Car parking charges may rise at Peterborough country park

Ferry Meadows. EMN-150113-130143009
Ferry Meadows. EMN-150113-130143009
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Car parking charges could be imposed all week round at a Peterborough country park under a new review of its operations.

Nene Park, which covers 697 heactares of countryside, was made available to the community in 1978 and attracts many thousands of visitors each year.

During 2015 we shall be undertaking a full car park review.

Teresa Wood

But visitors are only charged to park their cars during the peak season at weekends and on bank holidays.

Currently a car parking charge of £4 applies at weekends and bank holidays from March until the end of October between 10am and 4pm.

For coaches and blue badge holders there are dedicated parking spaces and parking is free at all times.

Parking is also free for motorbikes, mini-buses and car park season ticket holders.

But the Nene Park Trust says it does not get any funding from central or local government and is reliant on income generated itself. Its annual spending totals £1.5 million.

The trust says the income from car parking is an important part of its funding.

It says the cash enables it to fund services for visitors such as the provision of a ranger in Ferry Meadows during park opening hours.

Teresa Wood, head of visitor services, said: “During 2015 we shall be undertaking a full car park review which will also include researching other parks and nearby attractions prior to making any recommendations to our Board of Trustees for their approval.”

She said the board would consider parking charges and options to increase them or even lower them and to possibly extend them during the week.

Acccording to the Nene Park Trust’s annual report for the year ending January 31, 2014, the income from car parking charges reached £88,000, which was then a record amount.

She said that there was not a timetable for any decision to be made.

But the move has already attracted some reaction from local people.

Peterborough commercial agent Julian Welch took to the social media site Twitter to criticise the move as a “stealth tax”.