Park Charges - Councils to Meet Minister

Bid to head off plans to charge people parking in Richmond Park

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Kingston, Richmond and Wandsworth councils have all opposed the charges which have been called for by the Royal Parks Agency.

The meeting with the minister Barbara Follett will take place in October. The local authorities say they do not expect a decision on the charges before then.

The RPA say they need the money to maintain the park’s roads. They also want to encourage more visitors to leave the car at home.

The councils say charges are unfair because public transport options are limited. They also fear the impact of overspill parking on surrounding residential roads.

Eighty-four per cent of people responding to the RPA’s consultation earlier this year opposed the charges.

The RPA received 2,000 individual responses, 2,500 post cards from Wandsworth residents and petitions containing almost 19,000 signatures.

The RPA has now reported its findings on the consultation to Barbara Follett at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Wandsworth council leader Edward Lister said:
“It’s inconceivable that the Government could ignore the weight of opposition from local people and park users to the RPA’s plans. The charges would be particularly unfair to older visitors, families with small children and others on low incomes.

“The park is for everyone – we understand the financial pressures but ministers should not use these an excuse to impose a new tax on park visitors.”

Most of the park falls within the borough of Richmond while it is bordered on all sides by the three councils.

August 27, 2009