Leatherhead AHEAD - Parking in Leatherhead
proposed 25% increase in 1 hour parking fee, Feb 2005

Leatherhead Advertiser 10 Feb 2005

Parking fee hike is astounding

LEATHERHEAD AHEAD strongly opposes the proposed parking charge increase in Leatherhead.

Leatherhead is "on the up" and a great many people are working very hard to make sure it stays that way and becomes the successful town it used to be.

It is therefore absolutely astounding that at this time the Conservative Mole Valley councillors are initiating an increase in the one hour parking charge from 40p to 50p - a massive 25 per cent increase. This increase will only serve to put people off coming into Leatherhead when they know they can go elsewhere and park for less, eg Ashtead, Fetcham, Bookham and Cobham. The Dorking one hour charge is also being raised.

No doubt the Ashtead and Bookham councillors will agree the increase as their wards pay less car parking charges across the board than Leatherhead does anyway.

The Fetcham councillors will no doubt agree with the increase as there are no charges at all for parking in Fetcham.

Councillor Tim Hall, leader of the council, was quoted in the Surrey Advertiser as saying that it was never easy to decide on car parking charges. However, as he is a Fetcham councillor who lives in Leatherhead presumably the increase will not affect him at all.

As obviously the increase is to raise revenue, it is a pity that against strong opposition Mole Valley District Council put 100,000 of its Capital Fund towards the Phase Two ramp costs - money which should have been better utilised.

Apparently the Liberal Democrats will oppose the increase when it comes before the budget meeting of the council on February 22. I expect it will be too much to hope that the Conservative Leatherhead and Dorking councillors will go against the Conservative "whip" and vote against the increase for Leatherhead and Dorking.

As the Conservatives no doubt wish to win the forthcoming General Election, it surprising that they are running the risk of alienating so many of their Mole Valley constituents.

Paula Sabine
Leatherhead AHEAD
St Mary's Road Leatherhead