HC Deb 29 October 1998 vol 318 c267W
Mr. Butterfill

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what his Department's policy is in relation to car parking charges within the Royal Parks; and what consultations he has had with the Crown Estate on this matter. [56335]

Mr. Alan Howarth

[holding answer 27 October 1998]: Parking spaces are made available in the Royal Parks principally for the benefit of people visiting the parks. Where possible these are free, but charges have been made if it appeared necessary to discourage commuter parking.

In 1994, in accordance with this policy, the Royal Parks Agency, which is responsible for managing the Royal Parks on behalf of the Department, introduced pay and display charges for car parking in Hyde Park and Regent's Park. It is proposed to extend these charges to weekends and Bank Holidays in early 1999 in line with this Government's policies on discouraging the use of vehicles in central London, as both parks are well served by public transport.

The Crown Estate was among those organisations which the Agency consulted both over the introduction of charges in 1994 and this year over their extension. Their views, and those of other consultees, have been taken into account in framing the arrangements.