Farnham Town Council’s joint leader has called on Waverley Borough Council to scrap its free Christmas car parking initiative in favour of free travel on buses.

At last Tuesday's Waverley full council meeting, Councillor David Beaman (Farnham Residents, Farnham Castle) argued that encouraging the use of public transport is more sustainable than promoting the use of private cars through free parking.

In response, Councillor Andy MacLeod (Farnham Residents, Moor Park), portfolio holder for enforcement, operations and Brightwells, said the free Christmas parking offer was in line with the council’s commitment to invigorate high streets and work with chambers of commerce to encourage local buying and reduce travel, including the associated journeys by delivery vehicles.

However, Cllr MacLeod also acknowledged the suggestion for a free bus service at Christmas and expressed interest in a similar scheme run by Swansea Council.

He stated that bus services were the responsibility of Surrey County Council and that the authority would contact Surrey to encourage the introduction of such a scheme next Christmas.

If this were to happen, the council may review its own free Christmas parking scheme, he said.