“It’s not over yet” say shoppers.

Although the Surrey Mirror is today claiming victory for residents in the battle to relax Morrisons evening parking regulations, this battle is far from over!

As we understand it, there are TWO issues.

The LEGAL issue.
Reigate and Banstead Borough Council (RBBC) have reportedly said that Morrisons were in “breach of the legal contract” by imposing car parking charges outside of store opening hours. RBBC have said, “The council drew up a legal agreement to ensure that the car park is used for the benefit of the town centre when planning permission was granted for the store in 1991.” It seems that the store should have consulted with the council in advance of implementing any new system, and since they didn’t, the current system may be unlawful.

RBBC are now ‘in discussions’ about this, and we’ll update you as soon as we have any news.

However we’re more concerned about the COMMUNITY issue, and the spirit, rather than the letter of the law. Even if Morrisons could restrict parking until 9 p.m., is it right to do so when there is no real need, since the car park is not so busy from about 6 p.m.? Where is Morrisons’ community spirit? On their website they claim they are ‘Taking good care of our shoppers, colleagues and communities’ – not so in Reigate! Given its central position, the car park has historically acted as a ‘hub’ for much of the town’s evening activity.

We recognise Morrisons’ need to manage parking for their customers during the day, but think they should support the local residents and traders by making it available from 6 p.m. Mon-Sat.

We will therefore continue to campaign for the following:

  •  any future restrictions to only apply 8am – 6 pm Mon-Sat, 10-4 Sun
  • clear signposting of any new parking restrictions
  • review of the no return within 3 hours rule

Please encourage your friends and family to sign the petition on the GoPetition website if they haven’t already done so.

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