New car parking charges are a step in the right direction for retailers and shoppers, according to Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce.
The new tariffs, due to be introduced in April, were approved this week by Waverley Borough Council. They follow years of lobbying by Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce on behalf of its members, making a special case for the village where parking issues differ from the other Waverley towns.
One Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce recommendation adopted by Waverley Borough Council is capping the maximum daily charge. However, the Chamber expressed disappointment that the 24-hour was set at £4 (equivalent to 5 hours), instead of the recommended £2.40 (equivalent to 3 hours).
Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce president Rosemary French OBE, said:
The Chamber has worked tirelessly for the past three years, lobbying councillors and officers at Waverley to introduce sensible reforms to the parking tariffs in Cranleigh. We need to support our High Street, encouraging visitors to stay longer, and at the same time making it more affordable for High Street workers to use public car parks.
A daily charging cap makes real sense for Cranleigh, which unlike the other Waverley towns of Godalming, Farnham and Haslemere, doesn’t face railway commuter car parking pressures. The data show that Cranleigh car parks are, on average, only half utilised each week.
A daily charge cap of £4 is a positive step in the right direction for Cranleigh car parking charges, but we will continue lobbying the council to lower this charging cap further. Our High Street needs our help with a package of supportive measures, including removing the barrier to visitors that comes with car parking costs.
Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce also questioned the ‘perverse decision’ to change the hourly parking tariff for the Village Way and Stocklund Square car parks from a simple 80p an hour. From April 2020, the hourly rate becomes 80p for hour one, 90p for hour two, 80p for hour three, £1 for hour four, and 50p for hour five.
It makes no sense to vary the hourly parking charges. With the introduction of the £4 daily cap, equivalent to 5 hours of parking, there’s no logic behind anything other than 80p an hour. This new parking tariff introduces unnecessary confusion and serves as a disincentive for shoppers to stay for longer than an hour.Waverley needs to rethink this element of its decision quickly.