Surrey countryside car park charging consultation

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  • Surrey countryside car park charging consultation
  • Premier Icon deadkenny
    Subscriber

    It’s more about shifting the cost from the council / tax payer, to extra cost to the consumer so they can redirect budgets to other wasteful schemes, plus probably secure budgets for things they may not for countryside management. Stuff like SCC exec bosses salaries 😉

    At Newlands the car park charges were supposed to be hand in hand with the now shelved or on hold developments, which were designed to encourage more visitors to an already overcrowded car park, ensuring greater car park fee income. I bet also, like Swinley, it would be pay & display which allows for profit from inevitable fines (unlike pay on exit where either you pay for the time you were actually there, or no exit). Do the excesses go to SWT or back to SCC?

    Not currently discussing Hurtwood/Peaslake area… but I suspect (strongly) that that would be the natural extension to what is being proposed at the moment.

    Hurtwood is privately owned land and run by the Hurtwood Trust. Nothing to do with the council, thankfully. Hurtwood Trust have stated they have no desire to introduce parking charges as they feel it is harmful and it would be an extra cost/burden to manage.

    Some other parts of the Surrey Hills are National Trust, so that’s NT land generally, not council. Though National Trust do charge in some places (Box Hill, top car park on Ranmore Common, or Hindhead for example), but not in others (Leith Hill, Abinger Roughs)… at the moment. However NT members get free parking in NT owned car parks anyway.

    Also, back on Newlands Corner, it’s actually privately owned by Albury Estate. Do they not manage it? I think (bit like Swinley’s Lookout car park), the car park at least is however run or leased by the council / SWT.

    openmtbkie
    Member

    Consultation running for Surrey residents here: https://www.surreysays.co.uk/e-i-directorate-programme-group/payandconserve/

    A lot of this comes out of the Newlands Corner debate. Countryside management budget has been slashed, and the council are looking at ways to make it more sustainable.

    Options discussed include charging for a few car parks on countryside sites, charging for parking at all of them, and how to charge (coin machines will get vandalised, mobile phone ‘pay and park’ might not be suitable for everyone.

    Are car parks a luxury? Would charging push people into more sustainable transport options instead of driving up the road to walk the dog? Is using money from honeypot recreation sites to fund wider countryside management needs reasonable?

    Not currently discussing Hurtwood/Peaslake area… but I suspect (strongly) that that would be the natural extension to what is being proposed at the moment.

    I am torn, there are certainly arguments that additional budget for access and ROW would be a good thing, but should it go into the general pot? I verge towards the idea that it should be ringfenced for access *improvements* rather than statutory duties. That’s what I’ll be arguing for at LAF. My other concern is that there needs to be a way to prevent it putting poorest off opportunities for countryside Access. Charging could turn countryside into ‘middle class luxury’, so I suspect that it should be limited to the most popular honeypot locations only in order to ensure that there were still opportunities for all, or maybe free season passes for those on low incomes/benefits/tax credits?

    Anyway, there’s some thoughts you might want to have in mind as you fill it in yourselves 😉

    openmtbkie
    Member

    Also, back on Newlands Corner, it’s actually privately owned by Albury Estate. Do they not manage it? I think (bit like Swinley’s Lookout car park), the car park at least is however run or leased by the council / SWT.

    There’s a complex agreement between the estate and the CC, and then that’s subbed out from the CC to SWT, who manage much of the countryside estate. I think the details of how the money will be split down is part of a commercial agreement. The recent reduction in Ranger staff at SWT appears to have opened some interesting questions there.

    There’s certainly questions being asked about the long term funding for Hurtwood management, including in the light of MTB issues and some other issues in the area. If other areas start charging than the current status quo is likely (IMO) to change

    Personally I see no reason car Parking should be free anywhere – there’s a cost to providing it. Position should be parking only in marked spaces and a ticket/fine for parking anywhere else. However, that’s not what we have in the UK and unless you control parking in the areas around (and enforce it) charging for the car parks will just lead to inconsiderate idiots parking in dangerous places, on verges etc etc.

    I had the misfortune to go to a CarBoot Sale earlier this year. Parking was £1, yet people were parking newer, flasher, vehicles than ours on the verges of the dual carriageway to avoid paying.

    Peaslake already has enough of a problem with people clogging up the village because tthey can’t even be arsed to use walking bottom.

    Premier Icon piha
    Subscriber

    I think it’s a sensible (if unpopular) idea. Everything needs to repaid for and budgets are coming under more & more pressure. Seems fair to spread the cost of some services to the people that use them. Trouble with a lot of folk is they want lots of free services but are reluctant to put their hand in their pockets for fund them.

    The revenue generated from parking charges at Newlands Corner could make a healthy contribution to SWT if the money was passed onto SWT…..

