It seems there has been a largely negative reaction so far to the planned introduction of compulsory car parking charges at our country park this June – even though it will still only cost us a pound!
Currently the £1 parking fee is by voluntary donation – meaning that some visitors choose not to pay it. The same noticeboard suggests that regular users contribute £20 per year. Making parking charges mandatory is expected to raise an additional £20,000 in income for Rushcliffe Borough Council – who voted for the change at a meeting in December. Rushcliffe Country Park is held under a 999-year lease from Nottinghamshire County Council, but there’s nothing in that lease to stop the Borough Council charging users of the car park.
Nottingham Heritage Centre adjoins the car park. GCRN Director Phil Stanway took to social media to say: “You would be surprised how many simply park on the roads, grass verges and even try to use our car park just to avoid the voluntary fee. God knows what it’ll be like when it’s compulsory?!”
Kirstie Morrison posted: “A lot of people already park up Asher Lane to avoid the voluntary payment! In summer it’s horrendous.” Domenica Mazzei added “Won’t be long before you have to pay parking in ALL of our park areas, as the council are nothing but money grabbers, trying to find one way or another to take our money, doesn’t matter that wages are still low and the cost of living is still going up, soon we’ll have to pay charges to use pavements and for the oxygen we breath!”
But 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.
“That’s why we’re looking at 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.”
Revised parking meters requiring the inputting of your car registration number have already been installed. New parking restrictions on the roads into the country park are now planned along with some loss of green areas in the existing car park to expand its capacity. It’s thought the extra cash will be used mainly to fund this work and to maintain the park. However, as we previously reported, there are ambitious plans for a new café and a community centre there, too.
The public consultation by Rushcliffe Borough Council on these changes is continuing until the end of this month, so please make sure to have your say by emailing >>HERE<<.