Parking Charge Plan For Richmond Park Is Scrapped

Tourism and Heritage Minister John Penrose scrapped plans this week

Motorists wanting to leave their cars in Richmond Park for a summer stroll, no longer face the threat of parking charges.

Tourism and Heritage Minister John Penrose said the plans had been the subject of fierce opposition and he had decided to scrap the idea immediately.

He said: "Plans to introduce car parking charges in these parks were the subject of fierce public opposition from the moment they were first proposed, some 18 months ago, and the local MPs have been lobbying me hard so, after discussing it with them and with the Mayor’s office, I’ve decided to scrap the idea immediately.

"Given the current economic climate, we will need to find alternative sources of income instead, but we will try to respect local residents’ views and preserve the environment of these wonderful and precious spaces too."

The Royal Parks applied for planning permission to introduce parking meters last month, causing widespread concern. In response, MPs Justine Greening and Zac Goldsmith organised an urgent meeting with Mr Penrose and local MP, Vince Cable as well as representatives from the London Mayor’s office.

Zac Goldsmith said: "I gave an absolute assurance before the election that we would scrap the charges, and I am thrilled that the Government has honoured that pledge. Put simply, enjoying Richmond and Bushy Parks will never become a budget decision.

"This is a triumph for Park users, and particularly for all those who signed petitions, wrote to the Minister and joined the mass rally in Richmond Park earlier this year."

John Penrose is Minister for Tourism and Heritage, which includes responsibility in Government for London’s nine Royal Parks. The Royal Parks is an executive agency of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The Royal Parks are: Bushy Park, The Green Park, Greenwich Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, The Regent's Park and Primrose Hill, Richmond Park and St James's Park. 

July 8, 2010