A message from Essex County Council:
Give us your views on car parking charges at Country Parks
A six week consultation begins today (Monday 5 February 2018) on proposed changes to car parking charges at a number of Essex Country Parks.
Car parking charges at the Country Parks have not been increased for three years, since March 2015, with the exception of Weald which were reviewed in 2016. In line with ECC’s fees and charges policy, a review of charges has taken place and an increase is proposed.
In most cases, the proposed increases have been pegged to 50p, with a larger increase of up to £1.50 for Great Notley, Belhus and Cudmore Grove for longer stays of up to three hours.
Country Parks provide valuable outdoor spaces for people to enjoy and Essex County Council is proud of the excellent reputation the parks have – reinforced by the prestigious Green Flag awards we have received for many of our parks.
The Country Parks Service aims to improve the experience of our 850,000 customers a year and increase the number of visitors enjoying the parks, while keeping operating costs as low as possible.
The range of events throughout the year at the parks will be maintained, with many activities provided free of charge such as the play trail at Great Notley, the Gruffalo trail at Thorndon, Stickman at Weald, Wild Wednesdays at Danbury and the new coastal themed adventure play equipment at Cudmore Grove.
Councillor Simon Walsh, Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste said: “Over the last couple of years we have invested more than £1 million in the country parks for the benefit of our visitors with improvements to footpaths and accessibility, car parking, facilities, signage and play equipment and there are plans for further investment. We need to ensure we are able to continue to maintain, develop and invest in the country parks and car parking charges are one of the ways we can bring in funds to help do this.”
The proposed changes are subject to public consultation with any changes to be implemented by the end of April 2018. Visitors are encouraged to feedback their thoughts during the consultation by emailing Countryparks.firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:Countryparks.email@example.com>.
Visitors to Essex Country Parks can still enjoy access to unlimited parking at all of our country parks with the purchase of an annual season ticket at £65 or six-months at £40, with the full annual season ticket fee reduced to £45 and £30 respectively for Blue Badge Holders and over-60s; offering excellent value for money for frequent visitors.