    Peaslake village should be resident permit parking only IMO, except 5-10 minutes outside the shop perhaps. You have to feel sorry for the locals at times with the way people seem to abandon their cars around the village for hours on end.

    uselesshippy
    Member

    I don’t get mountain bikers parking in peaslake. Alright, walking bottom might be full, but within two miles, you have about six other car parks. And your on a **** bike….. it’s really not much effort to go and park somewhere else.

    Peyote
    Member

    My other concern is that there needs to be a way to prevent it putting poorest off opportunities for countryside Access.

    The poorest are already excluded. They can’t afford to own and run cars and as public transport is so poor there is no opportunity for them to even get out of the urban ghettos. Unless they cycle/walk…

    Those who can afford to run a vehicle can afford to pay for car parking. The expectation that parking should be subsidised by the wider population is flawed.

    bgascoyne
    Member

    if pay parking does move over the Peaslake and the like, all its going to do is cause people to park on the road and clog it up. How else are you supposed to get there if you are not a local. Peaslake in particular has benefited hugely from MTB’ers. I hate the pay parking mentally in the UK. You can be in the middle of now where and there is bloody parking machine!

    aP
    Member

    How else are you supposed to get there if you are not a local.

    I often ride to Peaslake from west London, its not that hard really.
    I don’t mind paying for parking, but they must then enforce the use of those car parks, and ticket/ remove illegally parked vehicles.

    Peyote
    Member

    I often ride to Peaslake from west London, its not that hard really.

    I come from the otherside of Guildford, and likewise I have ridden before. Alternatively, there’s a couple of train stations that are close enough to ride from. Gomshall is my usual one (not a great service though!).

    openmtbkie
    Member

    How else are you supposed to get there if you are not a local.

    How else are the trails going to be funded if you’re unwilling to pay for parking?

    Would the money being ringfenced for a particular purpose change your views? Eg. If you knew that the money was being pumped into conservation and access work? Let’s say, and this is just a suggestion, that the introduction of charging at walking bottom resulted in them employing a full time MTB ranger who spent their time building and repairing the trails?

    bgascoyne
    Member

    Would the money being ringfenced for a particular purpose change your views? Eg. If you knew that the money was being pumped into conservation and access work? Let’s say, and this is just a suggestion, that the introduction of charging at walking bottom resulted in them employing a full time MTB ranger who spent their time building and repairing the trails?

    If this was the case then I would have no issue paying for parking. Wait and see what happens I guess.

    if pay parking does move over the Peaslake and the like, all its going to do is cause people to park on the road and clog it up. How else are you supposed to get there if you are not a local. Peaslake in particular has benefited hugely from MTB’ers. I hate the pay parking mentally in the UK.

    And there we have the attitude in a nutshell. You can afford to run a car (Lets put a conservative estimate on the cost at £1500 a year for insurance, tax, servicing and depreciation). You can afford to drive to the trails and you’re too far away to ride from home so lets call it a 40 mile round trip – £6 on fuel). You can afford a mountain bike and you’re on here so likely a full sus that cost upwards of £2k.

    But you consider a few £s unreasonable for somewhere to park your car for a day.

    Sonor
    Member

    Peaslake in particular has benefited hugely from MTB’ers.

    Has it? Apart from the bike shop owner, who else?

    Has it? Apart from the bike shop owner, who else?

    The shop does very well. Not many villages that size have a shop any longer, but I suspect most locals would happily lose the shop and the cyclists.

    Premier Icon deadkenny
    Subscriber

    openmtbkie – Member 
    How else are the trails going to be funded if you’re unwilling to pay for parking?

    Depends if the parking fees go towards trails. Swinley parking fees go to Bracknell council for example, as they lease the car park and have nothing to do with the running of the actual estate (some of which isn’t in the same county anyway).

    To be fair with Newlands if SWT are charging then in theory the money should go to them. What we don’t want is SCC charging for parking in countryside spots and then it ending up being sucked into SCC black holes.

    Sonor – Member 
    Has it? Apart from the bike shop owner, who else?

    The village store definitely, and that has boosted businesses that supply the store, advertise there, and general benefit to the local community. The pub, kind of, though it would do well regardless probably as it’s focused more on non riders frequenting it.

    There are many businesses in the wider area that exist because of riding in the Surrey Hills. Bike shops and skills course providers just as an example. That said, more money is probably made from road cycling in the hills than from mountain bikers.

    The Friends of the Hurtwood perhaps has more chance of securing funding because of the amount of people using the place, but then again maybe not. However there are a fair number of mountain bikers who do donate regularly to FoH (myself included).

    Talking of which – https://friendsofthehurtwood.co.uk/friends/make-a-donation

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