Rules in some areas to be relaxed and parking officers' focus is to shift

Parking regulations are being altered in Manchester. So, it’s free parking and a portion of free parkin cake wherever you want to park at any time of day and night. Entertainment will be arranged, plus a range of drinks including the most exquisite wines and spirits.

Well, no, that’s not happening. That’s a fib. 

We’re not supposed to be driving around rubber-necking so keeping the parking restrictions in place for the rest of us makes sense

Instead, as part of World War C - as some people are calling the current situation - parking officers will concentrate their attentions. They will be ‘tasked with focusing chiefly on the most serious contraventions, particularly around key areas and facilities such as hospitals, to ensure that vital access for emergency services and other essential traffic is maintained.’

Apparently central government has instructed councils to continue to enforce parking restrictions to keep the national arteries clear, specifically:

Parking on yellow lines at junctions;

Breaches of loading restrictions;

Parking on zig-zags at crossings;

The obstruction of dropped kerbs. Meanwhile, resident parking schemes will also continue to be administered.

Parking Ticket Parking Fine Fixed Penalty Notice Car Park
Tickets, boo, tickets...where's the free parkin cake

At the same time the council would like to point out that all council car parks, which are operated jointly by the council and NCP, are now open and free to use for key workers and city centre residents who have yellow line restrictions outside their properties. If you fall into one of these categories then check at to see if the NCP car park you use is part of the scheme.

Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, Councillor Angeliki Stogia, said: “The movement of emergency services and vehicles transporting food and other key supplies is absolutely critical at this time, so we need to make sure that parking is appropriately monitored and essential travel is not impeded. Key workers, plus residents who cannot park for free outside their homes due to parking restrictions, can benefit from free parking by using their nearest NCP car park, with additional measures in place to ensure that NHS and social care workers can park safely as required, without fear of facing charges.”

Road Sign Traffic Manchester 64
'We need to make sure that parking is appropriately monitored'

Of course, it could be argued that all other on-street car parking away from junctions and key buildings, along King Street say, should be made free for all of us. Ease the financial burden and all that during this troubled times. But then why bother? Since we’re not supposed to be driving around rubber-necking then keeping the parking restrictions in place, especially across the city centre, makes sense and doesn't encourage people to loosen their discipline. 

So, free parkin cake, entertainment and the most exquisite wines and spirits will have to wait for another day.