Epsom and Ewell Borough Council (EEBC) have announced proposals to increase parking charges in the borough starting next year.

A spokesperson said that the proposals, which will see overall charges rise but cheaper fares in the late afternoon and evening, were agreed to at a meeting of the Environment and Safe Communities Committee.

They will now be open to a formal consultation process, with the results to be debated and changes agreed at a Strategy and Resources Committee meeting in February next year, before planned implementation in April 2020.

Councillor and former Mayor Neil Dallen, who chairs the cross party councillor working group who proposed the changes, said that the proposals were a "difficult decision" that had been taken by councillors in light of the need for funding to improve services in the borough.

"Decisions like these are difficult and can be unpopular but it is our responsibility to ensure that there is a good turnaround of spaces for visitors and shoppers and that our car parks are safe, secure and well maintained.

"We need to support our local retailers and businesses by discouraging London bound commuters leaving their cars in our retail car parks all day, effectively blocking their use for those using local businesses – this is a particular issue close to the rail stations," Cllr Dallen said.

He added that EEBC hoped to encourage residents to use other modes of transport in light of the climate crisis and changing lifestyles in the borough.

"With lifestyles and climate change high on the national and local agenda, we also want to encourage other modes of travel that contribute to a healthier lifestyle and a cleaner environment for local residents.

"Of course people still have the choice to bring a car into Epsom and into the centre of Ewell and our car parking tariffs are set to help balance supply and demand.

"We continue to invest in our car parks, with better signage, new payment machines offering more convenient payment methods and security measures including better lighting," Cllr Dallen said.