Epsom must stop fleecing motorists over parking charges
9:00am Friday 9th August 2013
I was reading with interest
your story (Parking problems 'could force shop to close down, August 8) on
residents' parking and how it will affect shops like the Mini Stores in Church
Road, which I have used for many years and which members of my family still
It is important for the
council to address parking not just road by road, as it does currently but for
Epsom as a whole. It is not sufficient to just move traffic problems from one
road to another.
Residents need to be able
to park near where they live, and commuters who work in Epsom need to be able
to park affordably near where they work. Users of the town centre need to be
able to access the restaurants and shops without having to pay the large sums
of money that they have to currently. Epsom's parking charges are very
expensive compared to other similar town centres in Surrey and also are more
expensive than many shopping centres in London.
I have written to the
council regarding the parking charges as recently a judge ruled in London that
it was unlawful for councils to raise more money for parking than is required
for road maintenance and road related activities. It may be that this judgement
could have a huge impact on the council's attitude towards parking charges.
In areas where parking is
cheaper, high streets and shops like Mr Patel's flourish despite these
difficult economic times. Resident Association councillors have often said that
if charges were not increased council tax would have to increase and another RA
councillor said via twitter 'We [Epsom and Ewell Borough Council] get around
£1.5 million a year from car parking. How would you raise that kind of money?'
Those attitudes simply are
not good enough. Epsom needs to have a scheme providing reasonable parking
rates for employees. It needs to look at the residents' parking situation as a
whole and it needs to address the high charges in the council car parks, so
Epsom High Street is restored to the thriving shopping hub that I remember as a
The Epsom Guardian is a
bastion for successful campaigns notably Epsom Hospital and Zone 6, I would ask
that the Guardian run a similar campaign to Save Epsom Town Centre from
expensive, possibly even unlawful parking charges encouraging the Epsom and
Ewell Council to come up with a proper parking scheme for the whole of Epsom
that will be mutually beneficial for residents, commuters and visitors alike.
I would urge the council to
take some emergency measures for Mr Patel's shop rather than waiting for a
review, by which time it will be too late.