Deansgate Car Park NCP
The Deansgate site is one of 13 reverting to council control

Manchester eyes redevelopment of NCP car parks 

Dan Whelan

The city council is planning to scrap almost half of Manchester’s 30,000 city centre parking spaces over the next 20 years and could redevelop some off-street car parks, after taking over control of 13 former NCP sites. 

Manchester City Council’s 21-year partnership with car park operator NCP will be scaled back in the new year, paving the way for the local authority to push on with redeveloping some of the sites over the next 20 years. 

In total, 25 off-street sites are covered by the agreement, 12 of which will continue to be operated by NCP beyond January 2021.

The 25 car parks account for one-third of the city centre’s off-street capacity and the 13 that will be operated by the council from January 2021 total 4,500 spaces. 

The car parks which will revert to council control are:

– Bloom Street
– Bridge Street
– Bridgewater Hall
– Chepstow Street
– Church Street
– Faulkner Street
– The Grand / Piccadilly Gardens
– High Street
– Hulme Street
– King Street West
– Market Place / Deansgate
– Sheffield Street
– Stone Street 

The council plans to reduce the number of parking spaces in the city centre by 12,500 for “new developments”, according to the authority’s 20-year transport strategy. 

“We believe that the use of the car needs to change and be carefully managed in our future city centre. To support this, we will be removing some existing car parking within the core of the city centre,” the strategy states. 

Executive member for the environment, planning and transport, Cllr Angeliki Stogia, said: “This is a big opportunity for us to look afresh at our city centre car parks and gives us the flexibility we need to ensure that they serve the public better in the future.  

“Manchester is changing and has set an ambitious target of becoming zero-carbon by 2038 at the latest. We will be working to ensure that sufficient parking space is available to meet the needs of those who live, work or visit the city, while also taking full account of the bold proposals set out in the new city centre transport strategy and the city’s zero-carbon goal.” 

Despite the longer-term plan to repurpose a large proportion of Manchester’s car parking provision, the council plans to improve the car parks in the short term through the provision of cycle and motorbike storage and the installation of electric vehicle charging points.

Chester Street, Chorlton Street, Great Northern, Manchester Central, Oxford Street, Palace, Park Street, Piccadilly Plaza, Port Street, Printworks, Sackville Street, Spinningfields car parks will continue to be operated by NCP. 

Your Comments

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Excellent news. Cars are a gigantic waste of space in this city, the sooner we get rid of all car parking spaces the sooner we can revert those uses to something which will actually contribute to and benefit the city.

Studies have shown that people who arrive at shops by car spend only 1/3rd of the amount that pedestrains and cyclists do. So not only are motorists destroying our environment and wasting precious city centre space, they also contribute very little to the economy, and detract far more from the environment.

Get rid now.

By Anonymous

Certainly the Stone Street car park can just be given over to the Roman ruins park, the spaces currently eat into it

By Bradford

What sort of development? Empty offices, empty apartments or empty shops?

By Dan

Nice to see a city serious about it’s climate targets

By Liverpool Lacks Romance

“people who arrive at shops by car spend only 1/3rd of the amount that pedestrains and cyclists do” this is not true

By Dan

It`s no problem. Just shop at the Trafford centre instead. The anti-car nazis of today are tomorrows car drivers.

By e-Niro

What a stupid idea. No surprise considering it comes from Manchester City Council – a breeding ground of stupidity for many decades.

By Anonymous

I hope they’re planning to turn most of these into parks and greenspace

By Anonymous

A lot of these should never have been built in the first place. Would love to see The Arndale car park go and repurposed into something beautiful (whilst still having car parking).

By Observer

People will still drive into Manchester city centre, leave the car on double yellows, and the Council will issue more tickets. If you pay up quick then they reduce the fine. As car parking is so ridiculously expensive in Manchester, paying the fine promptly works out as only a little bit more than you’d pay anyway in one of their rip-off car parks, so everybody wins.


By Liver lad

I just don’t get this at all. More people will always want to drive into the city as opposed to using the clunky trams. Just when the future is hanging in the balance, they cut them off at the knees.

By Cheshire boy

Another nail in the coffin of the high street, I loved popping to town with the family on a Sunday, free off street parking, shopped till I dropped, we loaded the car with bags and off home. Not anymore.

By Anonymous

Excellent more of this. Cities are for people. One day people will look back and find it ridiculous so much of our cities and their public realm was dominated by metal boxes that add almost nothing to the inhabitants.

By Anonymous

All well and good dispensing with approx. half the city centre car parking but without decent public transport, of which there is fat chance based on past track record, this is a bonkers idea, especially for a city that plans to rapidly grow it’s population in the next 15 years!

By Grumpy Old Git

If only the council were innovative and provided free parking. And plenty of it Then developed an arterial network of “city centre” type green shuttles.expanding the free bus system now in place…accept that the car is a vital part of modern life rather that penalising and profiteering and bullying car owners…just learn to manage it without your eyes on thr £££ all the time.

