Compulsory Parking Fees Introduced

If you’re visiting Ruddington’s Country Park this weekend here’s a timely reminder that you must now pay to park – or face a fine. Despite the largely negative public reaction to the proposed introduction of compulsory car parking charges – as we reported here on in February – Rushcliffe Borough Council has gone ahead with the mandatory £1 fee this month.

PHOTO: Friends of Rushcliffe Country Park

Previously the £1 parking charge was by voluntary donation – meaning that some visitors chose not to pay it. Making parking charges compulsory is expected to raise an additional £20,000 in annual income for the cash-strapped council – who voted for the change at a meeting last December. Rushcliffe Country Park is held under a 999-year lease from Nottinghamshire County Council, but there was nothing in that lease to stop the Borough Council charging users of the car park.

Defending the decision, Rushcliffe Councillor John Cottee, portfolio holder for community services, told The Nottingham Post: “Rushcliffe Country Park is a very popular visitor venue – it’s won ten green flags consecutively and is rated highly on TripAdvisor, proof of its quality and facilities. Keeping the park in great condition for users is expensive, it costs around a quarter of a million pounds to run each year.

“We’re making the current voluntary £1 car parking charge mandatory, to help fund park maintenance, improve car parking management at peak times and increase the number of parking spaces for visitors.

“We think that £1 is still great value for money to visit such a lovely park, and of course annual pass holders will be exempt from paying the charge once they buy a pass for £20.”

The annual £20 permit is available from The Rangers’ Office by the lake – and would obviously be cost effective for visitors who come by car at least once a fortnight. Blue badge holders will still be able to continue to park for free subject to an eight hour daily time limit.

There are also ambitious plans for a new lakeside café and a community centre at Rushcliffe Country Park, which may benefit from the extra income raised.

Revised parking meters requiring the inputting of your car registration number, to prevent sharing of tickets, were installed earlier this year.

Meantime Rushcliffe Parkrun organisers have made an appeal to those attending their popular Saturday morning event to avoid coming by car if possible. On their Facebook page today they advise:

“Parking in the car park is becoming increasingly difficult at our event and that is unlikely to change even with the compulsory £1 charge. Consider whether you need to drive today? There are places to secure your bike. If you live locally your walk could be your warm up? If driving really is your only option then please park considerately and safely. Parking a distance away from the entrance will help to lessen congestion and give you the opportunity for a warm up brisk walk/jog to the start.”

Another alternative, of course, is to go by bus. Whether travelling from Ruddington village centre, or further afield, Nottingham City Transport’s Green 10C serves the Country Park directly all day on Sunday (and Bank Holiday Mondays), whilst the Green 10C and Green 10X will get you there and back during Monday to Friday commuter periods. At other times catching the Green 10 or Navy 3 to Ruddington Village Green and walking the rest of the way might be an option to consider?

Find out more about Rushcliffe Country Park >>HERE<<.

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