Will Forster

Former Mayor of Woking and Lib Dem Councillor for South Woking Learn more

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Parking charges in the Surrey countryside

by willforster on 10 October, 2018

Following Surrey County Council’s decision to introduce parking charges to car parks in its countryside estate, it has been widely reported that the sites have been almost empty.

Parking charges of £1.30 per hour, with a maximum charge of £5 per day, were introduced in the County Council’s car parks in the summer despite significant opposition – previously there was no charge for visiting places like Newlands Corner and Norbury Park.

Following the introduction of the parking charges, the car parks – unsurprisingly – have been virtually empty.  Instead, as predicted, local people who enjoy walking in the countryside, including those who exercise their dogs, are parking for free on nearby roads or in other car parks which do not have a charge.

This makes a mockery of the County Council’s stated aim to increase income which could be put towards the cost of maintaining or improving the Council’s Countryside Estate.

My Lib Dem colleagues and I think these car parking charges have backfired, they have annoyed a lot of people and are not raising the money the Conservative Council had hoped for.  The County Council is discouraging rather than encouraging the use of its car parks and is not raising additional funding to maintain the Countryside Estate.

   1 Comment

One Response

  1. Stuart Fawcett says:

    The council seems to be forgetting that Surrey is there to be enjoyed by Surrey’s residents – not seen as a cash cow to extract money from.
    People are asked to get fit, be active, be social and interact well with each other yet here they are so obviously restricted from doing do. Instead its £2:60 to walk your dog. or £3:90 to have a picnic.
    We need more for people to do outside in surrey not less.
    Did the cost of initial consultation, parking machines, wardens, claims handlers and back office processing match the revenue generated? Did you price out the poorer in society?

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