There's quite a bit of controversy in Richmond at the moment, especially since the recent announcement by the Minister for Royal Parks that charging for parking should be allowed. Margaret Hodge is facing stiff criticism for the ruling, and Richmond Council Members are backing public opinion that parking in Richmond Park and Bushy Park should remain free.
Leader of Richmond Council, Cllr Serge Lourie, is pledging to meet with Ms Hodge to try to dissuade her from this course. Council's arguments include the point that charging could increase congestion outside the parks as people queue to get in, and that the parks are local treasures that should be available with free access to all.
Not only do visitors to the parks enjoy the space for its own sake, but attractions like Pembroke Lodge draw in people for lunches, coffee, and wedding receptions. Business here could suffer if visitors are put off having to pay for parking.
There's precious little free parking in any borough nowadays, and I for one welcome the odd location where I can park free of charge - indirectly it tells me my borough cares and isn't constantly trying to stick its hand in my pocket.
It looks like speed limits may be reduced from 30 to 20 mph, a move welcomed by Richmond Council, who are also campaigning for bus routes to run into both parks to allow "sustainable transport choices" for visitors.
What are your thoughts on paying for parking in Richmond Park?
Have your say by emailing us at The Best Of Richmond or commenting on this thread - add your momentum to the tide of public opinion.
Silas Van Der Bas
Thank you for reading thebestof Richmond Blog. If you have something to say about Richmond and what's going on for you, we'd love to hear from you. Come and blog with us: email email@example.com
TheBestOfRichmond Blog - what's on, where and why
Silas Van Der Bas is a freelance writer and photographer with The Little White Studio.