Hylands Park's new parking charges will be lowered, says council

A sign to Hylands Park in Chelmsford

Hylands Park, Chelmsford - Credit: Google Earth

Parking at an Essex park could be cheaper than initially proposed.

Councillor Stephen Robinson, Chelmsford City Council's leader, says he has heard residents' concerns about a planned hike in parking charges at Hylands Park, and will slightly lower the cost.

But he has insisted that some payment is needed - not least to help balance the council's Covid-damaged finances.

Chelmsford city's cabinet will vote on the plans on Tuesday, October 12.

A new one-hour charge, annual season ticket options for non-residents and a seven-day season ticket option for Chelmsford residents have been added to the plans following two rounds of consultation.

It means the proposals now on the table include a one-hour charge of £3.35 for non-residents, and £2 for residents.

Parking for more than an hour will cost £5 for non-residents and £3 for residents.

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Five and seven-day annual season tickets will cost residents £4.50 and £6 per month respectively.

For non residents, these charges increase to £6.75 and £8.25 each month.

Residents in Chelmsford may add a second car for £1.35 a month in the five-day season ticket option, amounting to £16.20 each year.

A second car can be added to the seven day option for £1.80 each month, which amounts to £21.60 each year.

There has previously been strong opposition to the plans to introduce parking charges at the 231 hectare park.

One petition, signed by 7,500 people, demanded that the plans be scrapped altogether.

But Cllr Robinson said the charges are needed to improve city finances and make sure Chelmsford taxpayers get a fair deal by not having to pay the full maintenance cost.

Cllr Robinson said: "We have taken on board the responses from the public to the consultation and have reduced the charges that we were proposing for the season tickets.

"There was strong representation from non-residents that they wanted a season ticket as well so we are introducing that discount for non-residents."

He added: "There is a budget shortfall pressure which is ongoing.

"Overall, the budget is ticking along OK, but the budget assumes an income from Hylands."