Re-pressed from Get Surrey the author David Stubbings
March 07, 2013
THE half hour free parking in a Chertsey town centre car park, currently enjoyed by hundreds of motorists every day, is to become a thing of the past.
The charges will be £1 for the first hour and £1.80 for two.
Sainsbury’s says this brings it into line with council managed car parks. The fee will be refunded to customers spending more than £5 in store.
Store manager Tom Bolland said: “It will still be free parking but only for people who spend £5. This is great news for our customers who can continue to park and have the charge taken off their shopping purchases.”
No date has been set for the change but Mr Bolland said he was ‘not going to push it while we still get the free parking’, referring to the first 30 minutes.
The amount Sainsbury’s is paying to the council is also understood to be rising.
Although the numbers are unclear, the increase has been described as huge and is believed to be in the region of five times the previous amount.
The council initially looked at taking over the car park in November, which would have seen motorists charged 60p for the first hour, £1.40 for two hours and £2 for three hours.
The decision to remove the 30 minutes free parking has upset people in the town.
Malcolm Loveday, chairman of the Chertsey Society described the decision as ‘a great shame’.
“Yet again Chertsey is in the second order of things in terms of priority,” he said.
“It means it’s not in the same situation as Tesco in Addlestone or Sainsbury’s in Staines where you can park for free. It’s going to be more parking on local roads for people who just want to pop into the shops for 10 minutes to get a newspaper.”
Anna Barry, administrator for the Chertsey Chamber of Commerce, added: “That would be really silly, to get rid of that. That’s just ridiculous.
“It’s not good for the town. We need that for giving people time to pop into the high street.”
However, Cliff Wannell, 51, of Friars Way, Chertsey, said: “I don’t think it will make a massive difference for Chertsey.
“We have to use the shops. Really, we’ve got no option.
“Perhaps people will have to walk round more, which will be no bad thing.”
However, Mr Wannell con-ceded the changes could lead to more congestion on surrounding streets
Runnymede Borough Council was unable to comment, saying it had not received paperwork from Sainsbury’s.