Elmbridge, Reigate and Banstead parking charges rethink

Parking meter
Image caption Plans for on-street parking charges now include 30 minutes free of charge for some areas

Plans to introduce on-street parking charges in two Surrey boroughs are to be reconsidered after protests from residents and businesses.

Surrey County Council's cabinet has been told to look again at the charging plans for Elmbridge and Reigate and Banstead approved in May.

Some 26,000 people signed a protest petition and businesses complained the boroughs had been treated unfairly.

The cabinet must review the decision within a week under "call-in" rules.

Consultations on street parking charges were to have been carried out two districts at a time throughout 2011, starting with Elmbridge and Reigate and Banstead.

Councillors later changed the consultation for other areas, offering half an hour's free parking.

But Elmbridge and Reigate and Banstead missed out because their consultations were too far advanced.

"The plans for Elmbridge and Reigate and Banstead were steamrollered through ahead of the rest of the county, despite massive opposition from many residents and businesses," said Liberal Democrat transport spokesman Stephen Cooksey.

"This decision will hopefully mean that residents and businesses in areas such as Claygate and Banstead will now get a fair hearing.

The Conservative-controlled council has said the parking service made a £500,000 deficit last year, which was unsustainable.

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