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Protesters prepare for march over Bushy Park parking charges
5:50pm Friday 17th April 2009 in Where I Live
Campaigners fighting to prevent the introduction of parking charges in Bushy Park are to hold a day of action this weekend.
The Keep Bushy Park Free alliance, comprising the Friends of Bushy and Home Parks, Hampton Hill Association, Hampton Society, Hampton Wick Association and Teddington Society, will meet at the Diana fountain in the park at 12pm on Saturday to begin a protest march.
They are angry at a plan conceived by Royal Parks, which manages Bushy Park and Richmond Park, to change regulations, including a proposal to introduce parking charges.
A consultation into the plan was launched in January and Vincent Cable, MP for Twickenham, confirmed last month no charges would be introduced in 2009 and Royal Parks would not make recommendations to introduce the charge until autumn, when Parliamentary approval would have been given.
Users have attacked the proposal, which would levy a £3 charge to park in Richmond Park and up to £2 to leave cars in Bushy Park.
Blue Badge holders and drivers with mobility difficulties would park for free.
The alliance has issued a 12-point objection document, calling for the plan to be scrapped and has labelled it a “money-making exercise”.
The group argued that the elderly who cannot walk to the park, parents and grandparents who will want to take children, and dog walkers, some of whom will want to use the park twice a day, will be worst affected.
The group believes money spent encouraging people to visit will be wasted if they then have to pay to park there.
A statement said: “Bushy Park was open to the public on the orders of Queen Victoria. It was free then and must be kept free to all now.”
The consultation closes on May 1. To have a say email Consultation@royalparks.gsi.gov.uk or write to the Royal Parks, the Old Police House, Hyde Park, London W2 2UH