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Guildford Car Park Price Rises Confirmed

Published on: 26 Jan, 2022
Updated on: 27 Jan, 2022

Castle Car Park, Sydenham Road

By Emily Coady-Stemp

local democracy reporter

The price of parking your car in Guildford will rise from April, with the exception of a “shopper” tariff on some car parks which is being delayed.

The increase in prices is being made while the council aims to raise more money to maintain and improve car parks, support the council’s budget, and encourage people to use other forms of transport.

Guildford Borough Council’s executive committee meeting on Tuesday (25 January) approved the price rises.

Cllr Tony Rooth

Cllr Tony Rooth (R4GV, Pilgrims) described the council as being “between a rock and a parking space” on the price increases, which his party leader and council leader Joss Bigmore (R4GV Christchurch) adjudged “the worst possible pun” he had heard in the chamber.

But the problem was a difficult one, Cllr Rooth pointed out, because off-street parking is a major revenue stream for the council: “And we need to keep that revenue stream coming in, especially in the current challenging financial circumstances.”

Cllr Joss Bigmore

A public apology was made to Experience Guildford, the town’s business improvement district, for a lack of engagement on the impact of the “shopper” tariff. Its introduction has now been delayed to July 1 to allow the council to offer support to businesses and shoppers after the end of the current Coronavirus restrictions.

Cllr Bigmore said he had met with Experience Guildford’s chief executive, Amanda Masters, and had personally apologised to her on behalf of the council for a lack of engagement on the proposed changes.

Amanda Masters

He said: “I think it was poor. I think we probably all assumed it had been done and no one bothered to check.

“So I add my public apology to Experience Guildford.”

The “shopper” tariff increase will affect the car parks at Bedford Road, Castle, and York Road multi-storey car parks as well as at GLive, Millbrook and Tunsgate.

Prices will increase from £3.00 for less than three hours, £6.00 for three to six hours and £12 for more than six hours to £3.60, £7.20 and £14.40 for the same time periods.

A “short-stay” tariff which ranges from £1.30 and £1.50 per hour currently will be consolidated into one rate and increase to £1.80 per hour for less than three hours and £2.30 per hour for more than three hours.

The “short-stay” tariff affects Bedford surface, Bright Hill, Commercial Rd 2, High Street, Leapale Road multi-storey car park, Old Police Station, and on Saturdays only would apply to Lawn Road, Millmead House, Portsmouth Rd , Robin Hood and St Joseph’s Church.

Other changes include to evening and Sunday parking rates.

All changes except to the “shopper” rates will come into force on April 1.

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test 3 Responses to Guildford Car Park Price Rises Confirmed

  1. Valerie Thompson Reply

    January 26, 2022 at 10:59 pm

    What with the decrease in Park & Ride services, the hike in car parking charges, the threat to the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre and the loss of public lavatories in Guildford, the council should expect even fewer people to come to Guildford. It is already dying.

    Personally, I will go elsewhere for my casual shopping, entertainment and eating out. Dorking, Godalming, Farnham, Kingston, Windsor, Horsham. All are within easy reach and more appealing.

  2. S Callanan Reply

    January 27, 2022 at 1:47 pm

    As the report says: ‘But the problem was a difficult one, Cllr Rooth pointed out, because off-street parking is a major revenue stream for the council: “And we need to keep that revenue stream coming in, especially in the current challenging financial circumstances.” ‘

    Whether he intended to or not, Cllr Rooth summed up perfectly the car dilemma. If lots of people drive into Guildford the traffic grinds to a halt, the fumes and noise are unpleasant and altogether it’s no fun for anyone. But the off-street parking is a major revenue stream. So the council would rather have it than not and so people have to drive into Guildford to provide that stream. Does cutting off your face to spite your nose describe it adequately?

    While I’m here can I just wonder what Cllr Bigmore’s apology to Experience Guildford for a lack of engagement actually means?

    He said: “I think it was poor. I think we probably all assumed it had been done and no one bothered to check.”

    Who are “we”? Who was assumed to have done it? Why did no one bother to check?

  3. Christian Holliday Reply

    January 29, 2022 at 5:52 pm

    This is a devastating blow to the town centre, already struggling with the impacts of Covid and the growth of online shopping.

    One wonders if this is a deliberate attempt to kill off retail so that more of the town centre can be turned over to high-rise residential development.

    Christian Holliday is a former Conservative borough councillor.

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