We have praise for the council today. But also some serious criticism.
First, the good bits. The Square and parts of the town are really looking Christmassy this year. Princess Way after dark really gets into the mood with the decorations in the windows of the former BHS store.
But we came perilously close to writing an item today to advise people NOT to drive to Camberley to shop. The council’s management of Main Square car park has been utterly incompetent. The context, of course, is that this is the busiest time of the year for both shoppers and retailers. So to have half the car park and two of the three entrances out of action yesterday was ridiculous. But the straw that broke the camel’s back was the fact that when drivers wound their way up through the building, expecting to be able to park on the top floor, they found that it was completely closed. Drivers had to wind their way back down again. We imagine that quite a few were unable to park having spent quite a while going no-where.
Now there may be operational reasons why this chaos happened when it happened. But WE CHALLENGE THE COUNCIL TO SAY WHY THERE WERE NO WARNING NOTICES ABOUT THE CLOSED TOP FLOOR AT THE ENTRANCE.
The council did write on Facebook “Our thanks to all our customers for their patience as we tried to complete refurbishment works to the car park. Our apologies for any inconvenience” But that was rubbing salt into the wound. Those drivers to whom we spoke had more than exhausted their patience. And the mealy-mouthed ‘any inconvenience’ when drivers had been extremely inconvenienced just shows that the council was completely out of touch with the frustration that it was causing. Retailers ought to take the council to task for giving shoppers such a bad experience – one which was so contrary to the council’s fine words.