Pay and display charges introduced

County councillor Matthew Tomlinson, with his letter outside Worden Park.
County councillor Matthew Tomlinson, with his letter outside Worden Park.

Parking charges will be brought in at parks in South Ribble – including Leyland’s Worden Park – if budget plans are approved.

The borough council is looking to raise £80,000 a year by introducing fees at Withy Grove Park in Bamber Bridge and Worden Park in Leyland, from June 1.

Pay and display machines will be installed, as well as methods of paying via smart phone.

Bosses said improvements will be carried out in return.

But county councillor Matthew Tomlinson, who represents Leyland central division, said proposals would be “very unpopular”.

He said: “These proposals have come out of the blue and I have real concerns about the impact on on-street parking in surrounding neighbourhoods.”

The budget report states: “Car parking charges are now becoming more common for users of main parks.

“Worden Park is a popular facility.

“The playground at Withy Grove Park is also a popular facility attracting visitors from a wide area of Lancashire.

“The proposed introduction of car parking charges will generate income, help the council achieve a balanced budget and support the significant investment planned for these facilities.”

In response to a request from Runshaw College, a permit scheme has recently been introduced to enable students to park on Worden Park all day.

It is also proposed that a permit scheme is introduced for all day parking on any of the council’s car parks, at “an attractive and competitive cost”.

As the car park at Withy Grove is used by leisure centre customers, a reimbursement scheme is proposed.

County councillor Tomlinson said he had not been consulted on the proposals, which he said was “disappointing”.

He has written to ward councillors, saying: “In respect of Worden Park in particular, I am sure you are both aware that I, along with former councillors McNulty and Hamman, spent countless hours working with LCC, SRBC, Runshaw College and local residents on the thorny issue of students parking on the estate.

“Although the current system is far from perfect, it does seem to have reach a stage where the inconvenience of on street parking is at an acceptable level for most residents.

“I have great fears that a scheme which introduces car parking charges at Worden Park could have enormous impact upon ‘on street’ parking in the vicinity, especially at weekends and during school holidays.

“Should these charges be imposed, and the impact be 
as severe as I fear it might, I 
will have no hesitation in blaming the actions South Ribble Borough Council for any inconvenience caused to local residents.”