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Unpopular Parking Charges on the County Council’s Countryside Estate Equals Near Empty Car Parks in Norbury Park and Little Income

October 8, 2018 10:30 AM

Surrey parkingParking charges of £1.30 per hour, with a maximum charge of £5.00 per day, were introduced in the car parks on Surrey County Council's Countryside Estate, including those at Norbury Park, on 6 August 2018 despite significant opposition from local residents. Previously there was no charge.

Liberal Democrat County Councillor Hazel Watson (Dorking Hills) said: "Following the introduction of the parking charges, the car parks, unsurprisingly, have been virtually empty.

"Instead, as we predicted, local residents 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.

"In addition, with it costing £45,000 to install the ticket machines in Norbury Park and with the estimated income from the Norbury Park car parks being £20,000pa, it will take over two years for the income raised to cover the cost incurred if this level of income is achieved."

Hazel Watson concluded, "Let's be clear. These car parking charges have backfired.

"The County Council is discouraging rather than encouraging the use of its car parks, is failing to raise sufficient income to cover the costs of the ticket machines, and is not raising additional funding to maintain the Countryside Estate."