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REVEALED: How Croydon shoppers get a raw deal on parking compared to our neighbours

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THE same company which runs five of Croydon town centre's biggest car parks is charging almost half the price for short stays in neighbouring towns.

NCP is hitting shoppers where it hurts with its charges – especially in the two car parks which flank the Whitgift Centre.

In the Whitgift, Croydon Central, and Fairfield car parks, drivers are charged £4.20 for one to two hours, whereas in NCP's car park in Bromley town centre, the same time is only £2.30.

While you can park in The Mall for up to four hours for £4.30, in Croydon Central and Whitgift the price is £6.40 for a limit of three hours.

In Fairfield, it is £8.20 for anything from two to four hours.

The pricing structure in NCP's Kingston town centre facility is slightly more than Bromley but only marginally.

Jeremy Frost, chairman of the Croydon branch of the Federation of Small Businesses, said it would put people off shopping because most have a problem with paying for parking.

He said: "If you go shopping in the town centre or a shopping centre then you don't mind paying a bit extra for goods but people do have a problem paying for parking.

"People don't feel as if they get anything for their money. Even people with a lot of money don't like paying for it.

"I think the reason it is so high is because of the amount of people that live in Croydon. It is a purely commercial decision by NCP."

The other two NCP car parks are further out of the centre in Dingwall Road and Wandle Road and represent similar value to the Bromley and Kingston car parks.

The Labour-controlled council sold the car parks to NCP in 2006.

Tony Bull, who owns Zucchi shoe stores in the Whitgift Centre and in Bromley, believes the hefty parking charges in Croydon have added considerably to a downturn in trade.

He said: "The prices are crazy, it is enough to stop people coming to Croydon. I know the council and the Government have always wanted to deter the car but serious shoppers want to come to Croydon by car.

"You're not seriously telling me if people are going to buy five or six even medium-sized things they're going to want to lug it back on the bus or the train?

"It's not even as if NCP are keeping these car parks in a good condition."

A spokeswoman for NCP defended the pricing structure of their car parks, saying fees were judged on the costs of each site rather than the whole company's profits.

She said: "NCP is a commercial business and aims to provide car parks that have sustainable revenues, that allows us to keep sites viable for the long term.

"Our car park prices do vary from region to region, as each car park's pricing policy is based on the business costs incurred on the individual site.

"For instance, our property costs that we pay in Bromley and Kingston are significantly different to those at Whitgift and Centrale in Croydon.

"Also each car park will have different requirements. Some have a much higher number of customers visiting them, which means that the operating method that we offer at each car park incurs different costs."


Short stay parking prices

Kingston St James Road

1 hour – £1.80

1-2 hours – £3.30

2-3 hours – £4.80

3-4 hours – £6.30

Kingston Fairfield

1 hour – £1.50

1-2 hours – £2.80

2-3 hours – £4.10

3-4 hours £5.10

Bromley The Mall

1 hour – £2.30

1-2 hours – £2.30

2-4 hours – £4.30

Croydon Central

1 hour – £2.40

1-2 hours – £4.40

2-3 hours £6.40

Croydon Whitgift

1 hour – £2.40

1-2 hours £4.40

2-3 hours £6.40

Croydon Fairfield Halls

1 hour – £2.20

1-2 hours – £4.20

2-4 hours – £8.20

Croydon Wandle

2 hours – £2.10

2-4 hours – £4.10

4-6 hours – £6.10

Croydon Dingwall Road

1 hour – £1.30

1-2 hours – £2.30

2-4 hours – £4.30

REVEALED: How Croydon shoppers get a raw deal on parking compared to our neighbours


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