Conservatives Get Cross Party Support
to win vote against parking charges for Richmond Park
Length of Visit:
The vote in the House of Lords produced a rare Lords defeat for the Government, with almost twice as many Peers supporting the Conservative motion against the charges than opposing it – 136 to 71.
The considerable cross-party involvement, including Conservative, Liberal Democrat, and independent cross bench Peers, sends a clear message to Ministers about the widespread opposition to the planned parking charges.
Shadow Minister for London, and MP for Putney, Justine Greening has called the Conservative victory in the House of Lords a major blow to the Government’s planned parking charges in Richmond and Bushy Parks. Ms Greening said:
Miss Greening is also writing to the Royal Parks Agency, calling on them not to proceed with the charges until after an election, and Londoners have had a democratic chance to have their say on the charges. The Conservatives have pledged not to go ahead with the parking charges if elected. Miss Greening has consistently campaigned against the Government’s planned charges, which are opposed by 84% of respondents to the Royal Parks consultation, and at £1/hour could prove unaffordable to many low income visitors to the park.
Visit Frequency and Length combined:
Previous analysis of the charges has shown that almost half of those driving to the park are from working class and lower middle class families, with a typical user, visiting twice a week and staying for 1-2hours, facing £180 a year parking bill if the charges are brought in. More frequent visitors would face bills approaching £800 (see tables above).
The Government have claimed that the purpose of the parking charges is to discourage park visitors from driving to the park, but many have little choice other than to drive, as statistics show 83% of car park users live over a mile away from the park. Public transport options are also limited, with the nearest tube station a 30 minute walk away, and the Government admitting Richmond Park “is only averagely served by public transport”.
Letter from Margaret Hodge to Justine Greening MP: