Move is to encourage fewer non-essential trips during the pandemic
Council-owned car parks by Merton parks closed from Wednesday evening (April 8) in a move to encourage fewer non-essential journeys during the current coronavirus pandemic.
Merton Council announced the move, which also includes pay and display spaces around Wimbledon Common, ahead of the long Easter Bank Holiday weekend.
It said in a statement: "We’re very proud of our parks and open spaces as we know it’s important to keep them open at these times to allow people the opportunity to get outdoors especially those without gardens. In these unprecedented times, we also have to balance that up with keeping everybody safe.
"It is for than reason, we’ve taken the difficult decision to suspend pay and display parking bays around Wimbledon Common (except for key workers) from Friday April 10 to at least April 30. At the same time, we’ve also closed some of our car parks located in parks.
"Unfortunately this decision has been taken due to the very high amount of visitors to the common and parks last weekend, which led to some social distancing issues and groups congregating."
Earlier in the week, the GMB union called for Merton's parks to be closed after reports of park keepers being verbally abused as they tried to encourage social distancing.
April 10, 2020