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Monthly Archives: December 2009

According to the Woking News and Mail, Woking council is about to scrap half-hour car parking charges. That means if you park for one hour 10 minutes, you have to pay for two hours. That used to be the old system, often circumvented by Good Samaritan motorists handing on their tickets to others if there was plenty of time left on them. You can’t do that now because of the new barrier system. According to the report, the council think they can rake in an extra £4m-plus by reverting to hourly charges, if the same number of motorists continue to park in Woking. But will they? There has long been debate that many are choosing Guildford rather than Woking to shop in because of cheaper parking. Woking council itself has been trying – with some success – to encourage more people to cycle into town instead of driving. Presumably that has also meant a drop in car parking revenue. So we have a council facing debts of £109.8m, according to the latest figures, gaining less revenue than before from its car parks, partly because it is busily spending money trying to encourage more people to use their bikes. Presumably, upping the car parking charges will only encourage more to do so. That ticks the “fighting climate change” box – but maybe not the one marked “council revenue”.

The other point is that there are other reasons why people shop in Guildford, and indeeed Kingston, rather than in Woking. It’s to do with the quality and range of the shops. I’m afraid Woking has rather a long way to go before it can change that.