Christmas park and ride from Chessington to Kingston to be scrapped

Christmas park and ride from Chessington to Kingston to be scrapped

Christmas park and ride from Chessington to Kingston to be scrapped

First published in News Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

The park and ride service which for years has ferried Chessington and Surrey shoppers to Kingston for Christmas will be scrapped, Kingston Conservatives have announced.

Use has plummeted over the past few years, Tory figures show, from more than 53,000 passengers in 2006/07 to fewer than 20,000 last Christmas.

Councillor David Cunningham, cabinet member for transport, said falling use and rising costs meant the scheme was no longer viable.

He said: "It's not as popular now as it was. We looked at whether we could reduce it to the premium times, but surprisingly there's no saving in doing that."

Lib Dem Chessington South councillor Rachel Reid said: "I just think overall it's disappointing. I've no doubt it will be strongly challenged.

"We know it's been declining. I think a lot of people will miss it.

"If that does happen I'm very keen to know what the other possibilities will be."

Coun Reid said she had stopped using the service when it was moved out of Chessington World of Adventures' main car park.

Coun Cunningham denied the move would clog Kingston's streets and central car parks with extra traffic at Christmas.

He added: "There is always space in one of the other car parks.

"We're going to do quite a big publicity campaign so [shoppers] know they can go to the others."

Coun Cunningham said he will attempt to improve public transport links from Surrey into Kingston, which he said were "diabolical."

Last year Kingston Council paid £92,462 of the total £226,696 cost of the scheme. That contribution was set to rise to £110,430.

Councillors will vote on whether to scrap the scheme at an infrastructure committee meeting Thursday, September 11, at 7.30pm in the Guildhall.

Charting the fall in ticket sales

  • 2006/7 -- 53,665
  • 2007/8 -- 52,674
  • 2008/9 -- 47,115
  • 2009/10 -- 38,305
  • 2010/11 -- 33,369
  • 2011/12 -- 28,275
  • 2012/13 -- 24,037
  • 2013/14 -- 19,488
  • 2014/15 (projected) -- 16,656

Comments (7)

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7:56am Thu 21 Aug 14

&anotherthing says...

Surely places like Cambridge can offer the borough tips on what to do to lower costs and encourage use? The scheme used to be well advertised and signposted which would have perhaps been a starting point.
The Kingston Carnival cancelled and now Christmas traffic carnage predicted. Kingston may well become a place that people star to choose not to visit. Well done!
Surely places like Cambridge can offer the borough tips on what to do to lower costs and encourage use? The scheme used to be well advertised and signposted which would have perhaps been a starting point. The Kingston Carnival cancelled and now Christmas traffic carnage predicted. Kingston may well become a place that people star to choose not to visit. Well done! &anotherthing
  • Score: 27

8:52am Thu 21 Aug 14

0753waterloo says...

Another Tory councillor said this a few months ago, on twitter:

"I have been told on numerous occasions that the Kingston One Way system works efficiently but its at a standstill as people queue to park!"

So I guess Kingston will be no go area come December.
Another Tory councillor said this a few months ago, on twitter: "I have been told on numerous occasions that the Kingston One Way system works efficiently but its at a standstill as people queue to park!" So I guess Kingston will be no go area come December. 0753waterloo
  • Score: 23

9:12am Thu 21 Aug 14

Mother's concern says...

When the park and ride first started, you were able to park your car in Chessington world of Adventurer car park , last couple of years this has not been the case, parking in a field no lights no thought to the customers. could this be the reason .
When the park and ride first started, you were able to park your car in Chessington world of Adventurer car park , last couple of years this has not been the case, parking in a field no lights no thought to the customers. could this be the reason . Mother's concern
  • Score: 40

11:56am Thu 21 Aug 14

321200 says...

Online shopping
Online shopping 321200
  • Score: 6

3:28pm Thu 21 Aug 14

rosypelican says...

Disgraceful to scrap this scheme - it is the sort of green measure we should be adopting more widely, it saves traffic jams in Kingston and provides an efficient method to get in and out of town to shop. The change to parking in an unlit field must have caused the decline in numbers. I know, I've used this service since its inception, and the new arrangements are not good enough for people's safety. You used to be able to park in the Chessington World of Adventures car park but this was stopped when the Holiday Inn was built - not that the parking spaces are used, this area now lies empty.
Disgraceful to scrap this scheme - it is the sort of green measure we should be adopting more widely, it saves traffic jams in Kingston and provides an efficient method to get in and out of town to shop. The change to parking in an unlit field must have caused the decline in numbers. I know, I've used this service since its inception, and the new arrangements are not good enough for people's safety. You used to be able to park in the Chessington World of Adventures car park but this was stopped when the Holiday Inn was built - not that the parking spaces are used, this area now lies empty. rosypelican
  • Score: 21

8:16pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Imigrante says...

The council should find an alternative place for this scheme, maybe somewhere nearer the town centre. In the mean time, we should be prepared for the heavy traffic jams and long parking area queues this coming Christmas 2014.....
The council should find an alternative place for this scheme, maybe somewhere nearer the town centre. In the mean time, we should be prepared for the heavy traffic jams and long parking area queues this coming Christmas 2014..... Imigrante
  • Score: 12

1:54pm Sat 23 Aug 14

Chessington Resident says...

1/. Online shopping
2/. Prefer Epsom and Sutton, not much longer to get to and easier for parking.
1/. Online shopping 2/. Prefer Epsom and Sutton, not much longer to get to and easier for parking. Chessington Resident
  • Score: 0

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