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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