A petition with more than 700 signatures opposing the introduction of parking charges at Cowey Sale was handed to Elmbridge Council this week.

Walton Central councillors Chris Sadler and Melvyn Mills handed the petition to Ray Lee, the council’s strategic director, on Friday, January 31, after collecting 784 signatures in less than a week.

Under the plans, the council would introduce 60p an hour charges to park at the riverside park from 10am to 4pm seven days a week, with the revenue going towards supporting maintenance costs, which is estimated at £20,000 per annum.

Coun Sadler said: “Had the consultation been longer, we could no doubt have seen the number of signatories doubled or trebled.

“Cowey Sale has been very much an area long used for recreational purposes with its cafe and toilets and the docking point for passenger trips along the Thames.

“The location is seen very much as part of the heritage of people in and around Walton, which quite possibly accounts for the scale of the opposition to these proposals.”

Coun Sadler said of the signatories, more than half gave a Walton or Hersham postcode as their address while more than 60 per cent gave a postcode within the borough.

The changes proposed by the council would also see a three hour maximum stay imposed for Cobham, Elmgrove, Long Ditton and West End recreational car parks and Weybridge cricket green car park.

A 20-minute maximum stay for vehicles or three hour maximum stay for a boat trailer could also be imposed at Ditton Reach boat park.

The results of the consultation period, which ran until February 1, will be presented to the council’s cabinet for further consideration.