Parking charges are to be introduced on Farthing Downs by the City of London Corporation.
Through City Commons, the Corporation manages seven commons and open spaces across Croydon and south London, including large tracts of the new South London Downs National Nature Reserve.
But City Commons has had its budget cut by £180,000 this year, and raising money through car parking charges is seen as a means of paying for aspects of the valuable service provided on the Downs in Coulsdon.
According to one member of the Friends of Farthing Downs, after a conversation with the head ranger, “He guaranteed that every single penny will go back into Farthing Downs and it wasn’t for profiteering.”
The charges will be introduced in January 2021, and will use automated cameras to log number plates – the charges will be £1.50 for up to two hours and £3 for a whole day. Regular users of the commons will be able to buy an annual parking permit.
This does not affect the car park in Happy Valley, which comes under Croydon Council, although given the authority’s current financial position, it surely won’t be long before some parking fees are applied there, too.
As the member of the Friends group said, the head ranger “hopes it doesn’t push people away but sometimes you have to make brave decisions for the greater good and to keep the area maintained to the same high standard.”
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Similar parking charges are due to be introduced on Riddlesdown, also owned by the City of London.
National Trust car parks are paid-for, so this seems in keeping with that precedent.
Sad, but a sign of the times. The prices seem OK. If the charges will benefit the Downs directly, that is good.
The knock-on problem that will probably occur is likely to be more parking in nearby residential streets that adjoin the Downs, when people in the know decide to change their parking location to avoid the charge.
Yep! Next it will be a charge to park ya bike, £5 per dog, £7 per child, and £3.50 special rate for OAP’s. Please not this is not in order to raise funds but for climate change because they all have a carbon dioxide footprint.
Would be nice an annual charge of £40 like the national trust but this annual charge is £180! Completely unfair that people have to fork out nearly £200 to enjoy the countryside that was previously free