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Parking charge fury at Worden Park

Make Worden Park one of the top 10 favourite green spaces in the UK
Make Worden Park one of the top 10 favourite green spaces in the UK
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Plans to introduce car parking charges at Leyland’s Worden Park have sparked outrage.

South Ribble Council’s cabinet gave the go ahead to the move - and to increase in town centre parking, too - at a meeting on Wednesday night.

It is proposed that a £2 a day charge is introduced at the park during term time only and £1 per day outside of term time and at weekends from April.

It is estimated it would generate £99,000 income for the council each year.

But county councillor Matthew Tomlinson, who represents Leyland Central division and is a South Ribble Borough councillor for Broadfield ward, said: “It’s a year now since they went out to consultation in this, and originally consulted with £1 a day and all of a sudden it’s come back and its £2 a day.

“As someone who was county councillor for that area for a long time, what I’m really concerned about is the knock-on affect on residential parking and regular users, such as young mums, are going to be disadvantaged when they’re using this park.

“We need to do more in the park to generate income, but this just seems like a sledgehammer really.”

The proposals will have to be rubber stamped by full council in January.

Park users have slammed the move through social media.

Sheila Phillips said on Facebook: ‘Our park was left to the people of Leyland for our use. I think this is disgraceful to charge for parking.’

Heather Lamb: ‘Very very disappointing. We live on Royal Avenue cusp Park gate Drive. On bonfire night our street is back to back with cars. So this decision will no doubt see this happening on a daily basis.’

Councillor Graham Walton, cabinet member for Neighbourhoods and Streetscene, said: “It’s always a genuinely difficult decision to increase fees and charges, and not one we would ever take lightly.

“I became a councillor to help my fellow residents in South Ribble and make sure the borough is a fantastic place to live – not just now, but for future generations to come.

“As a council, we’ve always worked hard to balance the books while continuing to invest heavily in our beautiful parks and open spaces, but it’s well documented that local authorities are really having to tighten their belts.

“The small charge for parking at Worden Park – £2 per day during term-time and £1 per day at weekends and outside term-time – will allow us to continue to invest significantly in the facilities there and make sure it remains the proud jewel in Leyland’s crown.

“It also means that those many families who travel from right across the North West to visit the award-winning park will contribute in a small way to its upkeep.

“Listening to residents from the neighbouring estate, I realise there are already issues with parking there and we have already started to look at ways we can solve this as quickly as possible.

“I want to reassure residents in that area that we will do everything we can to find an answer to the problem once and for all.

“I’d also like to reassure our town centre businesses that we will continue to work with them really closely to support them in any way we can.

“I appreciate they may be concerned about the increase of fees for council-owned car parks, but we will remain one of the cheapest places to park at just £1 for three hours when the new changes are introduced — up 20p from current rate of 80p for three hours.

“We are also committed to continuing to offer the free parking for one hour in the blue bays and have recently announced free parking in the run-up to Christmas.

“I really would encourage residents to take advantage of the scheme and shop local this festive season.”