Fringe Box



Letter: Why Has The Council Made Waitrose Stop Free Parking?

Published on: 23 Jun, 2016
Updated on: 23 Jun, 2016

Artist's impression of the finished Waitrose store.While in Waitrose today, and by the way I am a fan, I saw a notice to customers that Guildford Borough Council has asked them to do away with the free 20 minutes parking and to get in line with the prices of other car parks in the town.

Am I alone in thinking that this is a form of price-fixing? I have no axe to grind because my agenda would be to get more people onto bikes not cars but it just does not seem right that the council should be able to dictate the cost of parking in the town, which we all know is extortionate.

I assume Waitrose could have chosen to stick to their guns but would they want to cross the council?

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Responses to Letter: Why Has The Council Made Waitrose Stop Free Parking?

  1. Sue Warner Reply

    June 23, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    I am really angry about this, it just GBC being thoughtless and greedy as usual.

    I used to pop in after work to buy bread/milk. Now I won’t go anymore because I don’t want to pay for 1.5hrs parking as 20 mins was sufficient – yes I could get it back if I spent more than £10 but I rarely spend more than that in any shop. I’m not the only person who is upset about this I’m on local groups on the internet and they are as upset as I am.

    Because my polling station was close by I walked in there tonight and it was the most empty I’ve ever seen it since it was opened. How is GBC promoting local trading? They’re not interested, just how much money they can grab.

  2. John Perkins Reply

    June 24, 2016 at 8:47 am

    I agree, it looks like a form of price-fixing.
    One of the commonly quoted reasons for not building on brownfield land is that its owners cannot be forced to comply, so how is that Waitrose can be forced to obey this diktat?

  3. Angela Gunning Reply

    June 24, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Yes, I was very annoyed to find this change to parking charges. Not only is it unacceptable to make customers spend more than £10 [to get their £2 back] – it is possible to park in the surrounding streets for a quick 30 minute shop for just 80p. And after 6pm, when the shop is still open you can park right outside in the street for nothing when on-street parking charges cease to apply.

    I did that only a few days ago. So, I’ll continue to shop in Godalming; and if I want just milk and a paper I can park at the station for free; not between 5.30 and 7pm I hasten to add when the whole traffic circulation at the station gets gridlocked virtually every day.

  4. Anne Bubb Reply

    June 24, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    How petty.

  5. Susan Kay-Attwood Reply

    June 24, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    Well that’s just unfriendly. I thought it was quite a nice/ good thing. Well done GBC for getting rid of something else nice and useful.

  6. Wayne Smith Reply

    August 1, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    GBC should be encouraging people to shop in the town, not dissuading them.

    At a time when supermarket shoppers habits are changing from a big weekly shop to smaller day to day purchases, GBC has effectively stopped anyone passing by that store from buying a few small items unless willing to pay the extra Waitrose tax.

    Presumably this change was brought about because GBC saw a drop in revenue from the local on-street parking bays. If so, it would be interesting to know how those people used their free 20 minutes if it wasn’t in the store? Pick-up and drop-off at Sandfield School was one use.

    As mentioned by Angela Gunning, on-street parking is free after 6pm, so why isn’t Waitrose parking also free after that time if it’s meant to be aligned with local parking charges?

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