TATTON MP Esther McVey has urged Cheshire East’s top boss to step in and tackle parking problems in Knutsford to help protect the high street.

Ms McVey said everything possible must be done to support businesses and high street shops, and that current restrictions, both in terms of the car parking barriers and payment for parking, were detrimental to the area.

She has written to Cheshire East chief executive Lorraine O’Donnell asking her to intervene in the matter.

Ms McVey said: “The queues in car parks in Knutsford are ridiculous, and both businesses and residents are at their wits’ end.

“We should be doing everything possible to support businesses and ensure our high streets thrive as we return to a more normal way of life.

“Obstacles such as no on-street parking and car parking ticket machines that do not take cash are not helping.

“People are queuing up as card payment readers are slow and people get frustrated and leave and go somewhere else, which is not what we want.

“We want our local economy to thrive. When people leave they go home and buy online, which does not help our local retailers who we all need to be supporting to help them get back on their feet.

“I have written to senior officers at the council about this matter and it is still a problem, so I am hoping the chief executive will personally look at this matter and get back to me with how the council is going to sort out the problem.

“I would suggest if the machines cannot be made to take cash again that charges are stopped until a better or faster system is in place.”

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Ms McVey has repeatedly called for the parking barriers to be removed, fearing it was deterring people from shopping in Knutsford as it gave the impression that the town was closed.

Parking charges were suspended in Cheshire East at the start of the coronavirus lockdown to support keyworkers, and were reintroduced on June 15 when high street shops reopened.