occasion that became later that evening.
The real reason that the parking charges are in place is , of course, because the City Council are hooked on the revenue that parking brings and cannot give it up. But then, perhaps it could, by implementing some budget cuts like cancelling vanity TV adverts put out by Marketing Manchester encouraging people to visit Manchester. Pat Karney is on the board of this arm of the council too.