Backing for parking fees in Richmond Park as petition against tops 1,700

By The Editor

31st Oct 2020 | Local News

A consultation on introducing fees to park in Richmond Park ends this Sunday (November 1).

It would bring parking fees in Richmond and Bushy Park's public car parks in line with those across the rest of London's Royal Parks.

The proposed charges are £1.40 per hour Monday-Saturday and £2 on Sunday. The maximum stay would be six hours and Blue Badge holders and motorcycles would be exempt from the charges.

A petition against the fees has been signed by more than 1,700 people.

Richmond Park Cyclists are in support of the idea and the group gave a historical take on the bid to bring in charges.

Related coverage:

Hundreds oppose parking charges in Richmond Park

Parking charges may be coming to Richmond Park - have your say

They argued that parking fees will lead to "more diverse populations of visitors cycling in the park, many for the first time". This is what they said:

Charges for parking in Richmond Park will benefit cycling (as well as fixing the car parks' huge potholes). Fill out the survey and read this thread on why the proposal is more likely to succeed now than it did a decade ago.

In 2010, The Royal Parks' bid to introduce car park charges was thwarted by MPs brandishing five petitions (listed in the index of this report). Zac Goldsmith, then a candidate for the Richmond Park constituency, even organised a rally against it!

It was the Tory government of the time that kiboshed the plans, and you might think the outcome could be the same again. But the circumstances are very different.

Crucially, TRP (the Royal Parks) has become a charity. That means it is funded less by the government, creating a greater need to independently source revenue streams – which may strengthen its hand in the face of local opposition.

And the promise made by then-minister John Penrose to find "alternative sources of income" for TRP (including, rather oddly, an idea for the park to host farmers' markets) has not been fulfilled.

Since then, with no money forthcoming, the sorry state of the car parks has deteriorated further. If you have ever sheltered in Colicci during a downpour, you may have seen a paddling pool suddenly emerge outside the window!

Richmond Park Cyclists supports TRP's bid to bring in parking charges. It will further reduce the number of vehicles which – as witnessed during the car ban and present trial – leads to more diverse populations of visitors cycling in the park, many for the first time.

Give your views before the end of the weekend by emailing [email protected]

You can read more about the subject on the Royal Parks charity's website.

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