Beauty spots parking charges to rise

THE cost of seasonal parking at some of the most picturesque spots in Essex is set to go up by a third. Essex County Council's nine country parks offered free parking until 2003 when daily charges were introduced.

THE cost of seasonal parking at some of the most picturesque spots in Essex is set to go up by a third.

Essex County Council's nine country parks offered free parking until 2003 when daily charges were introduced.

But now a season pass covering the nine parks is to jump from £75 to £100, although the all-day price of parking is to remain at £2.

Paying £1 for an hour's stay will also be scrapped and replaced with a flat £2 fee - whether people stop for just five minutes or all day.


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It is thought the change will generate an extra £85,000 annually, meaning the total income from the parks for 2007-8 will be more than £369,000.

The changes are being introduced in April, with free parking for people with tax exempt vehicles and a 50% discount for those with concessionary bus passes.

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Cudmore Grove country park in East Mersea is one of the parks that will be hit by the change.

Peter Mann, chairman of East Mersea Parish Council, said he believed the parking costs still represented good value for money, but he said residents' lives were being blighted by people parking in their driveways.

He added it was his personal opinion that more parking enforcement was needed to stop the selfish minority causing problems.

“We get people parking down East Road at the weekends and even in people's driveways but we don't get parking attendants out here much at weekends,” he said.

“A minority will always spoil it for the majority and we also have the same problem in the summer when people park outside the country park when they are using the foot ferry.”

Rodney Bass, county councillor in charge of highways, said the season tickets represented good value for money.

“The season tickets will be a different system as they will now cover all the parks in the county instead of just one,” he said.

He said he was very confident the price increases would go-ahead on April 1, although they could be “called in” by fellow councillors, meaning the change would be open to debate.

james.hore@eadt.co.uk

ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL'S COUNTRY PARKS

Belhus Woods

Cudmore Grove

Danbury

Flitch Way

Hadleigh Castle

Langdon Hills

Marsh Farm

Thorndon

Weald

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