Parking Fees Recommended

In December, we posted an item about Wiltshire’s plans to extend car-parking charges to Southwick Country Park. Last week the Environment Select Committee produced a report making its recommendations to Wiltshire Council’s Cabinet, which will meet on 30th January 2018.

The report draws on the results of a public consultation held in the autumn of last year and the proposal for the park is below in Appendix 6:

Appendix 6

It is good to see (column 4) that the committee understands that the revenue from even extortionate fees (columns 2&3) will never cover the cost of upgrading the infrastructure. Half the car park has spent half the winter under water and that sort of drainage does not come cheap.


Column 5 is quite startling. Wiltshire’s 2017-2027 business plan talks quite specifically about the need for good access to the countryside in order to promote a healthier population, but here they are proposing to off-load the whole problem of access to this piece of countryside on to the local community. And as proposals go, it lacks something in detail.

If the asset transfer/service delegation is not possible, parking fees will be recommended. The last section of column 5 says: Operation MiPermit only. MiPermit is an electronic payment system,  no doubt chosen to avoid the problem of vandalised pay-and-display machines and to reduce the cost of security.  But many of the park’s users and almost all the Friends who maintain it are past pensionable age and will not have the technology to make an electronic payment. If this is to be the only method of payment, they will, in effect, be barred from the park.

The final decision will not be made at the 30th January meeting. There will be another period of consultation in March and April of 2018.

There is still time to voice your opinion before the cabinet meets next Tuesday, by email to:  or by post to: Parvis Khansari, Director of Highways and Transport, County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, B14 8JN

Comments are open.

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4 thoughts on “Parking Fees Recommended

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  1. One wonders what is next for Southwick Country Park. Will Wiltshire Council want to charge for dog walking or running? This is a Kafka situation. Wiltshire Council has a duty to promote public wellbeing. To deter people from using the park is incredibly short sighted.

  2. Wiltshire Council’s Business Plan 2017 – 2027 states quite clearly, on page 2, its commitment to improving access to the countryside for the purpose of bettering public health. Either different parts of the council are just not talking to each other or the council believes that public commitments need not be met if they are inconvenient.

  3. I applaud the Council for supporting the well being of the County Park, especially by facilitating the Sunday Country Park Fun Run.

    However the car park is totally inadequate – it is uneven causing a health and safety hazard and is frequently flooded.

    By extension the road in the 40mph zone gets blocked by cars on a Sunday morning and is a road safety hazard but would be exasperated by people not wanting to pay in the car park.

    Of Couse, some might say Yellow lines is the answer, but this could destroy the whole ethos of the Country Park.

    Extending the car park inside the Country Park with a proper surface is the only answer and this might justify a charge after the improvements were made.

  4. A nicely tarmacked space, half-lit, empty after dark, out of sight of the nearest houses, will soon attract youngsters on all sorts of wheels, doing all sorts of things.

    I am all for skate parks and cycle tracks to keep our children busy and healthy; I just think that after dark, unsupervised, in the car park at Southwick Country Park is not the right time or place.

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