Here comes the choo-choo?
Regular readers will know that we, at Waverley Web, are never churlish or mischievous – perish the thought! But we did a triple-take when we read about the new pay-on-departure scheme in the Stockland Square car park! This has been introduced after some heavy-handed lobbying by Cranleigh traders who, apparently, believe everyone will spend more time in their shops – drinking coffee, nibbling on a croissant or two, before moving on to linger in the lingerie, browse among the beds … we needn’t go on, we’re sure you get the picture, if they don’t need to worry about their parking ticket running out.
Unfortunately – for traders and shoppers alike – all is not quite as wunderbar as it seems because, whereas elsewhere (Guildford & Horsham to name but two), drivers take a ticket on arrival and insert it into the machine on departure, enabling them to just pay for the length of time they’ve parked, here in the Wunderland that is Waverley, the Council wants to charge you potts (sorry, Julia, no pun intended – well, maybe just a small one!) of money upfront – £8.40p – and give you a refund – if they really must – when you return.
Trust Your Waverley to make a mountain out of a molehill! Why make things simple when you can make them c-c-c-complicated?
We are grateful to Beth Hughes who shared her experience of the new parking situation in Stockland Square with us below.
So there you have it, folks, Your Waverley is not only keen to grab your money upfront, it’s incredibly reluctant to return it to you later! Of course, the generous-minded amongst you may think that it takes time for new-fangled schemes to bed-in and things will sort themselves out – eventually – but, in the meantime, the Cranleigh Traders can only hope and pray that Waverley’s answer to ‘Stand & Deliver’ – otherwise known as Daylight Robbery at the c-c-c-Cashpoint – doesn’t cause shoppers to vote with their feet and go elsewhere to drink coffee, snaffle a sausage and linger in the lingerie …
Especially as the mutter in the gutter is … that a certain large brownfield site, just a hop-skip-and-a-jump away from Cranleigh, is in discussions with the owners of Bicester Village to create a Surrey-based designer outlet at the old aerodrome if their planning application – which, courtesy of Matron Milton, is currently languishing in the Secretary of State’s in-box – is turned down.
Apparently, the owners of the incredibly successful chi-chi outlet shopping villages – 11 and counting across Europe and China – are looking to extend their reach in the UK by tapping into the prime Surrey Yummy Mummy market. They have their eye on Dunsfold Park because of its close proximity to the old Downs Link Railway Line.
So successful is the Bicester Village site that the owners have, singlehandedly, paid for a small branch line bringing the railway directly into Bicester Village itself. The thought is they could easily do the same at Dunsfold, making it a mecca for designer bargain hunters in the south-east whilst, at the same time, helping to ease congestion on the A281. Needless to say, Surrey Highways is orgasmic at the prospect of a retailer-funded railway line – something even Dunsfold Park themselves have admitted they couldn’t afford to fund.
Should this come to pass, the Bramley-Babes will be torn between lying down in front of the trains and boarding them. Forget Boden, girls, it’s all about Balenciaga now … !
As for the Cranleigh Traders, who together with Protect our Little Corner, egged Matron Milton on in her bid to get Dunsfold Park called in … they’d be well advised to be careful what they wish for!
Thanks Beth – do we predict traffic chaos in Cranleigh. Here’s what her friends think! C