Parking charges 'clogging the streets'

NEW daily charges at a country park's car park have led to nearby roads being clogged up with vehicles, angering villagers.Essex County Council has introduced new charges at Cudmore Grove country park, East Mersea, in an effort to bring in extra income to prevent further cuts.

NEW daily charges at a country park's car park have led to nearby roads being clogged up with vehicles, angering villagers.

Essex County Council has introduced new charges at Cudmore Grove country park, East Mersea, in an effort to bring in extra income to prevent further cuts.

Now motorists are charged £1 for one hour or £2 for more than an hour every day of the year. Previously, parking was free for most of the year, with a fee payable only at weekends in the high season.

East Mersea Parish Council vice chairman Peter Mann said rather than paying for parking, motorists are leaving their cars on the verges in East Road and Broman's Lane.


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"People come from miles around and they don't want to pay £1 for one hour and £2 for more.

"It's a very difficult situation. The thing is it's going to destroy all the grass verges and make it look like a proper muck heap."

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Mr Mann said mud from the verges is falling into ditches, clogging them up and leaving the roads vulnerable to localised flooding.

The roads are very narrow so when cars are parked on the side it is difficult for other vehicles to get through and rather than reversing down the road to a passing point, Mr Mann said drivers go onto the verge instead.

Villagers fear it would be impossible for emergency vehicles to get down the lanes.

The parish council is discussing the situation at its next meeting tomorrow .

Essex County Council has brought in the charge at five country parks across the county, including Danbury.

The council's cabinet member for environment, heritage and culture, Kay Twitchen, said: "The parks are wonderful.  Where else could you have a whole day out, for all the family, with planned entertainment, with a car parking charge of just £2 a day?"

"We can offer everything from woodland trails to coastland, historic parks to modern farms, bird hides to bridleways.  Many of the plants and creatures which could not survive anywhere else, live here because the diversity is managed well."

Regular users can buy an annual season ticket for parking at any one of the country parks for £50, or for £75, can purchase a ticket which will allow unlimited parking at any of the five country parks.

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