Residents, shoppers and those working in the town centre will be able to park their cars for less over the Christmas and New Year period as part of an initiative to encourage everyone to stay longer when visiting the town.
Subject to government restrictions on the re-opening of shops and hospitality venues, reduced flat-rate prices of £3 for up to three hours and £6 for up to six hours will be available from Friday 18 December, applying Monday to Saturday. These prices will be available at the Bedford Road, York Road and Castle multi-storey car parks as well as G-Live, Millbrook and Tunsgate car parks. Stays of over six hours will cost £12.
The Park and Ride car parks at the Spectrum Leisure Centre, Artington and Merrow will continue to be the cheapest option for all but the shortest of stays, with prices starting at just £1.90 per person per day. Up to two children under 16 may travel free with each fare paying adult, making a family visit to the town even better value.
Lead Councillor for Environment and Parking, Cllr James Steel says:
“We hope that these new rates will encourage more people to visit Guildford and to stay longer in the lead-up to Christmas and throughout the holiday period, as we increase our support for local businesses at their busiest time of the year. Guildford is already one of the top shopping destinations in the South-East, and we hope that this offer will attract even more people from neighbouring towns to enjoy the full range of retail and hospitality options available in Guildford.”
A price rise of 10p per hour, to £1.60, has been provisionally agreed for Mary Road, Bedford Road Surface, Commercial Road 2 and Old Police Station car parks, to take effect from April 2021. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, this decision will be reviewed in January.
Leapale Road car park will be re-designated as a short stay car park, with the pricing changed to match other short stay car parks in the town centre.
As part of a report to the Guildford Joint Committee, a collaboration between Guildford Borough and Surrey County Councillors, plans are also in place to introduce Pay by Phone technology at more on-street parking locations, along with a review of current on-street Pay and Display machines. The Surrey County Council Parking & Air Quality Working group have identified car parks which will most benefit from Pay by Phone options.
Consideration will also be given to increasing the Pay and Display spaces in the town centre from a 30-minute maximum stay to one-hour.
As part of our commitment to using local renewable energy sources, solar electricity panels will be installed on the roof of the Farnham Road multi-storey car park to power the car park lighting and provide energy for the national grid. Costing approximately £70,000, the initiative is funded by Salix Finance, who provide government funding to public sector projects to improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and lower energy bills.
Cllr Steel continued: “I am excited by the new and innovative ways in which we will be tackling both pricing for car parking and the climate emergency. As well as the solar panels we are installing new electric vehicle charging points across the borough.
“Cash payment will continue to be available but providing more ways to pay for our on-street spaces, and making it easier to extend your stay, helps our visitors, particularly at a time when fewer people are carrying cash. Our ethos remains ‘drive to and not through’ Guildford, by increasing use of both car parks on the edge of the town centre and our Park and Ride sites, particularly for commuters.”
A number of streets will have their parking restrictions reviewed in the near future: Agraria Road, Boxgrove Park, Bowers Lane, Mountside, Chester Close Ash, South Hill and Shawfield Road, as well as the disabled parking bay on Manor Road.