Pay and display charges set to be brought in at parks

Withy Grove car park
Withy Grove car park
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Parking charges will be brought in at two parks in South Ribble, if budget plans are approved next month.

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, with effect from June 1. Pay and display machines will be installed, as well as cashless methods of paying via smart phone.

Bosses said improvements will be carried out in return. But Leyland County Coun Matthew Tomlinson 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 attracting visitors from the wider North West region. The playground at Withy Grove Park is also a popular facility attracting visitors from a wide area of Lancashire especially from the M65 corridor. 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 and included within this budget plan.”

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. These are to be offered at “an attractive and competitive cost” and with numbers limited.

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