Peterborough’s Nene Park bosses urged to think again on parking charges

Bosses of Peterborough’s Nene Park Trust are being urged by the city’s MP to review new car parking charge plans.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 5:47 pm
Car parking charges to start at Orton Mere EMN-210616-080307009

The call comes from Peterborough MP Paul Bristow who has voiced concerns that the proposed charges for the Orton Mere car park will hit vulnerable people and people with disabilities the hardest.

The proposed charges for the Orton Mere and Thorpe Wood car parks were unveiled just days ago by the trust.

It says the income from parking charges is vital for it to maintain the park land which is under pressure from a growing number of visitors.

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From July 5, Nene Park proposes a parking tariff of £1.50 for the first hour and afterwards a tariff of £2.50 for up to 24 hours.

Now Mr Bristow has written to Nene Park Trust chief executive Matthew Bradbury urging the trust to consider other options around the charges to lessen the impact.

In the letter, Mr Bristow states: “My constituents have highlighted to me the physical and mental health benefits that this outdoor space provides to them.

“They are concerned that the imposition of fees will mean that disabled or vulnerable people who rely on the open space the most are disproportionately impacted.

“One of the key lessons from the pandemic has been how important access to local and high-quality open space is.

“I recognise the difficult management decisions you have to take and that litter and other factors have been very troublesome for you to manage.

“However, I would urge you to look into some other options you might be able to provide as part of your parking charge system.

“This might include a free hour of parking, differentiation for blue badge holders, or a variation to timings as to when charges apply.”

Announcing the new tariffs, Nick Danks, director of finance and business services at Nene Park Trust, said: “We are constantly reviewing ways of improving the Park to provide the best possible experience for our visitors.

“The last 18 months have been challenging for us, as with so many businesses, and the introduction of these modest charges will go some way to allowing us to maintain the high standards you have come to expect and which, other than parking, remains free for all to use.”