Tuesday, November 29, 2022

We are furious after council forced annoying tourists to park on our street – they are ruining our lives

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ANGRY homeowners have been seething after a “blackmailing” fee increase at a popular country park forced tourists to park across the street.

Residents near Upton Country Park in Poole, Dorset, say the council’s “apparent greed for profit” has led to overcrowding on their roads.


Local artist Theresa Newton said parking fees were ‘awful’[/caption]


Jeneta Bird said the high parking fees are too expensive for people with problems[/caption]


Locals have slammed the council price increases at Upton Country Park in Dorset[/caption]


Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council have repeatedly defended increases in car park prices over the years[/caption]

Parking on the multi-award-winning green area was free until 2017.

However, since the introduction of parking fees, the municipality has regularly increased parking fees.

Now the locals have had enough – and criticized the municipality’s price increase of around 30 percent as “a step too far”.

To stay an hour, visitors now have to pay £2 – a price rising to a whopping £6 if they want a more leisurely stroll around the grounds lasting more than four hours.

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Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council have defended their actions, arguing that the money won will be spent on upkeep and maintenance of the park site.

But disgruntled locals say their move had an annoying consequence, with visitors avoiding paying by seeking a spot on nearby streets instead.

Mike Talbot, 70, has been coming to the park for years and was shocked at the price hikes.

He couldn’t understand why parking fees were introduced in the first place and thinks people should be encouraged to go outside.

Mr Talbot said: “I was shocked to see how much the parking charges are now.

“Charging £2 for an hour outdoors is just blatant profiteering.”

Malcolm Angel, another resident, said: “Sometimes it can get really bad but I don’t blame the people who come here to park.

“I blame the BCP Council for charging parking spaces so high, it’s terrible management.

“Even the short-term parking lot near us is simply too small.”

Local artists Jeneta Bird and Theresa Newton have visited the park for inspiration.

Ms Bird, who lives in Poole, said: “If you have a dog and want to take them for a walk then this is the perfect place to come.

People don’t park here anymore because it’s so expensive

Jeneta bird

“I’ve lived here for decades and I remember when it was free and this parking lot was full every day.

“People can’t afford to pay fees that high right now.”

Ms Newton said: “This park is meant to be for the community and the Council’s decision to further increase the fees is terrible.

“People have to park farther away and that has an impact on local residents.”

BCP Cllr Mark Anderson, Cabinet member for Site and Environment, defended price increases at a recent Council meeting, the Bournemouth Echo reports.

He said the park supports a range of community programs and hosts free or low-cost subsidized activities for families during school holidays.

He added: “The 160-acre site is open seven days a week and unlike many large parks and attractions, admission is free, with facilities such as the children’s play park, fountain and bird hide all visitors can enjoy free of charge.

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“BCP Council has made significant investments to create a new network of sustainable transport routes that offer safe and environmentally friendly travel alternatives to driving.

“Upton Country Park is accessible by foot, bike, train and bus. The park’s low rates for those who wish to drive still offer excellent value for money, and regular park users can buy a season park pass for the equivalent of less than £1 a week.”

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