Car parking charges at Lydiard House and Park and Coate Water Country Park will start next month and season tickets for regular users of the popular venues are available to buy now.
The parking charges, which will help pay for the ongoing upkeep of both sites, are set to take effect on Friday 1 July, when motorists will need to purchase a ticket from newly-installed machines at the sites to avoid receiving a fixed penalty notice. Alternatively, season tickets to park at both or either venues throughout the year are also available at a significantly discounted rate, making the changes more affordable for frequent visitors.
More than half (51%) of respondents to a survey about how to make both venues more sustainable accepted the need for parking charges, including a tenth (9%) who saw the move as a good idea.
People who live in nearby residential areas are being reassured that the impact of this change will be closely monitored from when the charges are introduced and over the coming months. Motorists at the parks are also urged to park responsibly, using the designated car parks and clearly displaying a ticket.
The new charges, which were passed at the Cabinet meeting last week (Thursday, 16 June) following public consultation, mean people parking at the venues must pay £2 for up to two hours or £4 for all day at Lydiard, and £1 for up to two hours or £2 all day at Coate. Annual season tickets cost £45 for Lydiard, £30 for Coate or £60 for both. No charge is applicable to blue badge holders.
It is estimated that, if successful, this measure could generate £400,000 in income reserved to spend exclusively on the maintenance of both sites, which currently require significant Council subsidy.
Cllr Garry Perkins, Swindon Borough Council Cabinet Member for Economy, Regeneration, and Skills, said: “Parking charges are never popular, but it is encouraging that many people view the changes as a necessary way to help pay for the ongoing maintenance of these much-loved venues. I encourage regular visitors to take advantage of the season tickets, which are now available to buy at a significant discount to the hourly and daily rates. I would also like to take this opportunity to reassure people who live in the vicinity that any effects of these changes will be very carefully monitored and to thank residents for their co-operation and support so Lydiard and Coate can continue to be enjoyed both now and in future generations.”
Annual season tickets can be bought by going online at www.swindon.gov.uk/parking or visiting customer services at Wat Tyler House in Beckhmapton Street. You can also register online to pay parking charges via your mobile phone.