By Brian

Getting rid of half the car parks will automatically get rid of half the visitors to the city. Where are the plans for a world class public transport system that will bring the people to the city in place of cars? Driving people out of the city is not good for business,

By Big Dub

More anti car,whilst nothing to replace it. More bad planning, No, no planning whatsoever, what about horse troughs and trees to hug and lentil shops. Live in the real world.

By Ian L

I find it odd to think that private car ownership will significantly reduce rather than pivot to electric/hydrogen powered vehicles.
I can understand the rationale to take away parking to dissuade trips but for many families parking charges and a bit of congestion will be cheaper and children more controllable in their own car than on public transport (they are also likely to have a guaranteed seat in their own car!).

If driving to a city becomes ever more difficult I don’t see this moving people to public transport so much as it means them going to somewhere more accessible by car.

By JohnMac

Liverpool needs to follow this but implement earlier as there is already an excellent public transport network. Hopefully soon the Lime line can be added to serve the KQ and extended to capture the new film studios.

By Mikes mate

Please can we get rid of the Arndale carpark it is a blot on the landscape.

By Anonymous

I see the regular dinosaurs are here claiming no-one will come to the city if they can’t park..

Dinosaurs, you’re wrong.

Increasing the share of walking and cycling has been shown to benefit high street businesses more than cars driving past ever did. We all know public transport needs to improve, but that can easily happen over time alongside increasing demand; and fewer cars on the road = faster buses.

And if the only way you want to shop is to drive there in your massive cyclist-killing, air-polluting Range Rover, then take yourself over to the Trafford Centre – you’re not wanted in the city centre.

By W

Ian L – interesting comment around horse troughs. City centres used to be full of them until horses became an obsolete form of inner urban transport…

By Gethin

Even as a car user I don’t mind this…I almost never drive into the city centre, I use public transport. We have to start making our cites more pleasant places for people, not cars.

By Manc Man

Second class decision from a second class leaders, turning Manchester into a second class city.

There is not much to commend driving into the city by car and even less by public transport. It’s taken 30 plus years to build a tram network that is only half completed; we have buses that offer the same third rate passenger experience we had back in the 1970s and trains so bad that they wouldn’t look out of place in the third world.

Our leaders need to focus on dialing down their overhyped rhetoric, and tangibly demonstrate they can get the city centre thriving again post CoVid. They also need to concentrate, with their stakeholder partners, on delivering a world class public transport network. Focusing on car parking ahead of this has the potential to suck the life out of an already sick patient.

By Anonymous

Take yourself to the Trafford Centre, youre not wanted in the city centre says @W. No we wont. We will carry on driving regardless. It`s not your city centre, it`s everyone`s. Car owners included.

By Anonymous

The population of Manchester City Centre is currently increasing by about 5,000 people a year. That means that within the next three years, we’ll have replaced the number of parking spaces with actual people living in the city centre, using the shops, bars and restaurants on a daily basis. The parking spaces only cater to people popping in from the suburbs every few weeks. The city centre doesn’t need these people for its survival

By Anonymous

Car Parks < Development. There’s more economic value in offices, apartments, hotels and leisure destinations than in half-dead car parks. This will also make the case for low-traffic neighbourhoods within the city centre. The naysayers need to remember that other car parks and P&R will still exist.

By Cars Don't Make Money

Anonymous – you’re not planning on anyone working in the city centre then?

By ChesneyT

“The population of Manchester City Centre is currently increasing by about 5,000 people a year. That means that within the next three years, we’ll have replaced the number of parking spaces with actual people living in the city centre, using the shops, bars and restaurants on a daily basis. The parking spaces only cater to people popping in from the suburbs every few weeks. The city centre doesn’t need these people for its survival”
Nothing said here is true

By Dan

Reading a lot of these comments I see a lot of ostriches with their heads in the sand – the future is coming people, you can’t turn back the clock. The climate crisis is happening, you can’t fear change like you do. I would expect better insight from readers of a professional industry website.

By urbanista

Anonymous is right.

The increasing number of people living in the city centre will keep it alive whether you choose to drive in or not. It’s people that spend money, not cars.

By Anonymous

Perhaps a compromise is to build car parks on the periphery of the city centre on the major arterial routes and provide park and ride facilities?

By Jim H

Some depressing comments on this thread. Go to Nottingham where they’ve managed this well. They removed multi-story capacity from the city and implemented a workplace parking tax as the delivered the 2nd line of their tram system, and since they never divested their bus company can create a more integrated public transport solution.

By Rich X

Isn’t it funny how childish the comments get when it comes to this topic ‘ your massive cyclist-killing, air-polluting Range Rover’ A well balanced opinion doesn’t have to mean a chip on both shoulders !

By Realist

Dan, your opinion on cities is irrelevant as you yourself are constantly harping on about how all Cities are finished. For something that is finished they seem to consume an awful lot of your time as that’s pretty much the sum total of your valuable insight. My presumption is therefore that Business park in Altrincham must need more tenants. In the meantime forgive the rest of us who have to live in reality if we stick to the professionals who’s opinions actually matter.

By Cityscape

Maybe some could be turned into vertical urban farms and provide fresh food for the growing community and save on Co2 emissions delivering the food to the city centre. These will become more popular in the near future.

By For a better life