Drivers discover new and free parking spaces in Manchester city centre

Dozens of Motorists are using a central reservation to park for free in Manchester city centre. Credit: James Stafford/MEN Media

Motorists in Manchester have found a unique place to park in the city centre - dodging car parking charges.

Cycling campaigner James Stafford shared a video on social media which shows the central reservation underneath Mancunian Way packed with cars and vans. 

The space stretches from the Cambridge Street Junction right through to the Princess Road roundabout which cost £9million.

Dozens of drivers have been seen parking underneath the Mancunian Way. Credit: James Stafford

Mr Stafford posted a video as he walked passed over the weekend as dozens of cars filled the area. 

His tongue in cheek caption said: “Here is a tour of Manchester's latest new free city centre car park underneath the Mancunian Way.

"Be careful though, it's a little dangerous mounting on/off, there are no parking bay or dropped curbs.

"But it's close to the city centre and free."

It is believed that people began using the space as a parking spot at the end of 2020 - and Manchester Council officers are ‘aware’ of the situation, and are figuring out how to prevent it. 

But as Covid restrictions have eased, more people have begun driving again which has made the issue worse.

Mr Stafford added: “All it takes is a few to do it and it encourages others." 

It seems really dangerous to me anyway.

James Stafford, cycling campaigner

Manchester City Council has been considering introducing an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) which charges people with polluting vehicles when they enter the city centre.

However, many businesses oppose the ULEZ arguing it is a cost they cannot afford. 

A spokesperson for Manchester City Council said: "We would strongly discourage anyone from parking on the central reservation underneath the Mancunian Way.

"This area is intended for maintenance of the motorway. Motorists attempting to park on this piece of land run the risk of causing a collision to other road users.

"The Council is considering interim steps to prevent the use of this land for parking and in the long term, installing barriers limiting access to maintenance staff.

"There are many parking spaces in the city centre and we would encourage drivers to use them, or to use public transport to travel to Manchester where possible."