|Councillor Lister writes to Putney|
Proposal for charging for parking in Richmond Park is "indefensible"
One of the great things about living in Putney is having the beautiful green spaces of Richmond Park on your doorstep. It means you can spend a morning or afternoon 'in the country' without having to drive down the A3!
Until now it's been one of those few remaining pleasures that can be enjoyed for free. But all that's set to change with the news that the Government wants to charge for bringing your car to the park.
In most cases you have no choice but to take the car because public transport to the park is just about non-existent.
All of which makes the Royal Parks' move to impose new car park charges indefensible.
They haven't even stopped to think what the consequences will be for adjoining residential areas in Roehampton which will suffer overspill parking as drivers seek to avoid the charge.
Most people will see it as outrageous that a government body can even think of introducing such a levy without considering the environmental consequences for neighbouring communities or putting in place alternative means of getting there.
The charges will be particularly unfair on older residents and others with limited incomes. I know the other local authorities around the park are equally incensed. Wandsworth Council will be telling ministers and parks bosses to think again.
April 9, 2009
Edward Lister is the Leader of Wandsworth Council and a member for Putney's Thamesfield ward.