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Havering Council proposes parking charges in parks

PUBLISHED: 10:00 10 October 2015

Harrow Lodge Park Picture: Arnaud Stephenson

Harrow Lodge Park Picture: Arnaud Stephenson

Archant

A proposal to introduce parking charges to 19 of the borough’s parks has prompted a mixed reaction from residents and sports clubs.

Bedfords Park, Harrow Lodge Park and Central Park are just a few of Havering’s leafy areas which could be affected by Havering Council’s plan to charge drivers 20p for up to three hours parking and 50p for five hours and more.

Residents have criticised the idea on social media forum Streetlife, expressing how this could potentially “drive away” those who use the parks.

Peter Mc said: “I’ve lived in Romford for almost 50 years and whilst traffic has increased substantially I have never experienced a problem parking at any of the borough’s parks.

“If the existing parking arrangements are working well, why change them?”

Marion H: “I feel this will drive even more people away from the parks. It will also push parking on to local roads around the parks – it’s a sad day for us park users and our dogs!”

But sports clubs have shown a more optimistic approach to the proposal.

Jeremy West, chairman of Hornchurch Cricket Club, in Harrow Lodge Park, said: “I am glad the council have agreed not to charge at the weekend and at the price of 20p I don’t think it would put people off from visiting the parks.

“But this would become an issue if the amount continues to go up.”

Council leader, Cllr Roger Ramsey, said: “The decision to allow parks to introduce car parking charges was decided at Cabinet on February 4 this year, following a borough-wide consultation.

“As well as deterring commuters and freeing up spaces for genuine visitors, the income will be re-invested back into the parks, to maintain the quality of Havering’s parks and open spaces.”

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