On Tuesday night, 22nd October, councillors, at the Environment and Safe Communities Committee meeting, agreed a range of proposed changes to parking charges in council owned car parks from April 2020.
The proposals include simplifying tariffs and making it cheaper to park in the late afternoon and evening to promote the evening economy.
The proposal sees overall charges rise; the first across the board increase after the majority of council car park charges were frozen for the last three years.
The proposals will now be subject to formal consultation, with the results debated and any changes agreed at the Strategy and Resources Committee meeting in February that decides the council’s budget for the financial year 2020/21.
Councillor Neil Dallen, who chairs the cross party councillor working group who proposed the changes said “Decisions like these are difficult and can be unpopular but it is our responsibility to ensure that there is a good turnaround of spaces for visitors and shoppers and that our car parks are safe, secure and well maintained.
“We need to support our local retailers and businesses by discouraging London bound commuters leaving their cars in our retail car parks all day, effectively blocking their use for those using local businesses – this is a particular issue close to the rail stations.
“With lifestyles and climate change high on the national and local agenda, we also want to encourage other modes of travel that contribute to a healthier lifestyle and a cleaner environment for local residents.
“Of course people still have the choice to bring a car into Epsom and into the centre of Ewell and our car parking tariffs are set to help balance supply and demand.
“We continue to invest in our car parks, with better signage, new payment machines offering more convenient payment methods and security measures including better lighting”.