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Major Changes for Hook Road Car Park

January 20, 2013 9:59 AM

Hook Road car park, Epsom, displaying Park MarkMajor changes designed to make better use of Hook Road car park (HRCP) will be discussed at the council's Environment Committee meeting on 23rd January.

The car park has become a much underused asset, acquired a bad reputation and is only ever half full at most. The council has previously tried to save costs by closing it at 8pm and on Sundays and Bank Holidays. Lib Dem councillors suggested last year that a "working group" be created to solve the problems. Combined with increased demand for more parking for residents, less on-street parking being available, and more shop-workers needing to park, a new development plan will be hoping to get Committee approval. If Epsom Station is successful at moving to Zone 6, that will create additional demand for commuter parking.

"I hope we can get the message across that the changes will be demand driven. In other words, we can open up two more levels in HRCP at the press of a button, literally. We can open the car park later if there is sufficient demand. We can eventually open it 24/7 if the demand is there. But we cannot justify the increased costs of later or 24 hour opening unless we can offset the increased expense against increased income." says Cllr Julie Morris who led the working group.

The first objective is to secure occupants for the 115 spaces on two levels by marketing that space to commuters, town centre workers and residents. The standard rate for business permits will be reduced to £530pa. A maximum charge of £3 for all day parking (with a parker card) will be introduced. 40 residents permits will be available at an annual fee of £288pa and these permits will enable parking in EITHER Hook Road or Hope Lodge or Upper High Street car parks, depending upon the time of day - in other words if HRCP is still closed at night when these permits are issued, these same permits will operate in other car parks so residents can still access their vehicle when HRCP is closed. Alongside these proposals are better lighting, some internal painting, changes to the main access and frontage, better signs, etc. and a decent marketing/publicity budget. Permits of all kinds will be available quarterly if required.

So, commuters, shop-workers and residents - the message is that if you need under-cover safe parking (and HRCP is the only Epsom car park with a "park mark" and is actually the one with the best safety record) please get in touch with the council.