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Two-hour free parking at Eastrop Park

News release 10226, published on 19 Jul 2022
Visitors to Eastrop Park will be able to park free for two hours when planned car parking charges are introduced in September.
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Resident Services Cllr Rebecca Bean has announced the free parking period to find a balance which supports free use of the council’s parks, while also ensuring the car park at the town centre park is not misused and can be improved for the benefit of all.
The decision comes as a petition with over 2,200 signatures was presented to Council last Thursday calling for the plans to introduce parking charges at the popular Green Flag park to be reviewed. 
Cllr Bean said: “Eastrop Park is a much-loved area of open space in the town centre which attracts visitors to the area and many families travel to from around the borough.
“For some time we have had concerns that the car parks at Eastrop Park are not being used solely by those people who visit the park, it is used by people who work in the town centre or nearby business parks and this is unfair on the users of Eastrop Park. We also have to maintain and improve all of our car parks, including introducing EV charging facilities, and the funding for this is generated from car parking charges.”
Cllr Bean said: “As part of the work to explore introducing charging at these car parks we carried out two consultations with residents and visitors to gauge their views on the proposals, which included a much-reduced tariff in comparison to other town centre short stay car parks. The tariff was designed to be affordable but also deter non-users of the park from parking there.
“On becoming the portfolio holder responsible for parking in May and hearing of the petition, I felt it appropriate to pause on plans to introduce charges so I could consider all of the information.
“Having taken the time to now do this I have decided to revise the tariff for Eastrop car park to include a free two-hour ticket which allows users of the park to visit for two hours with no cost for parking. Families wishing to stay for up to four hours will only need to pay £2 to park compared to £4.30 in our long stay town car parks.
“In making this decision, I and the officers have tried to find a balance which supports free use of our parks, while also ensuring our car parks are not misused and can be improved for the benefit of all.”
Cllr Bean added: “I would like to thank everyone who took the time to give their views through the consultations and the petition.”
It is planned the revised parking tariff will begin at Eastrop Park in September, after the school holidays. Parking will continue to be free for blue badge holders, as it is in all other council operated car parks.  
In addition to the free two-hour parking, the council also plans to introduce free cycle parking at the park to offer families somewhere to store their bikes and encourage more sustainable methods of travel to the open space. 

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