Parking charges to go ahead in Richmond Park and Bushy Park despite 84% opposition

Minister for culture and tourism Margaret Hodge has announced today (15 January) that proposed changes to Royal Parks Regulations will be implemented later this year, including introducing parking charges at Richmond Park and Bushy Park.

A Royal Parks representative said the decision was made after "careful consideration of all responses to the public consultation on the proposals, a series of meetings with stakeholders and additional research".

However, the consultation results showed that 84% of people were opposed to the introduction of car parking charges at Richmond Park and Bushy Park.

Margaret Hodge has decided not to proceed with the proposed six-hour maximum stay in the parks, following research which suggested this could lead to displacement parking in surrounding streets. 

Royal Parks deputy chief executive Colin Buttery said: "At a maximum of £2 a day at Bushy Park and £3 a day at Richmond Park, the charges are similar to the cost of a cup of coffee and compare favourably with car parks locally and at similar amenities."

Income from the charges will be used to help maintain car parks and roads.

However, MP for Twickenham and deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable has vowed to fight the plans in the House of Commons, as the proposals still need parliamentary approval to go ahead.

Chairman of the Friends of Bushy Park Pieter Morpurgo, representing the Keep Bushy Park Free Alliance, said: "We are disappointed as will thousands of local people be with this outcome. Recently all the local major political parties(including Labour) had come together to oppose the proposed charging and a mass rally has already been organised for 30 January as a public show of the strength of opinion that exists.

"We also have written confirmation from the Conservatives and Lib Dems that if they are to win the forthcoming election they would strive to repeal any car parking legislation."

 

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