Published Friday 5 August 2016 at 17:15
Blackburn with Darwen Council has pledged to take into consideration concerns being raised about the planned introduction of car parking charges at Witton Country Park.
A meeting with representatives from Blackburn Road Runners, the 5k Run Group, Witton Park Run and Witton Residents Group has taken place and others are planned in the coming weeks. All the views will be considered before final decision are taken about the arrangements.
Councillor Damian Talbot, the executive member for Leisure, Culture and Young People at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said:
“No final decisions have been taken about the implementation of the new arrangements. I know people have been concerned about this proposal though the discussions so far have been really helpful and productive. We heard some very good points. I’m delighted people are willing to work with us to make sure we can devise a workable scheme and come up with other ideas to help deal with the massive Government cuts and keep services going.
“We want to minimise the impact on those who value the park so much and those who live close to it. We have some fantastic community groups operating in and around the park that are making such a difference to people lives. We have official studies proving health and wellbeing is improving and we certainly don’t want to discourage anybody. It’s vital we continue to work together.”
- No date has been set for the start of the scheme, though it is expected to be late Autumn
- The Council is looking into the feasibility of free parking after 6pm on weekdays
- Members of the Council-run gym will be provided with a permit
- Blackburn Harriers will have arrangements put in place before the scheme is launched as they share the Arena building with the Council
- Improvement work and lighting on both the main car park and the one adjoining the astro turf pitches will take place before the scheme comes into force.
- No decision has been taken on the final charge though it will likely be 50p for short stay and £1.50 for all day parking.
- The car park off Tower Road is not part of the scheme
- People are to be encouraged to car share, cycle, walk or use public transport where possible when visiting the park
- Local residents groups will be supported around options to deal with parking issues in the streets around the park
- Special parking arrangements with marshals will be put in place as part of plans for any major events and charges made for any damage to the land