15 January 2010

Parking charges approved for Royal Parks :-)

The immediate reaction to today's news that car parking charges are to be introduced in Richmond Park has been overwhelmingly hostile.

For example, Shadow London minister Justine Greening said, “Richmond Park will become the preserve of the rich", and there has been some groaning on Twitter.

So I just wanted to publicly support these charges and to explain why they are a good idea.

Put simply, I believe that parks are for people, not cars. I want to see fewer cars in Richmond Park (which I can see through my study window as I write this) and if introducing parking charges discourages people from driving there then that is excellent news.

The whole point of Richmond Park is that it is a natural park and cars have no part to play in that. Attractions like Chessington World of Adventures need large car parks and having them does not impact on the reason for going there, but in Richmond Park they do.

If the discouraged motorists chose to walk or cycle there instead then that is even better.

There is also the side benefit of the extra income from the charges which can only be a benefit to the park and it's visitors.

Richmond Park was an unwelcoming mess until not that long ago but then they closed Robin Hood Gate and, later on, reduced the speed to 20mph, and now we can look forward to reduced use of the (over large) car parks.

Each of the other changes were introduced against wails of protest about the impact on the neighbouring areas and it was nonsense every time. Just as it will prove to be with the parking charges.

This is another step forward for the park which, as a local resident and regular visitor, I warmly welcome.


  1. I applaud you for posting this article, and as another long-term local resident, I tend to agree with your viewpoint. I'd go even further and suggest that a small (eg £1) toll for all cars entering the park could improve things even more, without having an impact on the surrounding area. Tim

  2. Your views on the charges seem to be informed largely by your view of the park. Lucky you. Are there awards for Nimby of the Year? You're in with a shout for the #1 spot.

  3. Your views are a version of NIMBY, except they are IMBY. You are lucky to live so near to Richmond Park and able to access its wonderful facilities without needing a car. Most people are not so fortunate. It is a public space for all to enjoy, especially the poor and vulnerable in society. I accept that opposition politicians have used this issue in a cynical way, but there are important principles of fairness and accessibility which Margaret Hodge has ridden rough-shod over.

  4. Put simply, it's yet another tax -when all SE England parking places, will be metered we'll go back to square one.

    If one wants to reduce the car traffic into Richmond park, then let's start removing the coffee vans -for instance the one in Pen Ponds.

    Also, re. the closure of Robin Hood gate, while it did reduce some of the commuting, it did put more pressure on surrounding roads. That's back on the comments above: yes, it's a NIMBY attitude that promotes more cul de sacs and forces down the traffic in corridors and aggravates traffic jams.

    I've put my views in my blog: http://richmondtransits.blogspot.com/2009/03/sign-petition-to-keep-richmond-park.html

  5. I live close to the park and am a regular user, which I have been for years. I don't agree with your view as the issue is the number of cars using the park as a short cut to get between the boroughs of Wandsworth, Richmond and Kingston. Others in Kingston have different views which you can read here - http://www.kingstonpeople.co.uk/news/Introduction-Car-Park-Charges-Richmond-Park-Bushy-Park/article-1717265-detail/article.html

  6. I am wondering if those in favour of the charges have lived in proximity of the park all their lives.

    There are many people who have known the park all their lives, have benches dedicated to loved ones and wander through the park with elderly parents and younger children.

    For goodness sake you make the park sound like the north circular. It is only open in daylight hours. Parking should be kept free for the different generations who will use the park.

  7. Just wait till they install the really attractive meters and the visible-from-space signage that goes with them, then the lovely bright yellow clamps which will adorn the cars of those unfortunate to have over-spent their quota embroiled in the beauty of Isabella plantation. Then the inevitability of the big red environmentally unfriendly diesel bus, employed to drop off the day-trippers to the various points of interest, pic-nic areas and deer viewing platforms .... Oh, it will look marvelous .....

    And a nod to 'anonymous Tim' and his really bright idea for a toll ... Why not just go the whole hog and give it back to the deer and close it to us ordinary people ? Do a Charles the 1st and give the rich their very own private hunting ground like he did just 300 years ago ? ....
    But look what happened to him !


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