New @SurreyCouncil parking measures could affect small businesses

This is an article from the Surrey Advertiser, dated 23rd April 2012: New parking measures could affect small businesses.

PARKING restrictions proposed for Chilworth would destroy shops in the village if approved, says a business owner.

Double yellow lines and disabled bays will be marked in towns and villages in Guildford borough, including Guildford, Ash, East Horsley, Effingham and Chilworth, which has eight new No Waiting zones in the offing.

However, Dee Brain, owner of Serendipity Fashions, believes the restrictions will inconvenience shoppers and could ultimately force her out of business.

Located on the junction of Chantry Road and New Road, and run by Mrs Brain for nearly 22 years, Serendipity Fashions is right in the middle of a 30-metre section of the proposed no waiting zones.

Between 18 and 21 parking spaces would be lost.

Mrs Brain said: “If you go to other places, even Shere for example, there is a car park, but we don’t have that luxury here.

“If you can’t park in Chilworth then it makes it difficult for shoppers and residents. I’m concerned for my business, as it’s my livelihood.

“My fear is that if my customers can’t park anywhere near my shop they will gradually stop coming. As with all these things there is a knock-on effect. My staff would suffer, as would the people that deliver to us, and I wouldn’t be paying my business rates.”

The review of parking restrictions came about after Surrey County Council received 117 requests for restrictions in areas surrounding Guildford town centre.

This list was narrowed down to 31 roads which were assessed on issues including safety, pollution, accessibility and congestion.

Based on this assessment a list of 18 was made, with Kings Road and Chinhurst Road, Shalford, identified as the most in need of action.

In Chilworth, there were 28 letters about parking, plus three petitions, one of which supported the new restrictions.

County council officials argued that the changes would assist traffic flow around junctions and protect Keep Clear markings outside Tillingbourne School.

They said there would still be a number of places to park in New Road, and the zone outside the school would reflect its opening hours but allow parking at other times.

However, some residents said the zones would impact on parents on the school run.

Anita Cooper, who lives in New Road, was concerned about the problems it would cause for people living on the road who did not have driveways and had to therefore park on the road.

“We are lucky as we can get two cars on our drive, but not everyone is able to do this,” she said.

“Some people rely on being able to park on the road and these proposals are not popular at all in the village.”

Guildford borough councillor James Palmer, who represents Shalford and helped force a review of the Chilworth restrictions, said a decision was expected “in the next few weeks” and the areas close to Serendipity Fashions and the post office may be amended.

He said: “We will be looking at the detail of it and will make sure that we have got the balance right to reflect the many views we got back from residents.”