Displaced Parking from Wollaton Hall
Mr C S asked the following question of the Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Services and Local Transport:
Could the Portfolio Holder comment on residents’ views that increasing the parking charges at Wollaton Park has created displaced parking on residential streets in Wollaton which they believe has led to health and safety issues, particularly with emergency service vehicles accessing properties where there are parked cars on both sides of the road. Do you agree that it should not be acceptable to prioritise generating income at the expense of increasing public health and safety risks on some roads and pavements in Nottingham City?
Councillor Longford replied as follows:
Thank you, Lord Mayor. Thank you for the question regarding parking on residential streets around Wollaton Park.
Parking charges at Wollaton Park have been in place for many years and, whilst we acknowledge that the charges have recently increased, it is the first increase in over six years. Prices have risen by £1.00, to £3.00 for up to 3 hours and £5.00 for the day. Season tickets are available for regular visitors, at £60. The income generated is vital during these times of harsh government cuts to Council budgets, to support the upkeep and improvement of Wollaton and other parks.
It is very unusual these days, to be able to visit a major attraction such as Wollaton Hall and Deer Park without some charge. A quick trawl through other attractions nearby shows that parking charges are set at a reasonable level. Entrance to Kedleston Hall grounds for example is £5.90 per person, plus Clumber Park is £5.25 for a family ticket, and our own Newstead Abbey is £6.00 per car.
It is very difficult to establish if parking on nearby streets is purely displaced parking due to increase in fees or simply a result of higher visitor numbers to this extremely popular park. I’ve lived nearby for most of my life, and I know that parking in the streets is a perennial problem.
The Council takes its health and safety responsibilities very seriously and, in order to help reduce the impact of displaced parking, the Council has for many years put in place traffic orders for all major events and at weekends when we know it is likely to be busy. With the support of local Councillors, the Traffic Management section of Nottingham City Council has been exploring ways to address parking issues in the streets around Wollaton Park for some time. For many years, residents have raised concerns about on-street parking increasing at certain times, such as weekends, bank holidays, event days, and at key times of the day, when visitors arrive to walk dogs. I know that my colleague, Councillor Battlemuch, has been working hard to resolve these concerns since elected.
Prior to the increase in charges, Council officers were already working with local Councillors in order to consult residents on the introduction of a residents’ parking scheme, which would prevent Wollaton Park visitors from parking on nearby streets. Unfortunately, some residents did not believe that parking restrictions were necessary and have resisted these proposals. The scheme could have been in place some time ago, but the dispute over the necessity of the scheme has led to a prolonged period of dialogue between residents and the City Council in order to find a solution acceptable to the majority of nearby residents. As a compromise, officers are now looking to consult on a “seasonal” scheme, which would implement restrictions between March and October when there is most activity at the park. We hope the scheme will be in place before next summer. This would stop any displaced parking and reduce any health and safety concerns for local residents. In the meantime, we are mindful that the busy summer period is now coming to an end, and there will be some reduction in parking from visitors as we go into the winter months. However, we will continue to work with the Police and the Council’s enforcement teams to ensure that any inappropriately parked cars are removed or ticketed as needed.