Parking charge ‘could destroy Ashtead shops’

Surrey Today

By Sam Blackledge Sam.Blackledge@Essnmedia.Co.Uk
Keep Ashtead Meter Free

PARKING PROBLEMS: Councillors Chris Reynolds, Chris Hunt and James Friend with SAVE members Gillian Russell and Judy Smale

CHARGING for on-street parking in Ashtead would drive shoppers out of the village, according to campaigners.

Last month the Advertiser reported on county council proposals to introduce pay and display machines on ten streets in Mole Valley.

About 3,500 short term spaces have been identified, including 60 in Ashtead, which could now cost £1 an hour.

This week two different councillors joined a campaign group to urge Surrey County Council to reconsider.

Conservative district councillor for Ashtead Village Chris Hunt said: “We feel the charges would drive shoppers away and it seems crazy to charge more than in the district council car parks anyway.

“Even if they introduce them we feel they will not yield the income they hope for.”

He added: “I am determined to work hard to try to keep Ashtead free on-street, because the ability to park in The Street and at Craddocks Parade is a key factor behind their continued success in providing local shopping needs.”

Mr Hunt has drawn up a petition opposing the plans which is available in local shops.

Campaign group Save Our Village Environment (SAVE) has also expressed concerns.